The Cost of Doing Business

The flames thrown at Linda McMahon's failed campaign came from a lot of places, including fans of the sport she helped build
Share |

There are times when a mere inflection is enough to make you curl in shame. Rachel Maddow, election night, in the process of gleefully detailing an absolutely brutal series of Republican losses, brought her best "I am amazed and delighted at how stupid this is" delivery to the phrase "professional wrestling." She was talking about Linda McMahon, the longtime WWE executive and wife of malevolent company figurehead Vince. After spending about $100 million of her family's fortune, McMahon had just suffered her second straight crushing loss in a Connecticut Senate race. And in describing her as a "former professional wrestling magnate," Maddow brought all the quizzical giddiness you'd imagine, half-smiling and adding a questioning uptick to the end of the sentence. As in: "Can this teleprompter be right? Did these fucking guys really run the wrestling lady as a legitimate senatorial candidate again?" I laughed, of course, but the wrestling fan in me was dying of embarrassment at the same time.

Election night was rich in schadenfreude, of course -- about a hundred different flavors of the stuff. But one particularly rich taste of it came during McMahon's concession speech when, right at the outset, she trotted out her entire extended family, all of them entering to U2's "Beautiful Day" for some reason, all looming awkwardly behind her. There was Vince, momentarily shelving his cartoonish psycho-CEO strut, his rubbery ochre visage somehow fading into the mass of humanity behind her. Daughter and frequent campaign surrogate Stephanie, flashing the steely gaze familiar from way too many episodes of Monday Night Raw. Son Shane, off TV for way too long, doughy as ever but prematurely grayed, possibly from all the nightmares that Kurt Angle would attempt to suplex him through glass again. Best of all: Son-in-law Paul Levesque, known to you and me as Triple H, his sinewy bulk awkwardly shoehorned into a conservative business suit, his blonde ponytail gleaming, looking for all the world like the Teutonic henchman with the machine gun from Die Hard.

There they were: This family of world-famous media-conquerors, humbled and defeated, doing their best to look noble and resolute in the face of a costly and humilating loss -- but trying even harder to look like conservative-establishment business bulwarks ("job creators," in their parlance) rather than the family of appallingly rich carny hucksters they really are. Time to play the game, as they say.

The moment wasn't exactly a proud one for wrestling fans. But then, wrestling fans know better than most that Linda McMahon is not exactly the person you want making decisions about the fiscal cliff. During the election, McMahon went to great pains to depict herself as a socially moderate Republican, but she was all in on the Romneyan back-to-nature economic autocracy stuff. But then there's the matter of her complete lack of charisma. During the campaign, as in her WWE-personality past, McMahon always brandished a concrete-faced countenance that made Romney himself look like Ernest P. Worrell.

Those of us who love wrestling found things to like about all the other McMahons. Vince, of course, moved the spectacle past its smoky-armory beginnings forever, and his ego-mad boss character is among the most iconic that his company has produced. Shane, all loudmouth fratboy nervous energy, was willing to throw his body from buildings (literally) to keep his family's audience happy. Even Stephanie, usually a noxious presence, got to be a part of the ridiculously fun Kurt Angle/Triple H love triangle storyline of summer 2000. But other than the split second where she was kicking her husband in the dick at Wrestlemania X-7, Linda has emitted waves of boredom every time she's appeared on WWE TV. It's confounding that this family, so adept at recognizing charisma in their employees, would look at Linda and see a potential national-stage leader.

But then there's the matter of that $100 million. Linda McMahon threw away the entire budget of Terminator 2 on two Senate races that, if she's the tiniest bit realistic (and I don't know if she is), she had to know were going to fail. She had that money to spend. I would never begrudge the WWE the Scrooge McDuck money-banks it's earned; I've gotten too much enjoyment out of the company for that. But we're still talking about a publicly-traded company whose founders became unspeakably rich, largely because of the gigantic steroidal men who theatrically beat each other into infirmity and who aren't necessarily seeing any money for their troubles now.

The WWE classifies its wrestlers as independent contractors, which means they don't have to pay retirement, Social Security, unemployment insurance. Those wrestlers have to pay state taxes in every state where they wrestle, dealing with the paperwork nightmares that come of it. The company has left behind a long trail of broken or dead bodies. The company has a scary history with steroids, and another one with concussions. Christopher Nowinski, the leading crusader for sports-concussion awareness, is a former WWE wrestler whose character was "Harvard snob." Owen Hart fell to his death from a cable suspended above a WWE ring. Chris Benoit killed his wife and son and then himself, possibly after making too many diving headbutts into WWE rings. McMahon's company has some shady, shady moments in its history -- moments that don't exactly scream that the people in charge should run for high office.

The wrestlers are, of course, complicit in their economic fates, and lately the company has made some serious strides toward taking care of its fake-combat veterans. Lately, they've been helping former employees like Scott Hall out with rehab, when they need it. And if color commentator Jerry Lawler hadn't been at a WWE show, with a crack paramedic staff on hand, he might've died after suffering a heart attack during Raw in September. But those recent moments of basic human decency don't erase decades of mercenary profit-motivated decision-making in the McMahon family's past. And even if I winced internally, McMahon still deserves all the bemused ire in Rachel Maddow's voice.


Share |

Comments

I Really Liked The Font You've Chose To Use In This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much! self-help books

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know. make money from home

This article was written by a real thinking writer. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back. Online Games

I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent.
The New Zodiac Signs and Dates

All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks รับซ่อมประตูม้วน

I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! My Little Pony

This is a great post; it was very edifying. I look ahead in reading more of your work. How To Grow Beard Faster Naturally At Home

I'm also visiting this site regularly, this web site is really nice and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts. Matlab 2016 Crack

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up...
Fibromyalgia

That gives off an impression of being phenomenal anyway i am still not very beyond any doubt that I like it. At any rate will look much more into it and choose by and by!
airport taxi

niche relevant backlinks Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has importations your hard work and experience you have got in This field. Brilliant reading .I love it. high trust flow backlinks dofollow

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. psd to wordpress

I found this one pretty fascinating and it should go into my collection. Very good work! gold backed ira

In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. cérat de gallien

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! Berita Online Terupdate

I think this is a standout amongst the most critical data for me. Furthermore, i"m happy perusing your article. onlinespiele kostenlos

It’s a classic great for me to go to this blog site, it offers helpful suggestions Kiev Odessa trip

Nice job done here, my friend. This is another brilliant submit by you. You have been doing some really good work over the past few months and I am really liking it. Keep doing it. lunettes de sport

Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a great article,,
internet marketing consulting

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
replica bags for women

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. bd

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work. Chaudière électrique

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. Achat villa Empuriabrava

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.
penguin method

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site. Watch video

Excellent post! Everything is absolutely great here. commune mag Nyon

The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks. visible sur internet

his is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work. voyance par tchat direct

What an awesome composition, truly I acknowledge such sort of points. It will be exceptionally useful for us. Free Redbox Codes

Wow i can say that this is another great article as expected of this blog.Bookmarked this site.. Agence de communication Rouen

This will unquestionably be exceptionally helpful for me when I get an opportunity to begin my website. Splendid! livre personnalisé prénom

If you are being attentive to learn several strategies then you ought to browse this article, I am certain you'll get much additional from this article. cream pemutih

Pleasant to be going to your online journal once more, it has been months for me. Well this article i've been sat tight for so long. I require this article to finish my task in the school, and it has same subject with your article. Much obliged, incredible offer.
Language of Desire

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!
What Men Secretly Want Review

Awesome and interesting article. Great things you’ve always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post.
swansea accountant cheap rate

Brilliant article. You have done a pretty good job today. The information was fantastic to read. I am very impressed with this work from you. Thanks for doing this. Keep up the great work.
write my admission essay

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. or forex

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! jual ikan segar

Extremely helpful post. This is my first time i visit here. I discovered such a variety of fascinating stuff in your online journal particularly its exchange. Truly its extraordinary article. Keep it up. Sewa Gedung Pernikahan

Thanks for sharing this important information with us today. This information has really helped me to complete my project on this topic. For that, I am extremely grateful to you. I hope you'll keep it up. Officejet Pro 8600 Ink

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site. bentonite clay

Thank you so much for this very usefull information. It's just a very effectively written article. It will likely be useful to anyone who makes use of it, together with me. how to make money from blogging

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it. Jeet Kune Do Philippines

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it. work home job

I ‘d mention that most of us visitors are really endowed to exist in a fabulous place with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful things. personal finance & Tech

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really helpful information. Keep it up.
Diabetes Destroyer

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful...
waist trainer

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. 
write my argumentative essay

It is great to have the opportunity to read a good quality article with useful information on topics that plenty are interested on.I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.
http://www.saadatm.com/

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.
Obsession Phrases Review