Part of me feels a bit sorry for Linda McMahon having to defend with a straight face a silly WWE storyline that exploited the developmentally challenged for comedy (i.e. Nick Dinsmore playing the role of a mentally handicapped wrestler called Eugene from 2004-2007), like she had to do today in an interview with the Hartford Courant's Rick Green who took her to task for her "mean-spirited fiction". I feel sorry because Linda McMahon was never involved with running the creative end of the WWE business; she left that to her husband Vince. She didn't come up with this storyline or had the power to nix it, so why should it be an issue in her bid to become the U.S. senator of Connecticut?
However, I'm a lot less sympathetic to her being called out on why she didn't do more to combat the rampant drug abuse within WWE while she was CEO, like MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell did today. Why? Well, in February 1990 she was tipped off at a dinner party that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission doctor George Zahorian, who had for years illegally supplied WWE wrestlers (and even her husband Vince himself) with steroids and painkillers, was under investigation by the FBI and to steer clear of him. This tip off stopped the company from hiring Zahorian and may have saved her husband from being convicted of conspiracy to distribute steroids in his 1994 trial. Even after this scandal that almost brought down their company, the McMahons decided to abandon random drug testing in 1996 after the heat had died down to save costs and to even the playing field, as their competitors WCW didn't have a genuine drug testing policy. Drug testing wasn't reintroduced until February 2006, after the death of Eddie Guerrero from heart failure at the age of 38, by which time a spate of former WWE wrestlers had already died young from causes related to their drug abuse.
To go full circle, as PW Torch's James Caldwell states the real story about Eugene is not the fake storyline, but the reality that Nick Dinsmore became addicted to prescription painkillers while working for WWE.