Lots of interesting e-mail reaction on McMahon. A sampling here:
Actually, P.T. Barnum of Connecticut blazed the way for McMahon. I suppose there were a few people in his day who thought bearded ladies were icky. But as Mayor of Bridgeport he did clean up the water supply. And as a legislator, he was a pretty fierce abolitionist at a time when the major newspaper in the state — still, alas, the Hartford Courant –temporized on the issue of slavery.
Besides, McMahon shows promise as a Blumenthal thrasher. And for that alone some of us are willing to forgive the fantasies of her husband.
Another reader points out:
I watched a lot of wrestling (or wrasslin’) in high school and college. I cannot say I’ve really tuned in since about 2001 or so. Your article is a fair assessment of WWE programming, but I still chose to watch and had fun with it for a while.
You failed to mention probably the darkest side of pro-wrestling – these men die young for various reasons.
At the time, I thought the Chris Benoit murder-suicide would be the end of the WWE. I’m still not sure why it did not get more attention from the Feds. I guess they were too busy with Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
At the end of the day, the WWE is no better or worse than a Quentin Tarantino movie, US Weekly providing a weekly dose of self-image hatred, or MTV’s Jackass. We Americans are not high-minded and we have a Congress that matches us. Linda McMahon ought to fit right in.
This reader says it’s all relative:
Look, it’s entertainment. It’s a male soap opera. In a world of strip clubs, Family Guy, and other tasteless endeavors, why single out wrestling for this derision in an election year when this is the industry of our standard bearer? She has encouraged political engagement and voting in every election year of the past decade, and has sent performers to both party conventions. If Linda McMahon is unfit for participation in the political process because she coarsens the culture, you just summarily disqualified the entire entertainment industry. Who would you rather have hammering out the federal budget? The CEO of a multi-billion dollar company built from the ground up, or career bureaucrats?
And one last one:
No one has ever gone broke underestimating the poor taste of Americans. That said, these self-same Americans watching TV schlock are the backbone of this great country, sending sons off to war to fight and defend. Imagine having to rely on Bloomingdale shoppers to defend America! Or, heaven help us, Yale grads! Give me that old K-Mart/WalMart/JCPenny, wrestling watching shopper any day of the week. They have my back.
I removed one of the e-mails in this post about the careers of several WWE “divas” because readers are telling me it was not accurate.