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Linda Sánchez, the U.S. Representative for California’s 39th congressional district, is being criticized for promoting WWE’s multi-platform, nationwide anti-bullying campaign, “be a STAR,” at a rally last Friday at Whittier, California’s Parnell Park in the Los Angeles area. She had a Twitter exchange with Irv Muchnick, author of CHRIS & NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death and Wrestling Babylon, regarding her appearance, who noted his displeasure with his favorite congressperson on football brain injuries being “coopted by WWE/Linda McMahon propaganda.”

Sánchez responded to his remark, tweeting, “As a mother & lawmaker, bullying prevention is very important 2 me. I speak w/ kids re: the dangers of bullying any chance I get.” Muchnick then wrote, “Respectfully, I don’t think you know background of why WWE, biggest bully on the block, is involved in this campaign….”

Sánchez’s communications director, Adam Hudson, responded to Muchnik’s concerns Monday via e-mail: “We saw your Tweets regarding Linda speaking at anti-bullying events with the WWE and other celebrities. I’m happy to follow up on why Linda was there if you would like. Regards.”

Muchnick then gave a lengthy response stating his belief that prominent politicians such as herself and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who also spoke at the anti-bullying rally, should not get in bed with WWE by covering, “or, worse, extolling the company’s self-aggrandizing propaganda.” He details the hypocrisy of WWE promoting an anti-bullying campaign when the sports-entertainment organization, or rather, the McMahon family, has ingrained a toxic culture of bullying in their workplace. He notes, “WWE became part of the Be A Star campaign in the first place only because the company was dealing with the public relations fallout of controversial actions, gestures, and public utterances of its performers, which put them at odds with organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.”

Muchnick then lists examples of WWE compromising its anti-bullying campaign, including company chief Vince McMahon mocking announcer Jim Ross’ affliction with Bell’s Palsy in a backstage segment on the June 11 episode of Raw. He details, “Recently, to great televised and dressing-room glee, the Monday Night Raw program on the USA cable network broadcast a parody of on-and-off announcer and company executive Jim Ross. Mocking Mr. Ross’s bouts with the disease Bell’s Palsy, which has partially paralyzed his face, the talent performing the parody twisted his own mouth theatrically and grotesquely, while a commentator chimed in with unrestrained mirth. Here, the on-air bullying anecdote harshly illuminated the same methods in WWE’s backstage relations with its own employees.”

Muchnick adds, “I think our conversation on this matter can advance public understanding of the bullying issue, as well as provide fodder for the Senate race in Connecticut between Ms. McMahon and her Democratic opponent, Chris Murphy.”

To read Muchnick’s full response on the matter, click here.

  • StudDog

    @TherealTombstone
    Ignore him bro. (yes Tombstone really is my brother) Pretty pathetic when the only joy they can find in their miserable little lives is to copy someone elses screen name and try to get some attention. He must have had one really sad and lonely childhood (or is still having it cause my guess would be that he is about 10yrs old).
    First he copy’s SYM, and poko (and probaly others) and now you. Well they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery so he must really have a man crush on you, poko, and SYM.
    Yeah I dont post too often now but I am here at least 2 to 3 times a week reading. Hope to see you again soon bro.
    BTW Hey Voice of Reason, Hope your doing well.

    SEMPER FI!!!

  • Tombstone

    Actually i will dignify the fake, your a complete asshole, go get a fucking life. You may be more interesting and intelligent, but just fucking shut up and get your own name. Nick shut up too.

  • Nick

    THIS IS WHY WE ARE IN PG ERA, BECAUSE EVERYTIME WWE TRYS TO MAKE A MORE ATTUIDE ERA STORYLINE OR JOKE, PEOPLE SAY “OMG THAT WASNT NICE, OR OH MY GOODY GOOGGLY WHY OH WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT”

    SHUT THE HELL UP AND ENJOY THE STORYLINES,

  • Tombstone

    @CC
    I for one totelly agree with you, Although I do believe it was extremely poor taste and judgement I still do not think it should be considered bullying.

    Of course you all know the oth post was a Tombstone wannabe. A total fake who I will not dignify by recognizing there exsitence any further.

  • WWE is the bully

    Maybe they should joke about how Bossman died 5 months after he was let go? or how they named Andrew Martin ‘Test’ after his addiction to Testosterone another guy who broke his neck then fired for it.

  • Matt

    Wrestling fans are fucking stupid. As a major source of entertainment to a PG audience, WWE has a responsibility to promote anti-bullying. Kids are hanging themselves over this shit, it’s different now.

    Further – using bullying in pretend storylines is fine. There are however, certain lines you do not cross. You don’t joke about fucking BELLS PALSY. The same way they wouldn’t joke about Amesome Kong’s stillborn or miscarriage. You wouldn’t joke about Bret Hart’s stroke. You wouldn’t joke about Steve Austins domestic violence arrest. Santino Marella’s DUI arrest, Alex Riley’s DUI arrest, Jimmy Usu’s DUI arrest, Wade Barrets assault on a police officer, Ted Dibiase’s DUI arrest, Eddie Guerreo’s DUI arrest, Booker T’s fucking ARMED ROBBERY! HE SPENT TIME IN PRISON! HE’S THE FUCKING GM OF SMACKDOWN! Let’s joke about that, pointing guns at little girls working at Wendy’s. Hilarious. William Regal PISSED on a flight attendant. Mike Tyson is a rapist. Ric Flair is a serial domestic violence offender and general nut job. Let’s joke about Jerry Lawler running over a policeman’s foot after losing hit shit on a cop. Better yet, let’s joke about Lawler being accused of RAPING AND SODOMIZING A 15 YEAR OLD. That happened. Chris Jericho’s public drunkenness arrest is pretty joke-worthy as well. How about Big Show’s arrest for showing his dick to a hotel maid?

    This is all hilarious material. No scripted television show uses real life personal problems to degrade talent. If it’s ok to make fun of JR’s bells palsy, let’s get started on the above content.

  • D2K

    So I guess Vince McMahon making fun of the handicapped is okay because it was in a ‘storyline’ yet they turn around and visit handicapped kids in the hospital to spread their anti-bullying propaganda? Whose to say that someone with Bell’s Palsy didn’t see that and get offended?

    Never mind the fact that Vince hasn’t been on TV in weeks, and J.R. is not even on the active roster, we can just ignore those things because it benefits the accused. I guess WWE gets to dictate the terms on what is offensive and what isn’t and when and how derogatory remarks can and cannot be used. I wasn’t aware of the provision but I’m glad I was brought up to speed. Here I was thinking that offending the handicapped was wrong no matter what.

    This isn’t about people needing to grow a “thick skin” or people being to PC, this is about WWE being a BS hypocrite. If you don’t believe in this campaign then stop the BS hypocrisy. Do they think people don’t have the ability to find out about these things? They must really think the general public is naive. Then again, based on the quality of product they have produced for the past several years it’s not hard to imagine how delusional WWE brass has become and how little credit that they give us on being able to think for ourselves.

  • Tombstone

    oh god heres fakeasspoko now boring us, i prefer the less, more entertaining rants you do. Personally good ol’ 2 face should be glad VKM did an impression, best form of flattery after all.

  • The_electrifying_one

    Freedom of speech my arse! Id say 90+ percent of the time. When another wrestler “bullies” another wrestler for storyline purposes the person on the receiving end has already okayed the other person to say that. E.g. Cena saying it was ok for The Rock to call him a fruity pebble or say that he has a mangina.

    People need to stop being so up their own asses. Grow a pair of bollocks , get on with it and stop being so PC about everything.

  • Jimbo

    Glad this is getting attention.

  • poko

    There is a big difference between a heel in a storyline doing something offensive, which is immediately implied as “bad”, and the CEO of the WWE, as a face, mocking a real physical condition, which was in no way part of any storyline. It was simply and completely done for cheap laughs. When a face does something like that, and it has implied acceptance, then it’s the same as positive reinforcement for that behavior.

    What really bothers me about the McMahon/JR thing is that it wasn’t just mockery of JR, it was mockery of anyone out there, child or adult, who suffers from any injury or condition that affects the appearance. It’s saying that such mockery is funny and acceptable.

    In the end, no matter how people try to validate it, it was just a very crappy thing to do.

  • Stevie P

    Yeah sorry but making fun of JRs Bells Palsy had nothing to do with story lines and all about bullying.

  • Eve’s left nipple

    JR is hardly featured on TV and it was done in bad taste. The guy has a legitimate condition, I can split kayfabe with reality when the likes of Vince McMahon is getting pushed out of a hospital bed.

  • nikki

    LMAO…this world has come just plain ass shit!

  • Ricardo

    For once I have to agree with CC. On-screen, anything goes (or so it should). If you feel calling someone ugly or stupid or even fat crosses the line, then don’t complain about PG, stop bitching about the Attitude Era, and never ever chant ECW anywhere.

  • misfit del rio

    Muchnik, has some nerve calling people out especially when he’s expoiting the memories of 3 people who have passed away, for monotary reasons. You’re jus as guilty as wwe, you snake oil salesman.

  • 1919dpg

    cody rhodes calling mistico ugly is so stupid. they should hashtag be a star during those segments XD

  • CC

    Some people really have to learn the difference between bullying and storylines. Its funny that the people who piss and moan the most about the bullying, are generally people who complain about the PG era as well.
    If you dont want the on screen bullying, then thats the end of the whole wrestling industry as without the destinction between heels and faces, the entertainment value would be dead. Without the promos, the heat during matches just wont exist.

    The be a star campaign is aimed at kids, not grown ups, and last time I looked, the people who work for WWE are grown ups.
    If JR had an issue with Vince, he wouldnt still be working for him and keep promoting WWE.

  • Stevie P

    It is and the only reason why those politicians were there was because of the publicity.

  • D2K

    Boy, the McMahons can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to anyone with the last name ‘Mushnick’. I have to agree however that WWE’s anti-bullying campaign is hypocritical at best.

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