ARCHIVE 4/6/08: Josh Stewart of the Long Island Press Pulls a Punch at Your Humble Blogger

Published May 14th, 2009, Uncategorized

Josh Stewart of the Long Island Press Pulls a Punch at Your Humble Blogger

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

On Friday I received a ridiculous email from Josh Stewart, who writes about pro wrestling for the Long Island Press. Stewart said he’d read that my contribution to the recently published book Benoit: Wrestling with the Horror That Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport totally ignored the subject of concussions, even though the book was published after ex-wrestler Chris Nowinski’s Sports Legacy Institute issued a study of Chris Benoit’s brain in relation to research on long-term head trauma.

Stewart was recycling a canard that’s been making the rounds. Benoit did reach bookstores in November, but the four co-authors’ copy had gone to the printer weeks before Nowinski, along with Michael Benoit, Chris’s father, went on ABC and CNN in September with the concussion research. Further, my Benoit chapter did include a reference to concussions, and it was not a weak one.

Stewart backed off.

This would be a positive anecdote about a journalist diligently getting my side of the story before going to print with a smear, except for the fact that I’d learned that Stewart had been pushing the same innuendo in an earlier phone conversation with Mike Benoit. And the reason Stewart was talking to Benoit in the first place was that an Edmonton journalist named Scott Zerr had denied to Stewart that he, Zerr, told Mike — in the driveway of his home on the afternoon of June 25, 2007 — that WWE had informed Zerr that Chris had murdered Nancy, murdered Daniel, and killed himself.

The news, already conveyed to Chris’s mother Margaret inside the house, had so shaken her that Emergency Medical Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to the scene. Meanwhile, in California, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer was receiving the same news about the nature of the Chris, Nancy, and Daniel deaths, also via a WWE executive.

Stewart didn’t deny that Zerr had been pouring this rather pathetic brand of piss in his ear. To view my complete email exchange with Stewart, go to http://muchnick.net/Stewart.pdf. If Josh has anything pertinent to add, I’ll post it.

Irv Muchnick