AS I SEE IT - 8/17/2000
by: Bob Magee
Welcome this week to four new sites carrying AS I SEE IT:
Wrestling's biggest "supporter" opened his mouth today, and its usual filth dripped out of it.
No... not L. Brent Bozell.
This time, anyhow.
This time it's our old friend, Phil Mushnick.
For the few of you who don't know, Phil Mushnick, sportswriter for the New York Post, essentially hates Vince McMahon and everything about him; and has been ranting about McMahon for years now.
Well, if you read the Phil Mushnick column of August 13th; you'd swear it was written in Alexandria, VA by a certain Mr.. Bozell. I'm waiting for the day when these two discover each other (if they haven't already). They make perfect ideological bedfellows.
Let's take a look at some excerpts from Mr. Mushnick's column:
"....Two weeks ago in Philadelphia, in nominating George W. Bush as its presidential candidate, the Republican Party reached a new low in expeditious, Machiavellian pandering.
While the Republican Party ostensibly stands for good, old-fashioned family values, its special guests during its presidential convention were none other than the leading action figures of the World Wrestling Federation, an organization practiced at wearing its sweet, civic-minded mask when needed, but that's long been in the business of popularizing degenerate acts.
That the Republican Party was able to escape widespread and lasting ridicule for embracing the WWF during a presidential convention is evidence of a news media that is either sorrowfully blind to the WWF's content or, in the case of television news, co-opted by their networks' investments in pro wrestling.
Two Mondays ago, as the Republican National Convention began in Philly, Vince McMahon's WWF staged a nationally televised show in Atlanta. It featured its usual pornographic, hateful and violent performances that have made it so attractive to children, young adults and now, three months before a presidential election, to the Republican Party.
At one point, a group of barely clothed, large-breasted WWF women paraded outside the Georgia Dome in a mock demonstration. They encouraged onlookers to chant, 'Save the Ho's!'
'Ho's' is street for whores. Little boys now reflexively refer to little girls as bitches and ho's in large part thanks to McMahon and his national TV enablers, which now, incredibly, include NBC and CBS.
As a WWF camera panned the crowd, children, some no older than 8, chanted, 'Save the Ho's!'
During the in-house, scripted prime-time TV show, McMahon's latest top star, The Rock, slammed a shapely female wrestler to the mat. She was left stretched out, 'unconscious,' on her back.
The Rock then grabbed a folding chair and hit a male nemesis over the head with it. He staggered, then fell, also 'unconscious.' He landed with his face in her crotch and her face in his crotch. And there they stayed as The Rock sauntered around the ring, grinning broadly and knowingly. The live audience, comprised of thousands of children, was delighted...."
Pornographic? Sounds like he's been listening to the speeches of one "Steven Richards".
But if Mr. Mushnick is such a moralist, then perhaps he can explain why he writes for a newspaper like the New York Post, which carries "family-oriented" ads like the following that appeared in the August 16th New York Post, Metro edition...
On Page 38, the New York Post Metro edition of 8/16/2000 has an ad in the "Health and Fitness" section for "$99 sessions with sexual surrogates" who promise to treat "all dysfunctions". Not much left to the imagination there.
Want more? How about the phone sex ads on page 81 that offer "cheap talk, instantly" or "mating calls"?
But there's lots more. After the last segment, came more Mushnick whining....
"....Two nights later, this same guy, "The Rock," sat on the podium, among the Bush family, including the ex-President of the United States and his wife, Barbara. The Rock was an honored guest of the Republican Party and a featured speaker at the Republican National Presidential Convention in Philadelphia. This is the state of our nation.
...In fact, Vince McMahon and his WWF were bestowed fully credentialed, VIP treatment at the convention. Within the same WWF show that included 8-year-olds chanting 'Save the ho's' and The Rock's latest vile performance, came remote video reports from a WWF announcer working the floor from the Republican National Convention...
...The Republican Party is one that largely embraces the sanctity of the Bible. Why didn't Mrs.. McMahon or The Rock or Vince, while working the convention, tell their audiences how Stone Cold Steve Austin, another WWF American Dream money-maker, draws approval among young audiences by making lewd gestures and mocking the New Testament?"
Well, besides the fact that the Republican Party (and all other political parties) are supposed to represent those of ALL religious traditions...not just the Christian tradition that Mr. Mushnick presumes they are supposed to solely represent...
Let me see if I get this one right...
Steve Austin parodied the John 3:16 references used by Jake Roberts in his "born-again" character of the time, one that Roberts admitted to friends was his "greatest work of all"; rather than a sincere act of religious witness as Ted DiBiase might have undertaken. Austin intentionally, or otherwise, poked a hole in Roberts's pseudo-morality; and also happened to create one of the best money-making slogans in the history of the professional wrestling industry....
THIS is mocking the New Testament?
Nice try, Phil. Try getting your facts straight first, before CNN offers you a job on their Capital Gang show with someone like Margaret Carlson who can't tell the difference between Duane Johnson and Steve Austin in her misguided rants.
Oh, by the way, when Mr. Mushnick is ready to get Biblical on us again, he might want to take a look at page 77 of the August 16th Metro edition where ads for "New York Dolls" and "Private Eyes Sports Cabaret" feature such treats as "XXX video stars" and "Miss Nude Ireland"? Not to mention those great advertisements for ticket scalpers or online gambling I saw in his employer's newspaper today as I write this column.
All of this being behavior I can imagine being within the Ten Commandments.....um, yeah.
After the preceding segment, Mushnick proceeded to use paragraph after paragraph in his column to go over everything that's happened over the last 20 years in the WWF, ranging from the things Vince McMahon COULD reasonably be questioned about, such as the Mel Phillips sex scandal and the use of steroids and other drugs within the WWF... to the merely idiotic in the infamous Mark Henry sex scene... to questioning the use of "offensive" language on WWF programming... to yet one more sickening attempt by Mushnick to use the tragic death of Owen Hart for his ideological purposes.
According to Mushnick, these were all reasons that the Republican National Convention should not have permitted WWF Entertainment, Inc. to have had the access they received at the Republican National Convention.
While I believe in drug testing for the major promotions, and have said so in this column on numerous occasions, Mushnick isn't concerned about drug use within wrestling out of any moral perspective.
Since Mr. Mushnick has such concern about the Bible, perhaps I could paraphrase one of its verses for him: "take the speck out of your own eye, hypocrite, and try your own employer first."
On Page 38, the New York Post Metro edition of 8/16/2000 appears an ad for Dr. Stanley H. Title and daughter Dr. Stacy F. Title, specialists in "medical weight control" who use "all forms of diet therapy", including "...very effective government-approved medications which have been used with safety for many years, and which can make your dieting programs much easier and more successful" according to their website, located at http://www.weightlossspecialists.com/Methods_/methods_.html.
Herbal medicine, right, Phil?
As for the overall suggestion in the above paragraphs by Mr. Mushnick that WWFE, Inc. is any more or less ethical than many other businesses out there... I have a suggestion for Mr. Mushnick:
Try joining the real world.
The fact of the matter is that the Republican and Democratic parties will use any money they can receive legally (or semi-legally) from any source they can. If political parties were to use the sort of ethical standards Mr. Mushnick proposes for the WWF, I imagine there would be very few companies, unions, and other interest groups involved in any matter whatever in politics.
Mind you, ethical standards in politics wouldn't be such a bad thing. It's just that they'll come along about the same time that WCW next turns a profit for AOL/Time Warner.
Then we get Mr. Mushnick's direct connection to the Parents Television Council:
"...Why not tell the Republican Party about how major TV advertisers, including the U.S. Armed Forces, pulled out of WWF shows because their content has become so vile?... "
No, Mr. Mushnick. That's NOT why some advertisers pulled out. Those advertisers that pulled out did so because of an extremist political organization called the Parents Television Council, which has relied on threats, half-truths and outright lies, as well a public masquerade as a "family-friendly" organization; while in fact being an organization with leadership that has ties to the Unification Church, as well as extremist political organizations.
Why don't you write about THAT hypocritical extremist group, Mr. Mushnick? I guess some responsible journalism wouldn't that fit into your private little obsessive agenda, now, would it? Possibly because their agenda seems to so closely resemble your own. Not to mention the fact that your OWN blatant hypocrisy was easily proven throughout this article for sixty cents at my local newsstand in Philadelphia .
Folks, it's time to let Mr. Mushnick and his editors know what we all think of his obsessive nonsense. I think it's time we all send him an e-mail. Phil Mushnick can be reached through the sports e-mail address at the New York Post at: email@example.com
How about if we all remind him that we'd appreciate not having to hear any hypocritical garbage coming out of his mouth until he speaks out to his employers about his moral concerns in at least as loud a voice as he has about the World Wrestling Federation?
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)