October 04, 2003


Bill Clinton’s public support increased in the wake of his Monica frolics, and Arnie’s numbers are up after the LA Times front-paged his wandering-hands hobby. You’d think someone might have a word to Simon Crean about this proven poll-boosting technique.

In a bid to completely guarantee an Arnie win, the LAT has now found three more women who claim the actor touched them inappropriately. Finally, says Mark Steyn, we have a reason to read the dullest paper on Earth:

The story's chiefly of note as a belated sign of life at the LA Times. If you've never read the paper, let me say that, if there's a major world-class city anywhere on the planet with a duller choice of reading material over the breakfast table, I've yet to find it. Handed an unprecedented local story, the Times has spent the entire election campaign oscillating between weary patrician disdain at the vulgarity of it all and laughable boosterism for the beleaguered Governor.

So things must be pretty desperate if the Times has been driven to "go negative" - or, more to the point, to "go readable".

Posted by Tim Blair at October 4, 2003 08:32 PM

It gets worse for the LA Times. One of its own opinion writers, a feminist and forner Democratic campaign manager, has blasted it for this smear:

"What this story accomplishes is less an attack on Schwarzenegger than a smear on the press. It reaffirms everything that's wrong with the political process. Anonymous charges from years ago made in the closing days of a campaign undermine fair politics.

"... To his credit, Schwarzenegger apologized for "behaving badly." So should the Los Angeles Times."


Posted by: Evil Pundit at October 4, 2003 at 09:48 PM

evil, i think that opinion column makes the LA Times look better, not worse. it's no ordinary newspaper that runs an article wherein the writer basically accuses the paper of being everything that's wrong with politics today. could you imagine something like this in, say, the New York Post or the Guardian?

also, may i suggest mark steyn cast his eye over Sydney's Sun Herald, or maybe the Australian, if he's looking for dull newspapers.

Posted by: adam at October 4, 2003 at 11:01 PM

Good point, Adam.

It speaks well of the paper that they published the criticism - but it speaks ill that their smear was so blatant that even a person with every reason to sympathise with its actions cannot do so.

It's also interesting to note that polls indicate that the majority of voters consider the Times' action a smear. So, perhaps this act of self-criticism by the paper is only a cynical arse-covering exercise.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at October 5, 2003 at 12:12 AM

The game of "gotcha" being practiced these days is more likely to backfire than be effective, especially when the media and political enemies are going back 25 or 30 years to dig up dirt. Most people are smart enough to see an orchestrated smear campaign when they see one.

Voters don't expect politicians to be saints...hell, most voters think they're scumbags anyway. What they want is a politician who will effectively promote their political agenda. If he does that successfully then he'll be forgiven a few transgressions here and there.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at October 5, 2003 at 01:02 AM

What's been even more fun to watch is the LA Times' reaction to our reaction [very loud denunciation of the paper as being a tool of the Democratic Party] to the stories. They seem stunned and hurt that people are mad at them and not chastising Arnold. Yesterday the Times' editors threw a little snit on the editorial page chastising folks for not taking the story seriously and questioning their motives. And Steve Lopez, one of the many hack writers at the Times, wrote a condesending column about people "killing the messenger," and people supporting Arnold listen to talk radio; therefore, "the Apocolypse is now." What a turd!

The old media in California just don't get what's going on here. People are soooooo angry at, not only the state government, but at the monolithic, one-sided (liberal) press that will print a story about a 30 year old grope, but won't investigate and print or broadcast stories about the blantant corruption in Sacremento (not to mention the credible stories of Davis's bizarre behavior as a governor).

As I said on an earlier thread, I'd rather be groped by Arnold than screwed by Davis.

Posted by: Polly at October 5, 2003 at 01:29 AM

I want your clothes, your boots, und a playful grab uv your tits, you understarlet.

Posted by: Terminator at October 5, 2003 at 01:35 AM


Maybe people are outraged at the times because they play up Arnold's indescretions and kill stories like THIS

(in the event the link doesn't work, check out http://www.american-reporter.com/2,195/1.html, for a story about how DAVIS treats his staff, that the LA Times has refused to investigate for the last 5 years).

Posted by: Sean at October 5, 2003 at 05:10 AM

The article mentioned by Sean above is very interesting.

If this story is true and the LA Times suppressed, that would be absolutely reprehensible behaviour.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at October 5, 2003 at 05:49 AM

At least twice in the mid '90s Spy magazine reported Arnold being caught by Maria humping someone else. "If you knew Arnold like I know him."

Posted by: rem0tly at October 5, 2003 at 12:04 PM

> At least twice in the mid '90s Spy magazine reported Arnold being caught by Maria humping someone else.

Contrary to popular belief, that perk is not reserved for the elected. (See Kennedy, Edward, etc.)

At least he didn't have "Uncle Ted" give them a ride home....

Posted by: Andy Freeman at October 5, 2003 at 03:29 PM

Believe it or not, it DOESN'T matter what the LA Times' motivation was. I think we can all agree that the timing was politically driven. Welcome to hardball, gentlemen.

What I DON'T see appearing on most "righty" blogs (and I consider myself right of center), is the acknowledgement that the revelations about Arnold represent a lack of positive character attributes.

It doesn't matter that Clinton did it (it wasn't right when he did it, either); it doesn't matter that Clinton supporters ignored it when Clinton did it and are now having a hissy fit (you don't base your moral compass on popular support). What matters is that historical actions are painting Arnold as a "less than stellar statesman" (sarcasm), and he IS NOT denying the truth of the accusations.

Stop building up/arguing against the straw-man, and start asking yourself what YOUR response would be if your wife/co-worker came to you with these charges against someone (how many women have YOU groped in this manner?).

Don't support the lesser of evils. Find a candidate who you can respect. Do you RESPECT Arnie for these actions (and he hasn't denied any of them)?

I'm not "FOR" anyone. I have no axe to grind. I just hate to see thinking people defend someone who is so lacking in integrity. Just because your "opponents" are decrying him, doesn't mean you have to support him. Admit his mistakes, and do not make light of them. Find someone else to support, who more closely represents the type of person you are (I realize, there may NOT be any such person in the Calif. recall). But still, don't defend his clearly indefensible actions --- and don't do so obliquely by slamming his critics. His record cannot stand on its own. Admit it. Would you be proud of your neighbor if he was the one accused of groping women's breasts? I don't think so. Don't let your political opinions color your moral judgement so totally.

Posted by: cj at October 5, 2003 at 05:13 PM

Talking of respect, we could all respect Simon Crean a little more, if were like Arnold; that is, if he had a decent physique and some star quality, instead of looking like a milksop and having all the personality of a brick wall. And if he's groped the odd ALP intern or too, or even, Heaven forbid, an old boiler like Carmen Lawrence, he might be perceived by most men as having balls, instead of seeming like a splayed puss.

Posted by: Freddyboy at October 5, 2003 at 07:32 PM

I don't think anything Arnie is known to have done is remotely serious enough to warrant withdrawing support from him. A few gropes on movie sets are hardly big-time sins.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at October 5, 2003 at 11:17 PM

If I were a conservative, I would be much more worried about the LAT revelations than is evident in your post.

I think feminist leaders squandered their credibility during the Clinton scandal. They squandered it by going along with a message that was so contrary to the values they had promoted, for short term gain. So when Gloria Steinem went out on the trail, in 2000, dissing Ralph Nader, she had no effect on her constituency.

In a different field, business magazines, in the 90s, that promoted the dot com bubble lost credibility with their readership when the bubble burst. Most of those mags are no longer with us.

The thing is called "trust."

If the LAT articles were simply about boorish behavior, that would be one thing. But they are about violating every code of personal responsibility conservatives have said they are for for the last twenty years. To pretend that this is about movie sets is ridiculous. The next time a conservative comes out against, say, gangsta rap, or makes William Bennett like pronouncements on culture, the hollowness of it will be out there for all to see. Sometimes, to gain the world, you shouldn't sell your soul.

Posted by: roger at October 7, 2003 at 04:42 AM