Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wrestling Journalist Caldwell: Blumenthal Off to ‘Less-Than-Flying Start’ on Regulation

James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch disparages the remarks by Connecticut’s senator-elect, Richard Blumenthal, about pro wrestling regulation in his first post-election press conference. See “Will Linda McMahon’s Senate opponent pursue regulation of pro wrestling?”,

Caldwell is right in noting that loose comments about “steroids” show a limited understanding of the real range and cause of the industry’s occupational health and safety issues.

On the other hand, Blumenthal did acknowledge what is obvious but not always acknowledged: that wrestling reform is somewhere on his legislative agenda. And his remarks led the coverage of the press conference in the New London Day. That ain’t chicken feed.

To those annoyed by the shorthand “steroids,” I would also point out that the January 2009 letter by Congressman Henry Waxman (then chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform) to the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy was sophisticated and thorough. The problem then was the lack of follow-through, including, especially, public hearings; the staff investigation itself and the questions to World Wrestling Entertainment officials in private interviews were excellent.

Overall, there is no disputing Caldwell’s conclusion that the proof will be in the pudding. I think Blumenthal’s words were a promising start, but given the history, Caldwell and others have every right to be skeptical.

Irv Muchnick

No comments: