AS I SEE IT 4/16: Thoughts on Imus and a second walk in the e-mail forest
AS I SEE IT
Well, time to offer an opinion on Don Imus, since everyone else of planet Earth has, whether or not we wanted to hear it.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
Let's start with the obvious: what Don Imus said about the member of the Rutgers women's basketball team was indefensible.
What happened afterwards was equally indefensible. To fire Don Imus from both his MSNBC simulcast and CBS radio syndicated/local shows was an example of blatant corporate cowardice, shocking even for the world of US corporate radio.
Some of those criticizing him are hardly the people who should have been throwing glass stones at anyone else's houses.
For example, let's look at Al Sharpton. Anyone remember Tawana Brawley, the woman who made a false rape accusation? Did he ever apologize for what he did? Not that I'm aware of. Did Sharpton ever apologize to the Duke lacrosse team for crucifiying them before the charges were proven? Not once. What's infuriating is that there's more than enough real sexual violence against black women. Those that use it for political ends, rather than genuine concern behind the scenes.
Oh, and since he's exhibiting such concern about black women, has Al Sharpton said more than a few obligatory words about rap and hip-hop artists whose lyrics all too often seem to consist of various permutations of phrases including "bitches, hos, guns, and money" and other word I can't write here? Nope, because he knows he'll rightly catch hell for doing that.
Yet Sharpton had the gall to claim to be a leader to the black community; and say Don Imus should be fired. Now Saturday, as I'm writing this, Sharpton is whining about getting death threats for what he did. Well, Mr. Sharpton, people who live in glass houses...
Controversial curmudgeon that he may be, Don Imus has spearheaded efforts to build a private hospital for veterans...at a time when the US Veterans Administration has behaved disgracefully toward veterans in general; and veterans of the Iraq war in particular. Imus has run a ranch for chronically and terminally ill children in New Mexico for years...when those people criticizing him haven't done a damned thing in that regard.
Should Imus have been suspended for his statement? Yes. Should he have been made to grovel somewhat after the fact? Also yes. But to fire him? No.
Enjoy your double standard, folks. But don't be surprised when your censorship comes back to bite you square in the ass.
Let me also mention the obvious: When I've talked below about contacting advertisers, I've said I'm not going to watch a show until a certain business decision is changed. I've never said that the show should be pulled, or anyone fired (well...maybe Vince Russo). The two aren't remotely the same, yet I expect that someone will write me over the next week and scream about the above opinion.
Back to something besides Imus...
We'll start with Dixie Carter's hilarious line of the week: "I am not frightened for our guys to have success outside of the TNA world.... My philosophy is that we're all partners and what's good for the wrestlers is ultimately good for TNA."
Someone better tell Gabe Sapolsky, Samoa Joe, and the fans of Ring of Honor that one. They may need a good laugh.
So...it's another Monday, which means it's time to take a walk through the e-mail forest again. I must be walking in a REALLY deep forest, because I begin with an award-winning troll.
This troll's name is Andrew W. Proctor from a Connecticut College e-mail address. I'll leave the multiple mis-spellings, lack of punctuation, and incoherence intact (with exception of profanities, as there are lots of them).
"So Bob what are you going to do now it semes that i am still tlaking ingore me you can but evuntantly you are going to have to stop your bulll@#$% of trying to take away business from TNA what are you going to do send an e-mail to the presdient of my college asking to have me kick out sue me for what for being right haaaaaaa I will coutiune this untial you stop i will e-mail every one on
the web untial you stop you have no right to do this and it has got to stop I don't care if you hate TNA if you don't like it then don't watch it is that simple but what are doing is just worng trying to ruin people hard work somthing you lack hey all you do is write on the internet and live your mother haaaaaa Me go to top college me get good job me do somthing good you have no life and are
wrong internet roumors do not count as legit fact and your precssious opion dose not count either stop with boycotting and i will stop you don't i will countiou untial you change your e-mail what is next you are going to send the mob after me oh wait you don't know where i live haaaaaa I am right and you worng TNA TNA TNA"
No folks, I didn't make this one up. I couldn't get that wasted or high. It also wasn't his last one. He proceeded to send me 12 e-mails on Monday alone. I'll show you the more literate ones.
" i go to this college hmmmmmmm you live at home with you mother and make fun of people when you know that i am right right hmmmmmmm I am going to keep this up until you stop you stupid campigian to ruin people's hard work cause you will amount to nothing you want to know something funny i am a film major and gusse what i did a documentary yea and it was good i was able to get dave meltzer to do a legit phone interview and i also got bret hart and lance storm to talk to me about the wrestling industry you though only have internet rumors that means
nothing !! bitch
I'll resist the urge to ask Dave Meltzer if he's ever heard of this "college journalist".
And there's another one, also last Monday (mis-spellings in the original):
".... I hate wreslting internet fans like you! you think you know it all you think that you will get hired by WWE ROH TNA XPW ECW WCW CZW 3PW and others. You hope that intent fans will
respect you like they do for the people who run PWIinsider or Wrestling observer. I am sorry to inform but you will be a Dave meltzer you will never get hired by a wrestling company you know nothing about the industry. Do want to know why because you have no respect for people who work hard and attempt make a go from it from scratch you have no respect for TNA 's success as something that came from nothing. Untial you can at least aperactie people hard work rather
then crapping all over it then i have no respect. If you hate TNA so much then rather then attack it then stop watching dumbass . Your article means nothing you mean nothing you probably live with you mother and you think that some how you will mean something in this industry. oh and about TNA pay how the @#$k do you know asshole you don't work for a wrestling company and you never will you suck youar article suck . You and like so many fans who think they know the wresting industry and use the internet to claim they apart of it but you are not you will never amount an to any thing beyond you pathetic article. just because you write for the internet dose not mean you working the wrestling industry. #@%$ you"
Finally, I got this one (all CAPS and mis-spellings in the orihginal)
"YOU %$#@$BAG I WILL SPEAK ENGLISH AND I DID #@&% FACE IF YOU COUNTINE YOUR
STUPID ONGOING WAR AGAINST TNA THEN I WILL COUNTIUNE TO SEND YOU E-MAILS %$#@TARD YOU SUCK THAT WAS SAYING YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TRY RUIN SOMTHING PEOPLE
WOKR HARD ON UNLIKE YOU HAVE NO LIFE AND NEVER WOKR HARD ON SOMTHING AND IS JUST
A FAN %$#@ YOU.
There was more...but most of it would have to be bleeped out, so why bother? Let's just say Connecticut College officials were not amused when they saw how their College's bandwidth was being used for this sort of nonsense.
From the UK's Sam Edmondson:
"...I'm not normally moved to comment on anything that I read in your pieces, but do enjoy reading your column when I get the chance, and just thought I'd drop you a note saying how much I sympaphise with you having to read all the junk mail from ignorant TNA fans you seem to be constantly recieving. I couldn't even bring myself to read past the first letter this week, it's so painfull reading what these idiots thing about your column, they seem so blinkered to their wonderful world of TNA and its a damn shame you're on the recieving end of it. Anyway this isnt going to be long or drawn out I would just like to offer my support and best wishes to you and your website.
If you thought they were painful to read, you should have tried reading all 12 of the e-mails sent me by the collegian above. Hope he enjoyed his disciplinary hearing with the Dean.
From Kenny McKnight
"Hi. I've been reading your articles for the past few years but only recently have felt compelled to write to you. I want to say first that I do agree with you about TNA's booking policy and that they have been wasting talent as of late. However I do disagree with your suggestion to complain to the advertisers. While that method may work, I would rather not run the risk of witnessing another WCW disaster."
They don't have enough money to have another WCW disaster. But the author of the last disaster is right in the middle of this one. Judging by last night's PPV, and only being able to draw 3500 paid for a PPV...they may heading in that direction.
From David Hanthorn:
"As I see it (no pun intended), the whole ROH vs. TNA war got started when Samoa Joe got pulled from ROH. The reasoning behind it was that TNA reportedly did not want to make Joe look weak, or have him possibly lose. Or something like that. I have two separate thoughts on that. First, Joe would not be in TNA if it weren't for ROH. ROH made him look like a freaking monster. He's still the longest reigning champ ROH ever had. He tore through the competition, and when Austin Aries beat him at Final Battle 2004, the place came unglued. Why? Because Aries killed the monster. ROH booked him better than TNA could ever hope to. TNA wasn't looking to keep Joe's integrity alive. It was to take something away from ROH. Anyone who sees it any different is delusional. I can almost hear their thought process: "Well, if we don't let Joe work in ROH, then all those ROH fans will have to watch TNA to see him. We can't lose!" I personally think that they would have been better off working together. The ROH-CZW war is proof of what can happen when two companies work together.
Second, no matter what I think of either company, forbidding wrestlers to wrestle where they want is tantamount to taking food off their plate. WWE can do it, because they wrestle four days a week. TNA runs a handful of shows per month, and they don't pay as well as WWE. And yes, I realize that TNA is "allowing" Joe to work in certain territories. Same with some of their other larger stars. But they also don't allow them to be independent contractors. TNA cannot dictate a wrestler's career like that unless and until they are financially able to back up their words. As much as they think it, and as much as the TNA loyalists think it, they are not viable competition to the WWE. Their ratings are proof of that. They went head-to-head with WWE once and saw their ratings cut in half. As it stands right now, they are nothing more than an indy with PPV. Until they are more than that, they should not control wrestlers' lives like they are.
And as much as people want to believe it, just because people are critical of TNA, that doesn't mean that we're on the WWE payroll. In fact, I think I can speak for you, Mr. Magee, in saying that a lot of people would like to see TNA get over the hump and become competition to the WWE. That's why it's so heartbreaking to see them get caught up in so many of these stupid traps. (Over-gimmicked PPVs, stupid stipulations, rehashed WWE gimmicks, over-utilizing WWE/WCW castoffs, Vince Russo, etc.) These are things that hold the company back, instead of helping it in any way. We would like to see them cut the fat, get right down to some entertaining wrestling, and become a viable competitor. This is why I feel that many of the fans in TNA are not helping it by supporting this kind of stuff; rather, they are the albatross that will prevent it getting to the next level."
Since TNA hasn't given in and given fans what they want as of yet...If you feel that TNA is acting in a manner contrary to what you want them to do...just like any other company...with any other product... let TNA know that you'll no longer be spending the money you used to spend on TNA products; and will now be spending that money on Ring of Honor DVDs, live shows, and other revenue sources for that company.
It sounds like at least SOME people already gave up watching their much-ballyhooed two hour Spike TV special given the 1.18 rating/1.5 million viewers. If that's not enough, The Wrestling Observer reported that a special Thursday edition of TNA iMPACT! drew 0.6 cable rating. This ties TNA's lowest ratings for iMPACT! dating back to November 2005 and April 2006. Many regular TNA viewers were obviously watching RAW that week.
To contact parties concerned:
Contact TNA to express your thoughts on this matter at http://www.tnawrestling.com/contact/index.html. Make clear to them that you will also be contacting Spike TV and Universal Studios.
Contact Spike TV at their feedback site at http://www.spiketv.com/interact/feedback/feedback.jhtml
* Debra Fazio/Spike TV - 212-767-8649 email@example.com
* Salil Gulati/Spike TV - 212-767-8705 firstname.lastname@example.org
Point out to them, as has been said before, that NWA-TNA needs Ring Of Honor's fan base to survive. and that those online and smart mark fans that have kept them alive until they were supported by their current backers. Without that fan base, they might well not survive.
You can also contact NWA-TNA via snail mail at TNA Wrestling, 209 10th Avenue South - Suite 302 Nashville, TN 37203.
If you use the snail mail method, send TNA copies of your recent cable bills that show you are now ordering their PPVs. Remind them that they will be losing a customer starting with their February 11 PPV.
Finally, since the last few weeks hasn't gotten anyone to back off, here's a list of the advertisers that ran ads on last week's IMPACT and their contact information:
Taco Bell feedback
Campbell Soup Company (Swanson) - CampbellSoupCompany.com
Burger King, 5505 Blue Lagoon Drive,Miami, FL 33157
Proctor and Gamble (Old Spice), The Procter & Gamble Company, One Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
SEGA of America SEGA.com
Electronic Arts Inc., 209 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065
Phone: 650-628-1500/Fax: 650-628-1422
If you're moved to respond, tell the advertisers you're acting in support of a company you say you support. Tell the advertiser you won't be seeing their ads, since you won't be viewing the show they appear on. Tell them you're going to put your money where your mouth is, and tell a company like TNA that's made a business decision that you in turn have made a business decision of sorts; and you'll no longer support them as long as they continue with the "business decision" they've made.
Until next time...
If you'd like to add advertising on PWBTS.com (the flagship website of this column), banner ads are available for $400 for one year/$200 for six months. These ads would appear on each newspage appearing on the newsboard. Cube ads are available for $200 for one year, which would be placed on the main newsboard page. If you have comments or questions, if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website or for advertising requests, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
(As always...this column represents the view of this writer and not necessarily of the website on which it appears).
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT
column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)