Reality From Ringside #51
February 8, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of WrestleView.comHow to Politically Attack a McMahon
As many of you know, I?m a tremendous follower of national politics. When sports and professional wrestling can?t be found on my viewing schedule, I find the closest thing that can resemble a competition of sorts.
With all political eyes and ears last week focused on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's verbal jabs on White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's use of a derogatory word for people with learning disabilities, it made for great theater. However, the same cannot be said for Rob Simmons.
Simmons is actively seeking the Republican nomination for Connecticut's senatorial election this coming November. Also campaigning for this nomination is none other than former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon.
Simmons? camp last week began to circulate YouTube clips of former WWE talent Nick Dinsmore portrayed as the character Eugene, a wrestler with a learning disability. Simmons attempted to attack Linda McMahon and WWE's portrayal of such people only to be met with a very clever retort from the McMahon camp.
"Rob Simmons indicates once again that he doesn't understand how to separate fact from fiction,'' Ed Patru, a spokesman for the McMahon campaign, said in a statement.
"In the soap opera world of WWE, the character 'Eugene' was developmentally disabled, but rather than the beaten down, pathetic character that Rob presents, Eugene was treated via scripting like all WWE superstars with no special privileges. He competed in the ring or in a steel cage, sometimes winning, but often losing as an underdog. In the end, in spite of any disability, he was victorious and became a hero.
"Rather than a pathetic character, he was inspirational."
"It was through WWE's work with the Special Olympics since 1986 that Linda understands that these special athletes don't want preferential treatment. They just want a chance to succeed. Eugene proved to them that they could.
"Rob just seems to love those YouTube videos, which are taken out of context and don't tell the whole soap opera story line.
"Linda, however, will continue to focus on the real life issues of jobs, soaring debt, tax increases, and runaway spending, and she will fight job-killing legislation like Cap and Trade and Card Check, both of which Simmons cosponsored as a Congressman." (Credit: courant.com)
While I can absolutely understand Simmons? use of taking advantage of the political media cycle, utilizing the ?hot topic? on the media's current minute of focus in order to attack his political adversary, there are many faults of this methodology and McMahon's response showed those.
If you do plan on politically attacking Linda McMahon using her own company against her, focusing on the televised programs and their content is not the route to take.
If this attack was truly effective, then Jesse Ventura would never have become governor of Minnesota. Of all the encounters inside the ring and all of the off-the-cuff remarks he made as a ring announcer, you would think that they would have been a hindrance to his own campaign.
Voters are smarter than you think. Most do regard professional wrestling as a television program with scripts and characters. Those who do take this form of entertainment serious enough to envision it as a direct correlation to the nation as a whole are not worth your time to speak towards. They are going to vote for McMahon anyway just because of her last name and her ties to their viewing tendencies.
Let's take a seat at the table with Rob Simmons? team of political strategists. We wish to go on the offensive against Linda McMahon using her own company's practices, both past and present, against her.
Just as McMahon's spokesman said, there are ?real life issues? that can be fought over?The issue of jobs and unemployment:
In January 2009, WWE released over 60 employees, roughly 10% of its workforce. This includes talent on both their main and developmental rosters, as well as employees within the Stamford, CT headquarters. Moreover, this was the fourth straight year that WWE had released more than 50 employees under Linda McMahon's tenure as CEO.
Putting McMahon on the spot, having to explain the reasoning behind most of the cuts, allows you to make even more potent political points against her.The issue of ?runaway spending? and 'soaring debt?:
If the dominant reason behind over 200 job cuts in the past four years is because of a price-cutting initiative, then why hasn?t WWE solved its own financial woes?
I already hear plenty of you arguing about why most of these jobs were cut, whether it due to undeveloped talent or unhealthy choices in lifestyles. There is a big difference between you, me, and the voting public of Connecticut? you and I know why talent like Bobby Lashley, Chuck Palumbo, and Super Crazy were released. Most of Connecticut doesn?t.The issue of health care:
On her website, Linda McMahon believes the best way to help America's families and their rising health care woes is through lowering their premiums through tort reform and the expulsion of unnecessary malpractice suits. She also believes in allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state boundaries. McMahon's seems to be heavily focused on the costs of health care for those who currently have it and not the more important and humane issue? health care for those who do not have it.
I wonder if WWE's employees feel the same as she does. Professional sports franchises have contracted athletic performers who benefit from the knowledge and diagnoses of team physicians and trainers. Why doesn?t McMahon's own company provide the same method of care and treatment to her own athletic performers?
There's a difference between lowering the cost of the health care you provide your employees and not offering it at all. I would be very intrigued to hear her response to this issue, after all? it is important and ?real life?.
Speaking for myself, personally and politically, I have no say or opinion on Linda McMahon's campaign for Connecticut's senator seat. I don?t live in the state, I have no vote.
If Rob Simmons truly wants to go on the political offensive, he should stay away from trying to mesh together the realities of America today and the exaggerated one of professional wrestling.
Like I?ve said before? there is no place for politics in professional wrestling. The same can be said vice versa? there is no place for professional wrestling in politics.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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