October 05, 2003


Katha Pollitt believes Arnold Schwarzenegger mistreated women. Her response is clear and direct:

Here is a man who seems to have a long history of contempt for women, who uses his celebrity to get away with sexual humiliation ó why does he belong in public life?

Katha Pollitt believes Bill Clinton raped a woman. Her response is ... well, what can anyone do about it, you know? Nothing much, I guess. Itís a real pity. Just too bad:

I think Juanita Broaddrick told her story in a very persuasive way. She has people who say she told them about the rape at the time ... In my heart I believe her, yes. But what do you do with this information? One of the things that's so frustrating about this is: It's out there, people think about it, but there isn't anything you can do with it. It's not an allegation that anyone can use legally; it's only an allegation that people can try to use politically.

UPDATE. Patricia Foulkrod helpfully points out the difference between Ah-nold and Clin-ton:

"The difference is that Clinton was so brilliant," she said.

"If Arnold was a brilliant pol and had this thing about inappropriate behavior, we'd figure a way of getting around it. I think it's to our detriment to go on too much about the groping. But it's our way in. This is really about the GOP trying to take California in 2004 and our trying to stop it."

You don't say.

UPDATE II. AP is reporting that an Arnie-donít-like-Nazis story emerged after he was accused of being a Nazi-loviní freak:

After getting a bruising from media in his adopted country, Arnold Schwarzenegger received a boost from the press of his native Austria, where reports said he helped break up a neo-Nazi rally.

The Austrian newsmagazine NU reported on Friday that Schwarzenegger and some companions disrupted a gathering of neo-Nazis in the city of Graz when he was 17.

The report comes after ABC News and The New York Times carried statements attributed to the action star in 1975, during the filming of the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron.

This is important, because if the anti-Nazi story followed the earlier pro-Nazi pieces, it looks like damage control -- and may be discounted because of that. But other accounts have the anti-Nazi story being published before Schwarzenegger was accused of Nazi fondness:

The interview was conducted in August and published in September but the anecdotes recalled by Gerstl, 80, a former leading conservative politician, reflect on questions being raised about Schwarzenegger as he runs for governor in the US state of California.

The BBC supports this version of events:

In a boost for Mr Schwarzenegger, a report in an Austrian Jewish magazine said that, as a young bodybuilder, he had helped break up a neo-Nazi demonstration in the Austrian city of Graz.

"There was a clash and Arnold along with some bodybuilders chased the Nazis down Herrengasse Street," Alfred Gerstl, the father of one of Mr Schwarzenegger's friends, recalled in the interview published last month.

Someoneís wrong.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 5, 2003 06:02 PM

Back around 1998, Patrick Cook in the Bully satirised Clinton's apology speech, including a line (from memory) "Ah agree with the prominent feminist who said `Ah would give Bill Clinton a head job myself if that would keep abortion legal`. Well, women of America, abortion is still legal."

Posted by: Uncle Milk at October 5, 2003 at 08:46 PM

Disgusting hypocrisy, yet again.

Posted by: Steve Edwards at October 5, 2003 at 09:00 PM

Arnold seems to have indulged in locker room behavior. This was common in the 1970's and 1980's. Women often got huffy about it but few considered it serious: Usually word got around that such a guy was "all hands" and to watch him. And the passive aggressive women would wait till a time like now to get revenge.

I grew up with brothers. So when some guy started it, I got back to him like another guy. Soif they told a dirty joke, I told a dirtier. If they groped, I would accidentally hit him. etc. worked for me: I could hold my own.

The difference is now a dirty joke is considered a federal crime...

Posted by: Nancy Reyes at October 5, 2003 at 10:38 PM

I don't see any inconsistency between the two statements. Both advocate using trial by media rather than doing things via courts.

Posted by: Andjam at October 5, 2003 at 11:38 PM

If they make hitting on woman a crime, lock up 50 percent of the worlds population.

Posted by: Le clerc at October 5, 2003 at 11:39 PM

That's a strange navagation bar/headline. Look at the top.


It's probably not intended and just coincidental. Now I have to go and check the other articles. Tim, this just might be an interesting new feature for the blog.

Posted by: Charles at October 6, 2003 at 01:34 AM

pollitt's belief that schwarzenegger does not belong in public life, while clinton presumably did, is absurdly hypocritical.

nevertheless, it is actually true to assert that allegations of rape against the president can only be used politically, not legally. the president, being immune from ordinary criminal prosecution, can only be prosecuted via the impeachment process, which is essentially political.

Posted by: adam at October 6, 2003 at 04:05 AM

The New York Times has retracted the Hilter story.

Boy, there's a phrase I never thought I'd type.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at October 6, 2003 at 03:12 PM

You forgot the punch line Alan; reluctantly, reluctanty, like Marr fessing up to communisto cock up by Wilkensen but Marr still manages to throw in, but what a swell job they do.
Common denominator, in each case the offence is so great NYT had to retract( but did they apologise to Arnie for the calumny, nay, defamation against him?), wilkensen resigned.The fucktards, though, are still in business.

Posted by: d at October 7, 2003 at 12:00 PM