Perhaps the biggest celebrity nut job, who the McMahon family have ever had the (dis)pleasure to associate themselves with, is billionaire Donald Trump. That affiliation has now come to bite them on the buttocks at the worst time possible.
Trump became a political laughing stock last April after he pushed hard the Barack Obama "birther" conspiracy theories that the incumbent President wasn't born in Hawaii, but in Kenya instead, and thus he should have been ineligible to hold the highest office in the land. That nonsense should have been put to bed once and for all when the White House released the long form of Obama's birth certificate proving without a shadow of a doubt that he was indeed an American citizen after all, but you can't shut up a madman for too long.
With the Presidential election upcoming, and a new season of The Celebrity Apprentice to start shilling, Donald Trump went on Fox & Friends promising that he would drop a bombshell on Wednesday about "something very, very big concerning the president of the United States". That announcement turned out to be one straight from the pro wrestling playbook, the old grandstand challenge:
"If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to a charity of his choice - inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants - a check immediately for five million dollars. The check will be given within one hour after he releases all of the records so stated.... One caveat, the records must be given by October 31st at five o'clock in the afternoon."
Hmm, me thinks that the President is far too busy to acknowledge such a sideshow by a carnival barker.
You may be wondering how WWE got linked to these silly games. Well, $5 million is the exact figure WWE donated to the Donald Trump Foundation in return for his appearances on Monday Night Raw in 2007 and 2009 and in the main event of WrestleMania 23 where he shaved Vince McMahon's head bald thanks to his man Bobby Lashley defeating the WWE owner's hired hand Umaga. After all, you wouldn't expect 990 forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service to be incorrectly completed, would you?
Well, that's what WWE spokesman Brian Flinn tried arguing to Hearst Newspapers on Wednesday night:
"WWE has not made any donation to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. However, as I understand it, the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation has donated $5 million in total to the Donald J. Trump Foundation."
For once, WWE and Linda McMahon's campaign team weren't on the same page, as her own charitable foundation directly giving money to such a right wing lunatic is even worse for her politically than her own company doing so in return for entertainment services rendered. Linda's own spokesman had to issue an immediate denial that she or her husband ever gave money to Trump's charity, which was obviously a barefaced lie made under severe stress.
In the end, Vince McMahon took the bullet for his wife, because it is his money at stake too if she crashes to defeat again ($95.9 million and counting now). The next day, Flinn clarified to Hearst Newspapers that Vince McMahon himself, not WWE nor the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation, had made the $5 million donation to Donald Trump. I'm glad that's sorted out then, but that begs the question why the loving couple do not share all their assets together.
This should have been a complete non-story, but WWE's inept handling of the inevitable questions that were asked gave it more legs than it warranted. It should have next to no bearing on the election, other than giving Daily Kos readers something more to laugh about the McMahon family and the Connecticut media the heebie jeebies about what they have in store for the next six years should they scrape a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Even Joshua Fisher of the Republican leaning New Canaan Advertiser couldn't bring himself to endorse Linda McMahon, instead recommending voters not to waste their ink on election day:
"Neither of these candidates deserve the ink in your voting ballot pen - let alone to be elected to one of the highest offices in our nation.
"But thanks to the extremists that continue to rule Connecticut, this is what we are faced with: two candidates who would rather tear each other down than build our state and our nation up.
"Forget that Mrs. McMahon made her money off pornography and making fun of the handicapped and belittling women. She has spent the past three years running for an office that she seems to barely understand. She has proven time and time again that she does not get the issues. Simply saying "jobs" and "jobs creator" over and over again does not mean anything."
Meanwhile, The Hartford Courant has become the latest newspaper in a long list to rather begrudgingly give their official nod to Linda's opponent Chris Murphy, due to the greater grasp of federal issues he has shown than the mysterious Mrs. McMahon:
"But Mrs. McMahon has disappointed with her unwillingness to go much off script from her six-point plan to create jobs. She has declined, for example, to offer specifics on protecting the solvency of Social Security and Medicare because, she says, "they get demagogued." Someone who won't explain a position because it might be critiqued is not ready to serve on the New Britain city council, never mind Congress....
As for their past financial mistakes, neither candidate should be elected treasurer of their book clubs. Between her 1976 bankruptcy and late payments on property taxes and his missing mortgage, property tax and rent payments, it's a draw."
You get the sense that even the journalists can't wait for this exhausting election to end. I'm sure you'll be glad to know that there's only now ten days left, Cagesiders, before we can resume to wrestling talk as normal.