The Times Lays the Smackdown on Linda McMahon

90070802 The Times Lays the Smackdown on Linda McMahonAn investigation in The Times today examines the business practices of the WWE, formerly the WWF, in the context of the candidacy of Linda McMahon, who founded the company with her husband Vince in 1980. And, to use the terms of the industry, they really hit her with a folding chair.

By the end of the article you get the impression that she’s some sleazy promoter out of The Wrestler rather than a Greenwich Republican. Among the accusations leveled against the McMahons’ $1.2 billion empire are: depriving wrestlers of benefits, lowballing their salaries, turning a blind eye to steroids, overworking them and potentially driving them to suicide

The article is peppered with Mickey Rourke-esque quotes from former wrestlers.

Booker T. Huffman, a W.W.E. veteran, said he left the W.W.E. a few years ago because of the relentless pace.

“I didn’t want to be one of those guys who gets chewed up and spit out,” Mr. Huffman, 45, said in an interview. “Every other sport has off seasons. But with the W.W.E., it’s brutal. It’s taxing, mentally and physically.”

The article marks the second time the paper has gone after a candidate for Chris Dodd’s Senate seat. Their previous coverage included an examination of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s alleged exaggerations of his Vietnam service.