WWE needs to learn when not to lie.
When they announced that there would be a video sent in from President Barack Obama on this coming Saturday's Tribute to the Troops special, Ed Patru of Linda McMahon's senatorial campaign said this to Talking Points Memo:
The President's involvement with WWE underscores what we've been saying all along — WWE is broadly recognised as a company that for years has made tremendous contributions to the community, to the state of Connecticut and to men and women in uniform.
It creates hundreds of jobs, it promotes literacy, it makes dreams come true for hundreds of children through Make-A-Wish, and every year it helps boost morale among our troops.
One problem: It's was a generic clip.
According to the Hartford Courant:
Obama did not tape a greeting to be aired exclusively on the wrestling program, a White House spokeswoman said Wednesday night. Instead, the president taped a general greeting that was made available to multiple outlets who wanted to air it. The script contains a generic message of gratitude to the troops, it does not mention the WWE.
WWE replied with a press release this afternoon:
STAMFORD, CT – December 17, 2009 -- World Wrestling Entertainment® would like to thank both President Obama and General Petraeus for providing the WWE® with taped, non-partisan holiday messages to the men and women in the US Armed Forces to be included in our annual special, "Tribute to the Troops," this Saturday on NBC at 9 PM ET. This marks the second year that the Commander in Chief has provided a special message for the troops.
For the last seven years, WWE has traveled to the Middle East to entertain troops serving overseas in appreciation for their service to our country. WWE would also like to thank all those responsible in the White House, First Lady’s office and the US Central Command for making this happen.
The request process for the President’s video began in April 2009, when WWE met with Trooper Sanders, Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady. WWE continued these discussions after Labor Day as requested. In November, WWE was pleased to receive confirmation from Matt Flavin, Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy at the White House, that a Presidential message would be supplied for "Tribute to the Troops." WWE supplied background information, as well as our production and deadline needs. We received confirmation on Monday that President Obama’s message had been taped, and it was delivered on Tuesday morning.
We are hopeful that everyone, especially the service men and women of the Armed Forces and their families, enjoy "Tribute to the Troops."
Read closely: They never dispute the White House's claim. They just say that they requested a message from the President and got one, but never say that it was made specifically for them.
Good to see that they've learned that they don't always need to talk about putting smiles on people's faces, though.