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The L.A. Times and Grope-gate

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Updates: Jill Stewart's original 'New Times' column is here. Her response to John Carroll's L.A. Times column is here. Original Post: Thanks to Calpundit, I read John Carroll's column justifying the LA Times' Thursday hit on Arnold on Saturday night. I've seen Kevin Roderick's piece on it, and been waiting to hear from the principal actor in the drama, Jill Stewart, who can talk about it from an more-informed position than mine. A lot of this is about the mechanics and minutiae of journalism, I thought. Then I went to Brian's party, and met a journalist (sadly didn't get his name or affiliation).
I'll skip over his arrogance and rudeness; he was in a hostile environment, and maybe he was nervous. But watching the discussion, I realized something that brought the Times issue into clearer perspective for me. In the discussion, I had substantive issues with his points, which were essentially that journalism is superior to blogging because it has an editorial process which drives it toward 'fairness' (he felt that objectivity was impossible and not necessarily even desirable), but a fairness informed by the moral sensibilities of the institution (I'm pulling a short argument out of a long and somewhat rambling discussion). Bloggers obviously don't. I tried to make the suggestion to him that individual blogs weren't necessarily good at driving toward fairness, but that the complex of blogs - the dialog and interaction between blogs - was, and might in fact be better than mainstream media, isolated as they are from feedback. (Note that Perry from Samizdata got this point before I finished the sentence). And what was interesting to me was this - that while I have (violently at times) disagreed with other bloggers in face to face discussions, I always had the feeling that there was a discussion going on, a dialog in which two people were engaged and trying to understand each other's points, if for no other reason than to better argue against them. But in dealing with The Journalist In The Hat, no such dialog took place. He had his point to make, and very little that I said (or, to be honest, that others who participated, including Howard Owens, who pointed out that he had worked as a journalist) was heard or responded to. He had his points, and he was going to make them over, and over, until we listened. Or until we said 'bullshit' too many times and he walked away in a snit. And similarly, what I think torqued me off as a consumer of mass media - and I think others as well - was the LA Times blindness to the fact that it is a part of a larger ongoing dialog, and that the stories on Arnold's sexual - I'm not sure how to characterize this - behavior clearly would have an impact, and were in fact reported to have an impact, by Carroll's own admission. I've said all along that what matters is that the paper act with at least the appearance of impartiality, or as my pet journalist said, 'fairness'. Had the Times wrapped its Thursday piece in an explanation that made three simple points: 1) We've been working on this full-bore since August 6, we wish we'd run it sooner, but we didn't believe it was right not to run it before you voted; 2) We understand the problems this presents for Arnold and his campaign, as well as the appearance it gives that we're 'hitting' him, and we've given him and his campaign space to respond; 3) We devoted equal resources trying to dig into rumors about Davis' behavior and been unable to come up with enough solid, sourced information to make a story out of it. I'd have been mildly unhappy, but certainly not angry, and would have had no cause to be angry. But the Times didn't so any such thing. And here's my point. As someone who reads the Times every day, along with a lot of other media, the clear tilt of the paper couldn't be more transparent to me. I'm not going to go too deeply into the news portion, although I've started saving clips. But it took me about 30 minutes last night to go through all the columns available on the Web. I've got links and clips below, but let me give you a summary count (methodology was simple: I went to the Times web site, clicked on 'columns' in the left bar, and went through each of the listed columnists and pulled anything that had to do with Davis, Arnold, or the recall. Note that 'balanced' doesn't mean pro-Arnold or pro-recall; it means looks at both sides and tries to present analysis): Al Martinez: 1 column, violently anti-Arnold and recall. Ronald Brownstein: 1 column, balanced. Patt Morrison: 10 columns, 8 violently anti-recall and anti-Arnold, 2 moderately anti-recall and anti-Arnold. Dana Parsons: 1 column, mildly anti-Arnold Tim Rutten: 7 columns, 6 mildly anti-Arnold, 1 anti-Bustamente David Shaw: 4 columns, 2 mildly anti-recall and 2 mildly anti-Arnold George Skelton: 10 columns, all balanced Steve Lopez: 9 columns, 4 violently anti-Arnold, 1 moderately anti-Arnold, 3 anti-recall. Obviously, my characterization is subjective. Go down and browse the links below and make your own call. But I'm willing to bet that the overall characterization won't be that the columnists were, overall, balanced between positions. And that matters a lot, because the columnists are the human face the newspaper presents to us, it's readers. And in this case, that face was largely speaking with one voice. Update: Porphy comments intelligently on this (as usual), but mistakes my meaning in one place - to his credit, I think I was unclear, so I'll use this to do better. First, when I talk about the 'appearance' of impartiality, I'm talking about what to me would be courtesy. It's a recognition that while I'm taking one position and believe in it, there are other positions, and that I'm acknowledging that while I support this and think you should too, that it is one position in the marketplace of ideas and that you as a reader might want to consider the others, foolish as they may be, before making a decision. Think of it as consultative selling. He then assumes that when the reporter (I hope he doesn't mean me) was talking about 'fairness' as opposed to 'objectivity' that he meant:
His concept seems to approximate that of "Progressives" - being "fair" means taking sides and treating others differently based on whose side they are on. Those on the Progressive side can and should be cut some slack, because they mean well, while those opposing Progressivism must be held to more exacting standards as a matter of course because they are not advancing the cause of justice, equality, and social change anyhow.
I took it slightly differently. I think of what he meant as being a good Little League coach, called on to umpire the game. You clearly want one side to win, but you follow certain norms - in order to see that you, as well as both sides are playing by the rules (it's not too different than what I talk about above). Sadly, as I note, I think they're making all the calls one way. That may well mean that Porphy's definition is better (more accurate) than mine. End Update... All links as of Sunday night/Monday morning Al Martinez: Oct. 10
Once upon a time in the land of Col-lee-forna, a village elected an idiot named Serios Gropper to run things. The villagers all knew he was an idiot, but he was strong and had the widest grin anyone had ever seen and was always on stage lifting things and grinning whenever there was an opportunity, so everyone knew who he was. Familiarity counts. The leader ousted in favor of Gropper was a 90-pound weakling named Maxim Dul who was always getting sand kicked in his face at the beach and who hardly had any grin at all. Gropper, everyone said, had substance and a bold face, and that's what Col-lee-forna needed. Nice hair too, perfectly colored and sprayed.
Ronald Brownstein Oct. 6
If Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante becomes governor or if Gov. Gray Davis retains his seat amid the charges against Schwarzenegger, Republicans are sure to consider their candidate the victim of dirty tricks from Democrats and the media. Imagine the howls of outrage from talk radio - or the resistance from Republicans in the Legislature - that Davis would face if he survives under these circumstances. Every day after a date with the hangman is a good day - but Davis would be at war every moment for the rest of his term. If Schwarzenegger holds on to win, the hostilities might be even more intense. Even before the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, Schwarzenegger was unlikely to win support from a majority of voters; it's always been possible that fewer Californians will vote to make him governor than to keep Davis in office. Under the best of circumstances, that meant Schwarzenegger was likely to start with a precarious base if he won.
Patt Morrison: Oct 7.
Like your average Californian, I'm interested in just one thing in this election - me. Where does all this leave me? If Arnold wins, it leaves me in deep, that's where. So let me say right now: All that stuff I wrote about Arnold before? About him not being able to remember meeting with energy villain Ken Lay? About him being able to balance the budget but maybe costing the state big in sexual harassment suits? About his going AWOL from the Austrian army for a bodybuilding contest? About his not voting in six of the last eight state elections? I was just making statements that were ludicrous and crazy and outrageous because that's the way I always was. I knew they would get headlines. We were promoting bodybuilding - I mean newspapers. I was always outrageous. Otherwise I wouldn't have done the things I've done in my career. Hey, if the voters can believe it from him, they can believe it from me too.
Oct. 6
The California Governor's Conference for Women, the 17th annual, is still scheduled for Oct. 22 - but with which governor? Both First Lady Sharon Davis and her husband are scheduled to speak at the event - as is actor and children's book author Jamie Lee Curtis, a Schwarzenegger co-star who in 2001 joined three of his other co-starring women to protest a Premiere magazine article alleging Schwarzenegger's boorish conduct on movie sets. Since a Times story last week on the same subject, Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he acted inappropriately toward some women and apologized.
Sept. 30
Why did I have this dream, now? Ask me a hard one. It was about the recall. If Arnold Schwarzenegger is a week away from being elected governor of the fifth-largest economy in the world, if comedian Dennis Miller's name can be seriously bruited about as our next U.S. senator, then I can become a Supreme.
Sept. 22
"I'm not quite sure if he's a Republican, conservative. I'm not sure what he is. As you know, he's pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, pro-choice, pro-orgy, pro-hashish Let me tell you if Arnold Schwarzenegger ever would win, I would love to go to a Republican Governors Assn. What a party this could be - he could light up that group." Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee.
Sept 16.
McClintock, the man who's been on the radar screen for 20 years, suggested acidly, on a different cable news show, that Robertson and his flock "take a closer look at the positions that Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken on a wide ranger of social issues. I think they'll be appalled." The social issues - abortion, gun control, gay rights - the dirt swept under the carpet, the unmentionable topics of the campaign, which is saying a lot in an election that's had to discuss group sex. The social issues the national GOP used to divide and conquer are the same ones that have derailed them in California, which is why everyone's keeping his mouth shut about them this time, lest it run the GOP off the rails again. The Schwarzenegger faction desperately wants McClintock to bail out before he becomes a Naderesque spoiler. But none of them wants his fingerprints to be found on McClintock's back. So all they can do is hope that someone, in political-Becket fashion, will rid them of this turbulent candidate - because McClintock is not the type to oblige them and step aside.
Sept 15.
"He is a great film star. But I find his idea to run for governor absolutely insane America should be governed by people who have a clue. I hope he doesn't win." ? Dixie Chicks banjoist Emily Robinson, quoted in the German newspaper Abendzeitung about Arnold Schwarzenegger. After Dixie Chicks lead vocalist Natalie Maines announced in March that they were all ashamed that George Bush hails from Texas, their CDs were slammed and stomped on in a vivid demonstration of free speech vs. free markets.
Sept. 9.
Arnold Schwarzenegger enlisted in Austria's army, not its air force, but he's an ace at flying the missing-man formation. Schwarzenegger went AWOL from the army to compete in a bodybuilding contest, winning a title that got him his start - at the price of a few days in the stockade. Maybe going AWOL in the debates will work to his advantage, too. This morning's gubernatorial debate will go on without him, just like all the others, save for the one invitation he has accepted, for Sept. 24. This RSVP record may be bad democracy but it's brilliant politics: Put your guy in one debate and one debate only - the one where the candidates get the questions in advance - so there's only one set of video clips, one set of sound bites of your guy at the top of his game, for the press to use over and over again.
Sept. 8.
"For $1 million in California, I could get enough signatures to put a proposition on the ballot to outlaw ice cream." ? Walnut Creek electrician Donnie Snyder, demonstrating against the recall outside the first gubernatorial debate.
Aug. 26.
The state budget, the state government, aren't a film script, with a straw-man villain who is easy to set up and, ultimately, a cinch for the hero to knock down. Nobody is pro-taxes; anyone thinking of running on a pro-tax platform would be better off starting up a theme park called "Root Canal Land." But please, Mr. S., in spite of the temptations to cinematic chest-beating, don't tease us by invoking some no-tax paradise, unless you also plan on having each of us go out and boil our own drinking water, pave our own roads, pour our own sidewalks, and dig our own sewers. In that case, I'll be over to borrow a shovel.
Aug. 25.
" 'Dianne, what's happening out in California? It's like you turned the United States on its side and all of the nuts fell to California.' " ? California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, telling a group of West Los Angeles business leaders about being teased about the recall by a fellow member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The quote is a variant of one often attributed to architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Dana Parsons Oct. 5.
I could have asked at that moment about Arnold's original denials of boorish behavior around some women - before he 'fessed up last week - but that would have killed the festive mood. This is a weekend to celebrate what recall supporters say is democracy at its finest. Let's all join the parade and anoint Arnold Schwarzenegger - this man we trust and know so well - to turn our fortunes around.
Tim Rutten Oct. 8.
According to Carrick, "the way the entertainment press clustered around this campaign actually subverted the efforts of the serious press to be substantive. It allowed Schwarzenegger to pursue a strategy of inaccessibility and to get away with it." So was the recall itself so novel and Schwarzenegger's presence so unexpectedly overwhelming that there are no lessons to be drawn about future campaigns and their news coverage? Not in Carrick's view: "At the end of the day, I think we can conclude that, when it comes to covering politics, more is not better - if it's not of higher quality."
Sept. 27.
Martin Kaplan, of USC's Annenberg School for Communication, agrees. "In some sense, we were auditioning all five of the candidates Wednesday night. After what we saw, it would be difficult to imagine wanting to spend the next three years with any of them. "To many viewers, this debate may have confirmed a suspicion that the recall itself has become a great waste of time and money. Rather than the great experiment in public engagement that it once seemed to be, it's become about as edifying as mud wrestling. People are saying it isn't even entertaining anymore, which - as we all know - is the greatest sin of all."
Sept. 20.
Steinberg faults the conventional political press for not finding more aggressive ways to pose tough questions. He pointed out that while most of the candidates were debating in Hollywood this week, Schwarzenegger was virtually across the street taping Larry King's show at CNN's Sunset Boulevard studios. "None of the reporters and camera crews there for the debate even bothered to go across the street and hassle him with shouted questions," Steinberg said. "Schwarzenegger's strategy requires a docile news media, and he's getting one."
Sept 17.
Johnson argued that "under an elective system the recall should be applied to all officers. It will make no judge weaker, nor a strong judge less strong. It will be a warning and a menace to the corrupt only." But state Sen. Charles Wheller, also a progressive Republican, denounced the concept as a threat to "judges with courage to decide against the majority" and as a "strike at the very foundation of the government in which I live." Judicial recall's enactment, he warned, would overturn "the last of the republic of our fathers.... We will pass from a constitutional democracy built by them to a pure democracy and all its dangers." Sound familiar?
Sept. 13.
In an interview, Kaus said, "It fits in with Arnold's line that the Oui interview also was a lie to promote a film. In both cases, Schwarzenegger is treating his audience as a bunch of marks who he can con. One senses that maybe he approaches politics this way, as well.... The other, more revealing, thing is that he thought this sort of story about conning people was appealing." It's a distinctly Hollywood contribution to contemporary politics. No more bothersome second thoughts or tiresome contrition. Confronted with the failings or indiscretions of the past, simply deny it ever happened; just say you lied and then get on with it. That's publishing and politics, Hollywood style. All that's required is that you lose the capacity to blush.
Sept. 10.
Field's findings regarding Schwarzenegger are interesting on two counts: One is that the action film star and former bodybuilder is struggling to increase his base of support among those Californians pollsters deem likely to cast a ballot. (Campaigns that somehow energize people who have not previously voted regularly are the sort that give pollsters nasty shocks; Schwarzenegger partisans are hoping this, like the first gubernatorial contest between the late Tom Bradley and former Gov. George Deukmejian, is one of them.) Second, this latest survey confirms the findings of the most recent Times Poll in reporting that Schwarzenegger has a significant problem with women voters, who make up 50% of California's total electorate and 52% of its likely voters. The Times Poll found that fully 50% of the women inclined to vote hold an unfavorable impression of Schwarzenegger, while 41% see him in a positive light. Field reports that Bustamante now leads his chief Republican opponent by 13 points among likely women voters.
Sept. 6.
There are few rules in life that admit no exceptions. Here is one: The pursuit of identity politics ends in an intellectual swamp that inevitably drains into a moral sewer. That's why Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is wrong not to speak more clearly to the issues raised by his one-time membership in a Chicano student organization whose founding credo is a mind-numbing amalgam of quaint revolutionary rhetoric and pseudo-mystical racialism. It's also why the mainstream media's off-handed treatment of this issue is one of the avoidable shortcomings in their coverage of the recall campaign.
David Shaw: Oct. 12.
Nothing seemed to stain his image or stem his advance. Instead of being hurt because his experience was in movies, not politics, he was helped by it. His on-screen persona made him so familiar that some newscasters even called him "Arnold" in their on-air stories, thus playing directly into his campaign effort to depict himself as a regular guy, the nonpolitician, the overgrown boy next door. By its very existence, early media coverage legitimized Schwarzenegger's candidacy and, over time, made him seem a likely winner. People like to side with a winner - especially against a loser like Davis. It makes them feel smart. So voter sentiment began to show a shift in his favor. That turned the polls around, and ultimately, it all became self-perpetuating - and self-fulfilling.
Sept. 28.
To be fair, the recall is something of a farce, and many of the candidates are worth a guffaw or two. I mean, when was the last time a candidate for the governorship of anything used the slogan "Finally, a governor you can get drunk with"? Even California news organizations - The Times among them - have been unable to resist pointing out, in various ways, that this campaign more closely resembles the theater of the absurd than an election for the leader of the world's sixth-largest economy.
Sept. 21.
Fortunately, even in a time of growing media consolidation, there is still enough variety in our news sources that a diligent citizen can get different images from different venues and, with some effort, gather enough information to triangulate and approximate what a public figure might really be like. It's difficult work, especially in politics, entertainment and professional sports, where the images of public figures are so tightly controlled by highly skilled, highly paid spinmeisters. But it's both possible and necessary. If you do seek information from several sources - and ignore rumor and gossip - you should be able to decide what you think Schwarzenegger is really like, how much his sexist behavior reflects his true character, and whether you want him for your governor.
Aug. 24.
At a time when the national news media are enjoying an enormous collective laugh at California's expense, both suggestions are likely to be difficult to follow. With a Terminator, a HuffenPuffington, a pornographer and a self-described "ageless" billboard model among the 85,000 candidates for governor, the opportunities for online digression and vilification may be irresistible.
George Skelton: Oct. 9.
Arnold Schwarzenegger won a historic election with ease. Now he has a historic opportunity - because of a rebellious public and a charismatic personality - to bring landmark change to California. That will be much tougher than getting elected to replace a despised governor, especially when his principal rival was a weak-running lieutenant governor falsely linked, in voters' minds, to the guy being bounced. (Gov. Gray Davis and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante probably didn't have five minutes' total conversation in five years.) But making big change won't be as tough as pundits are predicting, if Schwarzenegger takes the right steps.
Oct. 6.
Sacramento--The campaign trail isn't what it used to be. Especially a trail trod by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It used to be - a few governors ago - that political reporters and campaign advisors would spar over issues. Like taxes, spending, education, the environment. Just what does candidate Schwarzenegger mean by his promise to freeze spending? To restructure debt? There's no such sparring these days, not in a recall revolt that's not only historic but often histrionic and hysteric. Especially not with this substance-light front-runner.
Oct. 2.
Davis' strategists are seasoned pros and they're realists. Privately, they acknowledge the governor is on political life support. His chances of surviving the recall are very slim. All these major polls continue to deliver bad news for Davis. Each brand is different, with its own polling method. Yet, all have one thing in common. For months, none has shown support for the recall dipping below 50% of likely voters. In fact, considering the margins of error, nothing much has changed since early summer. The polls, on average, have been showing recall support in the mid-50s and opposition in the low 40s. If nothing has changed in months, why would it in the next week?
Sept. 29.
Huffington, 53, may be annoying, but she's articulate. Most important, she's articulating and accentuating an issue most candidates don't dare touch: the corrupting influence of California's political contribution system and the need for public financing of campaigns. Viewers and party partisans may wince when she accuses another candidate - Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, for example - of "legalized bribery" for accepting barrels of money from special interests, like Indian casinos. But that's the most honest, cut-the-baloney description of it. You've got to be very naive not to recognize the relationship between special interest donations and a governor's bill signings and political appointments, or a legislator's votes.
Sept. 26.
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the leading contenders, walking right into some nasty exchanges with independent Arianna Huffington that they had no hope of winning. Sure, Huffington goaded them, but so what? We teach our kids to avoid such fights. Schwarzenegger acted like a blunderbuss and looked like a bully, interrupting Huffington in a collision of booming and shrill European accents that was hard on the ears.
Sept. 25.
Sacramento is a fiscal basket case and there are plenty of people at fault. Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature certainly share the blame - and so do California voters. Yes, we should all take a long look in the mirror. We've stripped the governor and - especially - the Legislature of the power they need to govern, tying their hands.
Sept. 22.
Sacramento--Look, I'm no lawyer, let alone a constitutional scholar. But you don't need a JD degree to recognize simple errors of fact in that court opinion ordering a delay in the recall election. Little errors, to be sure. But it's annoying when a three-judge panel of a U.S. court of appeals produces a piece of work that, in some places, is just plain sloppy. Granted, the mistakes undoubtedly are irrelevant to the court's conclusion: that the recall election scheduled for Oct. 7 should be delayed - most likely until the March 2 primary - because some people using faulty old punch-card voting machines could be denied their equal protection rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Sept. 18.
The California Republican Party is missing something. At least, I couldn't find it at the GOP's state convention last weekend in L.A. Neither could others I talked to. Missing was the roar of social conservatives, the right-wing zealots who fight abortion, gay rights and gun control - and get their heads handed to them by Democrats in general elections. I listened to Saturday's speeches and didn't hear the words "abortion" and "pro-life" once. Nor "guns" and "2nd Amendment." Nor "homosexuals" and "traditional marriage."
Sept. 15.
There is a familiarity to this movie. I keep thinking I've seen it before. Actor runs for governor. Star-struck crowds get excited. Rivals claim the actor's a political amateur, totally devoid of government experience. Moreover, he speaks - or script-reads - in generalities; he doesn't offer specifics. Toward the end, opponents think - wishfully - that voters will come to their senses, be leery of the unknown and retain the status quo. Choose the devil they know. Back then it was Gov. Pat Brown. Today it's Gov. Gray Davis. Naw.
Sept. 11.
Proposition 54 is seen differently by different folks. Backers behold it as another death blow to racial preferences. Democratic pros, although opposing the measure, welcome it as a tool to prod the party faithful into voting in the recall and saving Gov. Gray Davis. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is treating it like a casino jackpot. He's using it to launder Indian gambling donations - too large to legally handle in his gubernatorial campaign - into anti-54 TV ads intended to energize Latino voters and elect him.
Steve Lopez: Oct 12.
What in the world are we up to now? the rest of the country always wants to know. We sneeze, and they wonder if it's contagious. Now we've really done it. We fired Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with an action hero who doesn't know a parcel tax from a pig in a poke, and we're already being treated to jokes like this one: Arnold's first health care proposal? Free breast exams.
Oct. 10.
"You tell the locals to pass parcel taxes in order to keep the library open," Cain says. "The problem is we're talking about police and fire services too, so this is going to be a dangerous game." I'm not buying any such rabble. I refuse to believe the new guv would have led us down this path if he didn't have answers. C'mon, Arnold. The cigars are trimmed, the beer is cold and the car is running. Don't let me down.
Oct. 9.
I thought there was supposed to be a stampede from Chico to Chula Vista - crazy populists running through the streets in a rage over an increase in car license fees. After enduring Darrell Issa and Mary Carey, a Taco Bell poll, a seven-page ballot of candidates, several debates starring Arianna Huffington, 5,500 "I'll Be Backs," 7,000 "Hasta la Vistas," and cameos by Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Rob Lowe, Dennis Miller, Oprah, Larry King and Jay Leno, was 60% too much to ask? Actually, maybe it was all those things that made people sit this one out.
Oct. 8.
Perfect. A campaign that began with the late-night comedian may be notarized by him. And so we've had our little revolution and the new emperor is Der Gropenfuhrer, which, in Austrian, means: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Oct. 7.
I've now found three actresses who say they were not molested by gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, I'm telling you this for a self-serving reason - I'm hoping to save my job by preventing more people from canceling their subscriptions because of all our stories about Arnold groping women. But there's more to it than that. On this election day, I'm doing it out of a sense of fairness.
Oct. 6.
On Tuesday it probably won't matter that the economic bust, term limits that stack the Legislature with amateurs, and state initiatives that devour the budget have done as much as Davis to create California's problems. What will matter is that Schwarzenegger has promised 30 pieces of silver and a clear conscience, regardless of who gets hurt.
Oct. 5.
I've been harder on Schwarzenegger than Davis lately because the challenger hasn't made the case for why he deserves the job, and I offer no apologies. I offer no apologies for this newspaper, either, for publishing stories in which a growing parade of women claim to have been bullied, pawed and humiliated by him. The purpose wasn't to derail his campaign. The purpose was to tell readers what was learned in a two-month investigation about the character of a man who wants to serve as both governor and role model. You don't have to believe that, and you don't have to buy the newspaper. But read something, will you? The quality of this country's conversation is sinking faster than Davis's numbers, and I don't think the problem is too much reading.
Oct. 4.
Arnold's Army came to Arcadia Friday morning, and the scene was like nothing I can remember in recent political history. As I tried to park, and realized that one lot after another was jammed, the teeming masses streamed by me on foot, marching, marching, marching, trance-like, as if to a revival. Old folks, young folks, moms and dads pushing strollers. Arnold Schwarzenegger, great terminator of evildoers, was coming to the Los Angeles Arboretum to vanquish sorrow, discomfort and the car tax.
Oct. 3.
Reports of Arnold Schwarzenegger's sexual mistreatment and humiliation of women drew outrage here Thursday on the campaign trail. Outrage at the Los Angeles Times, not at Arnold. I would have thought that at a gathering of conservatives, who rightly vilified President Bill Clinton for his raunchy scandal and nationally televised lies, there'd at least be some finger-wagging at Arnold. Not a chance with the Teflon Terminator.

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Tracked: October 20, 2003 10:53 PM
THE LA SLIMES from JunkYardBlog
Excerpt: Gregg Easterbrook, as everyone who hasn't been holed up with Osama bin Laden in his Afghan cave knows, said something offensive in a blog post last week, got canned from his swank job at ESPN (Emasculated Sports and Programming Network)...

1 Comment

We shoud kill all gropers.

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