Saturday, October 23, 2010

Five Things You Need to Know About the Final Week of the Richard Blumenthal / Linda McMahon Connecticut Senate Campaign

1. The race is over.

Richard Blumenthal has won. Linda McMahon has lost.

2. World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Stand Up for WWE” campaign is just a kooky vanity production of Linda McMahon’s husband Vince.

Since Linda’s campaign is desperate, she has nothing to lose by hitching her wagon to the McMahon company’s propaganda machine. But the net effect is zero. For every new Vince video stirring up class resentment against critics, or featuring robotic employees extolling what a wonderful place to work WWE is, “Stand Up for WWE” puts the source of Linda’s wealth and $50 million self-funded campaign at the center of the conversation. That is not a good thing for her.

3. DUMB: Brouhaha over Planned Parenthood’s work with the Blumenthal campaign to gather depictions of WWE misogyny.

Blumenthal didn’t need this and shouldn’t have done it. That said, the McMahon camp’s complaints about it do them no good.

4. AND DUMBER: Brouhaha over Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz’s directive about poll workers and voters wearing clothes with the WWE logo.

Bysiewicz shouldn’t have done it. That said, the McMahon camp’s rhetoric in screaming First Amendment bloody murder is far more entertaining than biting. At its own shows, WWE security personnel confiscate fans’ signs unfriendly to its message and T-shirts bearing pictures of wrestlers with other promotions.

5. What matters now is the attitude of the general public toward the McMahon family business after November 2.

WWE is under investigation by the state for independent contractor abuse. Events during the Senate campaign, such as the deaths of wrestlers Eddie Fatu and Lance McNaught, further highlighted the need to pursue federal investigations of WWE occupational health and safety that began after the 2007 double murder/suicide of Chris Benoit but mysteriously petered out just before Linda launched her short and unmeritorious career in public service. What remains to be seen is whether the losing McMahons will be allowed to continue on their merry way post Election Day, or whether their arrogant and unsuccessful grab for political power will finally mobilize public officials to examine and regulate this out-of-control industry.

Irv Muchnick

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