Unlikely Support for Arnold

Arch-feminist Susan Estrich, writing in the same newspaper that broke the “news” about Arnold Schwarzenegger, has some sensible comments:
“None of the six women interviewed by The Times filed legal charges. Four of the six were quoted anonymously. Of the two who were named, one, a British television hostess, had told her story to Premiere magazine years ago, and it has been widely known and largely ignored. The other recounts an alleged incident of fondling at Gold’s Gym nearly 30 years ago.
“[N]one of these women, as The Times emphasizes, ever came forward to complain. The newspaper went looking for them, and then waited until five days before the election to tell the fragments of the story.
“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.
“But here’s my prediction, as a Californian: It’s too late for the Los Angeles Times’ charges to have much impact. People have made up their minds. This attack, coming as late as it does, from a newspaper that has been acting more like a cheerleader for Gray Davis than an objective source of information, will be dismissed by most people as more Davis-like dirty politics. Is this the worst they could come up with? Ho-hum. After what we’ve been through?
“To his credit, Schwarzenegger apologized for ‘behaving badly.’ So should the Los Angeles Times.”
I’ve been getting hammered by readers today for allegedly undue pessimism on Iraq and the WMDs. The Arnold story is one area where I remain optimistic. Meanwhile, I’m devoting my surfing effort today to looking for good news. I’ll post some when I find it.
UPDATE: This poll is probably not very scientific, but it supports the view that the L.A. Times’ story won’t hurt Arnold much. A majority of respondents said they viewed the story as a smear by the Times; 68% found Arnold’s apology sufficient; and, while 10% said the “revelations” would cause them to switch their votes away from Arnold, 12% said they would switch to him.


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