The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Vince McMahon
The 411mania Douchebag of the Week
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.
There’s all sorts of speculation that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and his sons are in the midst of figuring out what to do with O’Reilly in light of the sexual harassment/misconduct issue surrounding O’Reilly and the money that Fox has had to pay out to settle lawsuits related to O’Reilly and his behavior. Will the Murdochs get rid of O’Reilly, the man behind the Fox News cash cow The O’Reilly Factor? Or will the Murdochs find a way to keep him around, weather the storm and keep things the way they are?
There’s recent precedent that Fox will act if there’s reason to act. Look at what happened to Roger Ailes, the guy who used to run the day-to-day at FNC. The Murdochs were ready to fight for Ailes and keep him around because he helped make FNC the money making machine it is today. But when the company’s own internal investigation found evidence that something happened the Murdochs had no choice but to cut Ailes loose. And it looks like the same thing is happening to O’Reilly at the moment. But will the Murdochs dump their biggest star?
I don’t think they will. Unless some new bombshell reveals itself by the time O’Reilly is expected to come back from vacation (April 24th), O’Reilly will be back on Fox News with another episode of The O’Reilly Factor. He’s a star. He brings in the ratings. His fans love him. Yes, sponsors have left The O’Reilly Factor in droves since the story broke, but how long are they going to stay away? Once the story loses some of its currency, why wouldn’t they move back to the highest rated show on the network?
I guess we’ll know more by the end of the week, when I’m sure the rumor mill will speed up (the 24th is next Monday). Will the Murdochs “future endeavor” O’Reilly by Friday, or will it be “business as usual” in order to get ready for Monday?
What do you guys think? Will Fox News get rid of Bill O’Reilly, or will the network continue to back him?
And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.
This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to Vince McMahon, for the ongoing Mauro Ranallo/JBL bullying story. Now, obviously, we don’t have all of the facts as of yet, we’re not entirely sure why now former Smackdown Live! lead announcer Mauro Ranallo is gone from the WWE, but it sure seems like Ranallo is gone because of something former wrestler and now color commentator John Bradshaw Layfield did/said/continued to do for whatever reason to Ranallo. Some have called what JBL may have done to Ranallo “bullying,” similar to what former WWE announcer Justin Roberts claims to have gone through while employed by WWE as reported in the former announcer’s new book. Again, we don’t know, specifically, what JBL did to Ranallo. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that whatever it was wasn’t good and that, in the end, it’s McMahon’s fault for letting it happen in the first place.
But how can Vince McMahon be held liable for something one of his employees may have done? Shouldn’t the full blame rest on JBL’s shoulders since he’s the one who bullied Ranallo? JBL is to blame for being a douchebag prick and doing whatever he did to Ranallo. Whether it was “just his personality” or “one of the boys being one of the boys” or some “old school” bullshit, JBL should be held liable for engaging in, at the least, unprofessional behavior. If that leads to firing, suspension, or just a black mark on his record, JBL will deserve it. However, since the WWE is McMahon’s playground, since it’s his company, his show, and he sets the tone for everyone else, Vince McMahon has to accept even more responsibility because he didn’t do anything to stop it.
Well, how do we know that McMahon didn’t do anything to stop whatever it was that JBL did? Because JBL is still on TV in the WWE, he’s still part of the Smackdown Live! announce team, and Ranallo is gone. Ranallo likely wouldn’t have left if he thought that the company fixed whatever issue he had with JBL. McMahon decided that JBL was more important than Ranallo.
But shouldn’t Ranallo have known that the pro wrestling world is full of alpha male jock assholes who like to bust balls and rib one another? Doesn’t the same thing happen in MMA and whatnot? Shouldn’t Ranallo have “manned up,” sucked it up, and just dealt with whatever JBL did to him? Isn’t that how you deal with bullies? In essence, yes, but at the same time the WWE is a place of business. Employees shouldn’t have to put up with bullying and harassment from fellow employees or management. That’s just bullshit. And McMahon, who runs a publicly traded company that has the “Be a Star Anti-Bullying Campaign” as one of its sponsors, should be a little more sensitive to bullying that goes on inside of his own company.
So it all goes back to McMahon and the tone he has set for his company. He has created an environment that allows bullying and harassment and he should be held accountable for what he apparently allowed to happen. It’s disgraceful.
But what about traditions in the wrestling business? Oh, come on. Traditions in pro wrestling? The WWE doesn’t even call itself “pro wrestling” anymore, its wrestlers are “performers,” “talent,” or “superstars,” and championship wrestling belts aren’t belts anymore. They’re “championships.” So it’s obvious that “tradition” means precisely jack shit to McMahon and the WWE.
Again, this all goes back to McMahon. It would be nice if he cleaned up the company and made it a little more sensitive to bullying and other assorted bullshit that goes on behind the scenes. I doubt he will, though. Why would he? Who, or what, is going to make him?
And now for this week’s honorable mentions…
–United Airlines, for the way it handled the “paying customer dragged off airplane and beaten severely” thing. First, United tried to make it sound like the customer in question, a Dr. David Dao, was completely at fault for what happened. The airline then changed its tune once more people saw video of the incident. Now, United is in full on apology mode. It probably would have made more sense for the airline to say “We have no comment at this time as we gather the facts of the case” or something similar until it actually had all of the facts and had seen the video. Why didn’t that happen? The airline probably thought that the passenger’s spotty legal history would somehow absolve it of any further public relations issues. Dumb move.
-White House spokesperson Sean Spicer, for his recent “Hitler” press conference gaffe. I’ve managed to watch several of Spicer’s “regular” press conferences since President Trump assumed office and I think it would be best for Spicer, the President, and the world if Spicer would not automatically assume, in a very open way, that the assembled reporters are a pack of vicious scumbag liars who are out to fuck him in the ass. If Spicer would just calm down, mellow out, and accept that the assembled press is going to ask him potentially tough questions, he wouldn’t find himself in situations like the “Hitler never gassed his own people” and “Holocaust centers” debacles. Stop trying to be so confrontational, man.
–Robert Bentley, the now former governor of Alabama, for his recent set of scandals that led to him resigning from office. From the ethics complaint lodged against him to the affair he was having with one of his female staffers, this staunch “family values” Republican is exactly the kind of terrible person that needs to be exposed and thrown out of office. Hopefully, the former disgraced governor gets whatever help he needs and he can become a viable member of society in the future. And since he won’t be allowed to be a part of “public life” for the foreseeable future that can only be seen as a good thing. Well, until he’s allowed to come back into public life somehow. Because you just know that’s going to happen.
-Professional celebrity Kendall Jenner, for demanding that all questions in upcoming interviews be submitted in advance because she doesn’t want to talk about Pepsi. Yes, because whatever bullshit she’s engaging in now is way more interesting than the ongoing Pepsi commercial debacle. I hope that every reporter that gets a chance to actually talk to her asks about Pepsi anyway. Screw this “questions in advance” shit and the “interviewer will be persona-non-grata in the future” shit.
Please “like” The Gratuitous B-Movie Column on Facebook!
Oh, and B-movies rule. Always remember that.