Linda McMahon Bankruptcy Story Gets Full Treatment in Hearst Connecticut Newspapers

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Brian Lockhart of Hearst is the first Connecticut journalist to investigate in depth Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s oddly touted tale of having gone bankrupt in 1976.

See “McMahons’ bankruptcy a murky chapter in her rags-to-riches tale,” http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/McMahons-bankruptcy-a-murky-chapter-in-her-682114.php.

As I suspected and have written, the bankruptcy seems to have stemmed, at least in part, from Linda’s husband Vince’s ill-fated investment in the closed-circuit telecast of the 1974 Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon Jump, and to a lesser extent the 1976 Muhammad Ali mixed boxing-wrestling fight with Antonio Inoki.

The Lockhart article leads to one minor correction of what I have been saying on this blog for some time. I had read that the McMahons lived in New Britain prior to moving to Greenwich. But it appears that their pre-Greenwich place of residence was actually West Hartford.

I can’t fault any of Lockhart’s enterprise or reporting here. But there’s one additional piece that he or other journalists need to pick up: Linda’s recent carny-like interview in The Daily Beast in which she left the impression that she went bankrupt not because she was the wife of a high-wire businessman who left a trail of huge debts, but because she was something of a welfare mom some years earlier in Maryland. The Daily Beast even reported that McMahon was on food stamps for a while — though the account is so contorted that government food stamps seem almost interchangeable with S&H Green Stamps, an unremarkable 1970s middle-class institution.

In the last 24 hours Linda McMahon has been caught musing out loud about “review” of the federal minimum wage, lying about World Wrestling Entertainment lobbying, and now fudging on disclosure of crucial details of a bankruptcy that she wears as a perverse badge of honor in her campaign biography.

Next, let’s hope, is a good thorough look by a Connecticut newspaper at WWE occupational health and safety standards, which are responsible for what The Nation and The Huffington Post — borrowing a phrase of your humble blogger’s — are calling “the body count.”

Irv Muchnick

1 Comment

  1. Keith Harris says:

    One minor correction to the Lockhart story – Vince McMahon didn’t attempt to arrange a fight in 1976 between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki. Inoki, as the top star and promoter of New Japan Pro Wrestling, was the one who arranged the match and was willing to pay Ali a huge seven figure payday for Ali to put him over in a worked professional wrestling match to enhance his reputation (remember that people thought wrestling was real in Japan at the time) as Japan’s top fighter. Well, that was the plan until Ali got cold feet about throwing a match. Vince’s role in this debacle was that he was the North American promoter who spent (and subsequently lost) the most money broadcasting the bout via closed circuit throughout his father’s territory. For Vince, it bombed at the box office as Inoki wasn’t a star to wrestling fans in North America and boxing fans didn’t take the bout seriously.