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"Countdown" with Mick Foley (cont.)
Matters of "Substance"
WWE.com: Mick, you don't need a magic headset to tell us your feelings in "A Substance Problem," where you write about a double standard that WWE is held to as compared to other genres of entertainment in Hollywood.
FOLEY: Well, at the beginning of that chapter, I go out of my way to say that I'm not an expert on the matter. However, I do think that being around the issue for a few decades and seeing so much information out there entitles me to share my opinion that there is a double standard. I'm not pro-steroid or anti-testing at all, but anyone who really looks at these Hollywood actors -- who seemingly not only don't age, but actually look better in their mid-fifties or sixties than they did 30 years earlier -- has to understand that there are some substances being taken that are illegal in other sports, and in WWE.
I bring up a number of substantial topics in "A Substance Problem," and question whether or not some of the things that are banned might actually be good for our bodies, while other things that we can buy off the shelves at health food stores might actually be bad for us. I think it all comes down to dollars and cents, and the realization that if all good things were available to us and all bad things were banned, then a lot of key people would stand to lose a lot of money.
WWE.com: You take a very honest, common-sense approach not only in Countdown to Lockdown, but in a fascinating blog you wrote recently, about the way the media goes about doing their fact-finding. The lack of knowledge one reporter had about the industry while he was interviewing you was staggering.
FOLEY: I don't want to make a blanket statement about the media, per se, but in quite a few cases, certain members don't do the research that's necessary to provide a really full view of complicated subjects. A lot of them aren't so much seeking facts as they are looking for convenient quotes or sound bites that will plug into a preconceived notion they already have.
I felt that was the case when I did a few interviews concerning Linda McMahon's candidacy for the United States Senate. In the case of one article, I found it a little suspicious that the interviewer did not use a single quote from me or use a single line from Countdown to Lockdown, which covered in great detail the very subject he was investigating. It seemed as if my comments weren't convenient to the article he already wanted to write in his mind. I can't prove that, but I do enough reading and I'm an American citizen, so I'm allowed to form my own opinions.
In another instance, the writer did a quality article, and he was very fair to both sides of the story. However, I found his lack of knowledge and preparation about a really complex subject like professional wrestling to be a little surprising. Writers should know a little something about their subjects before they interview them. How can he possibly do the best interview he can with me if he's not aware of very basic facts about me?
WWE.com: Not just you. You also mentioned at least one very important Superstar in your book whose name this reporter didn't even know.
FOLEY: Yes. I mentioned John Cena's name, and he asked, "Who's that?" I wondered if there might have been some interruption in the telephone line, but when I repeated myself, he asked, "Yes, who's that?"
People who know me know that I have what could be described as a very long fuse. [Laughs.] It's not my tendency to lecture anybody over the phone, especially somebody who's doing an article involving me. But I just had to ask, "Sir, how can you attempt to do an article on something this complex, when you don't even know the name of the industry's biggest star?"
I also found it really surprising that this reporter wasn't aware of WWE's "Smackdown Your Vote!" campaign. This was something WWE started more than 10 years ago, it has been covered in major news outlets, and it was something that I thought was common knowledge. It was during the "Smackdown Your Vote!" campaign that I spent the most time with Linda McMahon, on a completely non-partisan basis. So, for a writer of a major story not to be aware of that campaign's existence … it was troubling.
WWE.com: And just so people don't think that you're towing the former company line in mentioning Linda, you don't necessarily vote that way.
FOLEY: No, I don't normally vote for the party that Linda is running for, and it's completely fair for people to look at her position on issues and make their own choice. However, to blame Linda for any problem that the company has had for the last 25 years is incredibly unfair. If people want to go that direction, then they also need to give Linda credit for every positive thing the company has done. That includes putting smiles on the faces of thousands of children -- children who often haven't had a reason to smile -- and brightening the days of thousands of U.S. service members, who are far away from home for the holidays.
To me, trying to play off people's distaste for professional wrestling as a reason to not vote for Linda is a losing argument, and one that may come back to haunt the opposing party for years to come. It's an insult to the millions of people in this country, and around the world, who really love what we do. They don't need to be lectured by people who don't.
WWE.com: Moving back to Countdown to Lockdown, please tell the WWE Universe why they will enjoy reading it.
FOLEY: I was incredibly honest in The Hardcore Diaries, and I think that honesty carries forward into Countdown to Lockdown. It's my first post-WWE book, so if people enjoyed my writing style in any of my three other books, or either of the novels I've written, they're going to enjoy this book. I'm the same guy with the same style; I'm just looking at the wrestling world with a little different perspective.