August 11, 2003


The NYTís Bernard Weinraub says Arnie has crossed the line -- the line being, apparently, where the NYT decides it will be:

The Kennedy administration blurred the line between politics and entertainment. Ronald Reagan blurred the line even more, using hard-won skills as an actor to convey sincerity, passion, anger. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger has crossed the line.

In announcing his candidacy for governor of California on the "Tonight" show with Jay Leno, Mr. Schwarzenegger, the former Mr. Universe and a multimillionaire Hollywood action star, has not only turned his political candidacy into a reality show but made politics and show business inseparable.

The NYT can come off as incredibly provincial sometimes. A whole story about showbiz politicians, and no mention of Glenda Jackson? Nothing about Joseph Estrada? Not a single lousy word about Terry Norris?

Posted by Tim Blair at August 11, 2003 01:09 AM

also, remember when tory bloggers were telling celebrities to stay the fuck out of politics? that was awesome.

Posted by: adam at August 11, 2003 at 04:37 AM

I guess the line was still sharp when Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio Hall show.

Or are they just upset that an *actor* would dare to run for office? No, that can't be given Clint Eastwood's, Sony Bono's, and Gopher's time in politics.

I give up, what is their point?

On top of that, how do they know Reagan wasn't sincere? Is the editorial staff at the NYT a collection of hive mindreaders? Or, are they predominantly hateful hypocrites?

Posted by: hbchrist at August 11, 2003 at 07:40 AM

Hey, it's not like the line between show business and politics wasn't crossed -- truly and hideously -- 138 years ago when the most popular actor of his time, John Wilkes Booth, assasinated Abraham Lincoln.

I figure Arnie's running for Governor of my state has to qualify as a more benign intrusion of show business into politics than that.

Posted by: John Pearley Huffman at August 11, 2003 at 09:00 AM

After Clinton gave the longest boring keynote speech in 1988 democratic convention I believe, in which the convention broke out in wild cheers when he stopped speaking. Clinton went on the Johnny Carson show to use his self deprecating humor and his old gosh southern charm to take the edge off of his debacle at the convention. I am not 100% percent sure if he did bring his sax with him on that show.

At the time he had me fooled because as a republican I remember thinking he did a fantastic and "sincere" show.

Posted by: JimC at August 11, 2003 at 09:07 AM

Oh, please. So Arnold announces his run on Leno.
Big Deal! One of the objectives candidates have is to obtain lots of publicity, hopefully all positive, and Arnie did that. He had the attention of the news media and much of the US by announcing on Leno.

I think Clinton married politics to Hollywood more than anyone before him ever did. How many times did we have Hollywood folks sleep in the Lincoln bedroom? Now we have B. Streistand calling the head of the DNC to tell him how to defeat Bush.

I don't know if Arnie will be able to help solve CA's fiscal problems. But, he certainly can't do any worse than some of the 'professional' politicians.

I bet the NYT would have a very different tone if it had been Streistand announcing on a talk show.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 11, 2003 at 09:55 AM

Ronald Reagan blurred the line even more, using hard-won skills as an actor to convey sincerity, passion, anger. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger has crossed the line.

Somehow, I don't think that 'sincerity, passion, anger' will be a big part of Arnie's campaign. The guy has made a career out of playing an emotionless lunkhead, and he's not likely to change now.

Posted by: TimT at August 11, 2003 at 11:42 AM

How on God's Green Earth did Ventura becoming Governor of Minnesota not cross the line, while Arnie is crossing the line? Sorry, my little empty head just can't grasp it.

Posted by: Anticipatory Retaliation at August 11, 2003 at 01:20 PM

Are only Republicans unable to distinguish between being on the set and participating in politics?

Posted by: pooh at August 11, 2003 at 01:25 PM

The NYT is only pissed because he announced on Leno in LA instead of Letterman in NYC. Those left-coast bastards! It's a conspiracy!

Posted by: rick at August 11, 2003 at 04:18 PM

Rather ironic given the NYT's blowjob infomercials for Senator Clinton's book tour.

Posted by: Craig Ranapia (Other Pundit) at August 11, 2003 at 10:58 PM

Everyone is concentrating on Arnold's movie career. Has anyone noticed that the majority - the vast marjority - of his income is from BUSINESS ventures? I've also heard that the guy has a degree in economics. It may well be that he is the best thing to come down the pike for 'Colliforna' since peanut butter.

Posted by: rabidfox at August 12, 2003 at 02:49 AM

I'd just like to know where the New York Times gets off determining boundaries for anything?

Pooh, considering the massive amount of tripe that's fallen from Democratic actors/actresses lips over the past year, I'd say it isn't the Republicans who have trouble distinguishing fantasy and reality.

Rabidfox, Ah-nuld was a millionaire before he became an actor. See Mark Steyn for details.

Posted by: aelfheld at August 12, 2003 at 03:19 AM

Re: John Pearly Huffman's comment

John Wilkes Booth was not the "most popular actor of his time", his brother Edwin was.

Posted by: Bob at August 12, 2003 at 05:50 AM

I concede that Edwin was more popular... I should be more precise when I post and should have included the words "one of " when describing John Wilkes Booth as "the most popular actor of his time" and mad ethe word "actor" plural. But John was gaining on Edwin when he "crossed the line" into politics and was particularly well known and highly praised for his portrayal of Richard in Shakespeare's "Richard III."

I am ashamed.

Posted by: John Pearley Huffman at August 12, 2003 at 04:17 PM