A writer who has spent his career covering pro wrestling is in Connecticut, taking on the business practices of Former Wrestling CEO and current Senate candidate Linda McMahon. WNPR's John Dankosky has more.
Irv Muchnick has been touring the country, promoting his book "Chris & Nancy: The True Story of The Benoit Murder-Suicide & Pro Wrestling's Cocktail of Death." It's about the tragic life of Chris Benoit, the superstar WWE wrestler who killed his wife and son and then himself in 2007.
Muchnick says Benoit is one of "scores" of wrestlers who have met untimely deaths - which he blames on an aggressive culture of steroids and painkillers, driven by an industry he calls a "public health menace."
He told WNPR's Where We Live that while McMahon's campaign has faced criticism for the sex and violence of her company's television shows - it's not the reason he's speaking out.
"I think in this Senate race, there's an over-emphasis on You Tube clips of supposedly embarrassing TV content, and racy material and so forth. That's not where I'm coming from at all. My focus is on the atrocious health and safety standards of this unregulated, out-of-control industry that entertains millions by has a tremendous human death toll."
Muchnick sees irony in the swift congressional action and public outrage over steroid use in baseball, while largely ignoring the problem in wrestling.
"I would like people to start taking real death in the fake sport of wrestling almost as seriously as they take Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds' fake records in the real sport of baseball."
In a statement, the McMahon campaign responded that the WWE has a very thorough wellness policy, and comprehensive drug testing policy. The statement continues,
"People understand that many individuals in the entertainment business live healthy and responsible lifestyles, and many do not. Nobody in America blames Disney for Lindsey Lohan's car accidents, or Warner Bros. for the Heath Ledger tragedy."
For WNPR, I'm John Dankosky.