McMahon “Reality Checks” Independent

Ben Johnson File PhotoLinda McMahon’s not ducking the press. She (or one of her handlers) said so Tuesday. In a written press release.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate issued a release blasting as “preposterous” a report in the Valley Independent Sentinel detailing ways her stage-managed campaign has been avoiding chances for reporters to ask direct questions.

The report, published last Friday, covered a visit McMahon made last week to the Seymour Republican Town Committee.

As with all McMahon’s public events, the campaign sent no advance word of the visit to the press, despite requests to do so.

And when a reporter started asking questions of McMahon after the event, a handler intervened, saying McMahon had to talk to other people at the gathering. A question from the reporter about winning over independent voters was answered through a prepared statement, which arrived after the event in an e-mail from her campaign.

A spokesman contacted the reporter the next day, explaining that McMahon’s appearance was not a “press event.”

For months, the McMahon campaign has issued press releases and Youtube videos of McMahon’s appearances after they occur, without notifying the press in advance. She hasn’t held press conferences or made herself available to be questioned on breaking news, relying instead on releases. For three months her campaign has turned down repeated requests for interviews or advance word of public events.

When approached at a public event in November by a reporter from the New Haven Independent, sister news site of the Valley Independent Sentinel, McMahon began answering a question, about terrorism trials. She didn’t have an answer. Then a staffer shut down that exchange, too. Later, her staff repeatedly asked the Independent to remove the story from the site, claiming her verbatim quote was inaccurate.

That’s a stark contrast to the approach of all of McMahon’s Republican and Democratic opponents—Rob Simmons, Dick Blumenthal, Merrick Alpert, Peter Schiff. Click here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for examples. When questioned at public events or contacted for comment on breaking stories, all have made themselves available and answered questions from reporters without staffers shutting them off. None has required questions to be submitted by email.

McMahon, a World Wrestling executive believed to be prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on her campaign, is making her first run for office.

Her campaign issued a blistering response Tuesday to the ducking-the-press charge.

“Valley Independent Sentinel Report Involved in Head-On Collision with Reality, the Facts,” the release’s headline read.

“The Valley Independent Sentinel’s claim is demonstrably false, contradicted by scores of interviews Linda has given, including more than a dozen hour-long interviews with reporters and editorial boards nationally and in Connecticut,” the release stated, listing selected interviews her campaign has arranged.

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posted by: William Kurtz on March 2, 2010  2:08pm

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone; there’s hardly any reason to take Mrs. McMahon seriously as a candidate and after seeing what happened to the last disastrously unprepared candidate to run for a national office and make herself and all of her ignorance available to the press, she’s not about to make that mistake.  Appreciate the irony of a WWE executive “reality-checking” anyone, or calling anything “preposterous.”

posted by: John on March 2, 2010  2:50pm

Drive-time radio jocks? I see on CT Capitol Report that there are numerous local and national, including New York Times and Washington Post, reporters who interviewed Ms. McMahon. I love your independent streak at the Independent, but this is one battle your paper has lost.

posted by: pat on March 2, 2010  5:28pm

Is it any wonder people don’t bother to vote when all the candidates are millionaires or have the backing of them? The system won’t work until it takes more than money to get elected.

posted by: Tim on March 2, 2010  7:13pm

Watching the debate as I type this, damn McMahon is just an empty suit all she has done is throw out key words trying to make herself sound smart. Vote Schiff!!

posted by: Matthew Gardner on March 3, 2010  2:45am

Just finished watching the debate. I was supporting Linda Mcmahon and I did like her in the debates.

Although I was intrigued by Peter Schiff and after researching him on Youtube, I’m blown away. I’m so exited to support him for Senate, sorry Linda =( (still love you though)

I’m looking forward to seeing more debate about the monetary policy and the economy considering in my opinion is the most important issue

  Here is a video to prove Peter Schiff’s claims about accurately predicting the housing crash, banking crash and stock market crash… And not just predicting the crashes but he laid out exactly what the government response would be and why that wouldn’t work.

  Peter Shiff was right

posted by: Walt on March 3, 2010  9:41am

Gardner was right.  Schiff’s predictions look good on those recordings and his opponents look pretty bad..

Still prefer what’shisname.  the former Congressman.

Is Schiff the son of the old anti-income tax Schiff who wound up in the jug?  If so,  am I wrong to tie him to   his father?
(Maybe,  but I do a bit)

[Editor’s note: Yes, his father is Irwin Schiff, who went to jail for tax protests.]

posted by: Jennifer Sirois on March 3, 2010  9:59am

Umm..,.,is this even worth speaking about? Did anyone see the debate last night? It was kind of like watching Sarah Palin use pre-canned sound bites to support her position, only Mrs. McMahon can wrestle.,.,.,

posted by: traitor buster on March 4, 2010  5:29pm

The real story here is the State Party Chair, Chris Healy, orchestrating a behind the scenes smear campaign of Simmons,calling delegates on behalf of McMahon while his wife is bringing down $125K working for the wrestler. CT GOP State Central Committee needs to get rid of him.