Friday, June 29, 2007

The Garbage of Bill O'Reilly

I've written at length about the early deaths of professional wrestlers, so I wasn't going to comment on Chris Benoit's death. But Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Riviera were on last night, turning tragedy into scandal in the usual tabloid way (and, by the way, this qualifies as a tragedy), and it got me mad. Geraldo had latched onto the now well known wikipedia post and implied that it indicated that Chris's death might not be a murder suicide, that Chris and his wife and child may have been murdered as part of some nefarious plot to cover up rampant steroid use in pro wrestling.

First of all, nobody *wants* to cover up the rampant steroid use in pro wrestling. Wrestlers juice and everybody knows it. If everybody knows it, what's to cover up?

But more importantly there is no evidence that this was anything other than familicide and suicide, at least as far as any of us know. Chris Benoit flies into a rage and kills his family and himself is a tragic, pathetic story that will last two days. A vast conspiracy in the ranks of the WWE leading to the triple murder of his a wrestler and his family that's, well, it's a plot worthy of Vince McMahon himself, and it's one that will sell papers for weeks to come (and take attention from the war in Iraq and President Bush's humiliating failure to pass immigration reform). The scandal sheets are called scandal sheets for a reason, and Fox News is the biggest and the worst. The sinister implication is that McMahon, who as a character in his own show has plotted the demise and even deaths of some of his wrestlers, is capable of doing that for real. With reality and fiction continuing to blur in our postmodern society (and why shouldn't District Attorney Branch run for president anyway?) that shouldn't come as a surprise

Look, I don't know the truth. Maybe Vince McMahon did have Chris Benoit and his family killed. And maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt. But there's no real evidence. It is the worst kind of speculation. It certainly isn't journalism. Any time Geraldo Riviera or Bill O'Reilly open their mouths sewage and filth spill forth, and the world would be a much better place if they and thier ilk would just shut up.

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