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Vince McMahon Defends WWE in Chris Benoit Murder-Suicide

A subdued Vince McMahon appeared on the Today show this morning to discuss the murder-suicide involving WWE wrestler Chris Benoit and explain why he doesn't believe the WWE or steroids are to blame.

McMahon decried "the hysteria of the media" and a "rush to judgment" among those who have said that pro wrestling, and, specifically, steroid use, were the cause of Benoit killing his wife, his son and himself.

McMahon acknowledged that it's possible that Benoit used steroids but said he was randomly tested in April and came up negative. McMahon added that he did not think Benoit's actions had anything to do with a "roid rage."

"Obviously, this is not an act of rage, it's an act of deliberation," McMahon said. "It's all speculation until the toxicology reports come back."

McMahon used the U.S. Postal Service as an example of a business that has had some employees commit violent acts but that is still respected and used by all Americans. (Given the way the phrase "going postal" has entered the lexicon, that probably wasn't a wise analogy.)

McMahon said the premature deaths of WWE wrestlers have been overstated, claiming that Benoit was only the fifth pro wrestler to die while under contract to WWE. He said of the other four deaths, one was Owen Hart falling during a live show and three were from heart disease (which steroid use can cause).

Although McMahon did a reasonably good job of defending his business, it was Today host Meredith Viera who got off the best sound bite and the words that will be spoken again and again in the coming weeks: "You make tons of money off these people. What is your responsibility to them?"

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