On August 17th our newspapers published this brief interview with self-funded Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon about the recent death of 29-year-old Lance Cade, a former wrestler for her family’s company, Stamford-based WWE, who struggled with substance abuse issues.
McMahon has been dogged by questions about WWE programming, how her company has treated talent over the years, their drug policies and the premature deaths of professional wrestlers.
Our story about Cade got a lot of traction in the wrestling press. And McMahon’s comments, viewed as callous by some critics, drew the toughest talk from former wrestler Chris Nowinski, who accused the candidate of “kicking dirt” on Cade’s grave.
Still others defended McMahon and the WWE.
Subsequently other members of the news media delved into the topic of premature deaths in wrestling and the potential impact on McMahon’s campaign, including Connecticut newspaper columnist/talk show host Colin McEnroe and the New York Times’ Peter Applebome.
The Cade tragedy got another round of scrutiny from the main stream media and political pundits Thursday and Friday after the wrestler’s father, outraged by McMahon’s comments in our August 17th report, lashed out at her in an interview published by The New London Day.
As the week drew to a close, the McMahon camp, who have been trying to diminish any concerns voters have about WWE, dismissing it as soap opera, launched a new television advertisement featuring Judy Moorberg, “Linda’s longtime friend.”
In it Moorberg talks about how McMahon “understands people and she feels for people.”