Smear Campaigns: Fact or Fiction?

In October 2009, the video sharing website Youtube.com was used against Linda’s campaign by one of Dodd’s spokespeople, Colleen Flananagan. In a group of videos, the spokeswoman called out Linda McMahon for being a supporter of the “stimulated rape, public sex and necrophilia” the WWE was accused of promoting in its nightly episodes and pay per view events. Even if the videos were subsequently removed by Youtube.com after receiving some phone calls from WWE, the damage was done and the stain stayed with Linda for the coming months.

Her problems wouldn’t end there, though, as even within the political party she was a member of, internal strife would only give her more pains than gains. Within the Republican Party (GOP), Linda McMahon was considered to be a political outsider, meaning she wouldn’t even get the full support of the party in times of need. She faced criticism from Connecticut based republicans who called her out for her controversial voting record and the fact that she donated a sum of money to the Democrats prior to her running for office. These lead to a lot of speculations and rumors that she would run independently instead, all of which would be unfounded in the following months.

By November 2009, one of Linda’s former colleagues by name of Billy Graham would turn around and publicly attack her campaign. Billy Graham, a former WWE wrestler who was terminated back in 1989, attacked Linda’s personality and campaign, claiming that she was nothing but a hypocrite and a liar for willingly putting men and women like him at risk and denying them of many benefits such as healthcare. He called her out for what he claimed to be some sort of whitewashing; back in his day, wrestlers would willingly cut and bleed themselves to make the show more entertaining but now that she’s running for the US Senate, Linda and the WWE have suddenly become advocates of non-violence. To him, this was highly questionable and personal, since he got infected with Hepatitis C during a fight and he got no help from the WWE in this personal battle of his. The McMahon campaign then attacked him as well, calling him a liar too in response to his claims but all of this was settled in few weeks’ time when both sides sent apology letters to each other, leading to Bill Graham withdrawing all of his previous statements.

Her greatest opponent, though, would be her own Republican ally by name of Rob Simmons, who was also her rival for the Republican Primary. In their fight for to be the representative of the party, both sides resorted to negative campaigning, where McMahon called Simmons a “fraud” while Simmons called out McMahon for supposed incompetency as former CEO of the WWE wherein under her watch, steroid abuse and a lot of politically incorrect moments were left unchecked. McMahon also claimed that Simmons was only using the conservative ideals of the Tea Party as cover since he didn’t really believe in them while Simmons would continue to attack McMahons’ time in the WWE, especially when it came to the way Eugene, a mentally handicapped wrestler, was humiliated on live television. The black propaganda campaign got so bad that by early 2010, the Republican Party itself began to distance itself from Simmons’ attacks.

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