on Recall Means No to Schwarzenegger
By Jackson Thoreau
the couple of years I have written Internet columns for progressive
websites, I have done my fair share of criticizing the mainstream
U.S. media for not being aggressive enough in taking on Republican
politicians. Well, it's only fair I commend the members of
the press when they do their jobs. And the Los Angeles
Times did its job in sparkling fashion with its investigation
of Arnold the Groping Liar published last week.
It was an excellent, explosive story, the kind of which
American journalism needs more. It was not so much a story
about sex, as the age-old abuse of power. And the Times
showed that Arnold the Would-be Emperor really has no clothes
- or morals, or conscience.
The Times is about the only U.S. mainstream newspaper
that has really investigated Schwarzenegger's history of sexual
harassment, which as the paper showed includes incidents as
recent as 2000.
Schwarzenegger's campaign is trying to say Gov. Gray Davis
was behind the story, but that's not the case. As John Carroll,
the editor of the Los Angeles Times, told the San
Francisco Chronicle, the newspaper had collected even
more examples but had not included those incidents in the
story because reporters had not had time to corroborate them.
I put one of those victims in touch with a Times
reporter several weeks ago - a woman now in her 50s who said
Schwarzenegger went so far as to sexually assault her in 1997
at a now defunct Planet Hollywood in Atlanta. She contacted
me out of the blue after I wrote one of my numerous columns
and posts about Schwarzenegger's history of sexual harassment
and said I was interested in hearing from others who experienced
the Terminator's "charms."
She had nothing to do with the Davis campaign. As she wrote
in her first email to me, she said she had "been through emotional
'Hell' since the attack, including nightmares and fears I
can't get rid of. I see that liar's smile everywhere I look
today. It may, somehow, help me to finally talk about the
terror of being attacked, and how it affected me and my life
since. My speaking up will certainly wipe that big smile off
The victim said that she did not pursue charges against
Schwarzenegger because she simply wanted to forget the attack.
She didn't think Schwarzenegger would come after her again,
and she didn't want to complicate her life at the time. But
she found the nightmares and Schwarzenegger's smile have not
gone away. So she, like other victims, is willing to talk.
I won't release her name, although she is willing to do
so to a reporter. To me, it's not necessary. I have heard
enough similar stories to know there is a lot of truth to
hers. Perhaps someday soon, her story will be told, and I
pray it helps her find some solace. She sure won't find that
by any half-apology Schwarzenegger issues. His semi-apology
this week in response to the Times article included
a statement that he thought the women involved enjoyed his
"attention." Think again, steroid-brain.
Since the evening two months ago that I sat stunned on my
couch watching Leno yuk it up with Schwarzenegger and his
inane comments about bikini waxes and pumping up Sacramento,
I have searched for the truth about this guy's past. What
I have found has not been pretty. I have tried to tell it
as honestly as I can. I have tried to not pull any punches.
I have tried to give him at least as much of the benefit of
the doubt as Republicans gave Clinton when he was president.
And I can say this: I do not work for Davis' campaign. Davis'
people won't even return my emails. I just work for myself
in this unpaid Internet columnist job, trying to write the
angels and demons from my mind.
Hell yeah, I get a certain satisfaction in seeing Schwarzenegger's
campaign unravel before our eyes. Hopefully, we can stop this
guy before he emulates one of his heroes, Adolf Hitler. It'd
be great if Schwarzenegger's political career ended Tuesday,
rather than began in the California governor's office. But
that's not the only reason I labor at this task.
The above-mentioned woman said as Schwarzenegger was about
to leave her six years ago, that he did not mention his wife
or kids. But he issued a directive, declarative, proclamatory,
one-sentence statement to the effect of: "Don't try telling
this to anyone - no one would ever believe you."
In that statement, I see the soul-less vacuum that occupies
Schwarzenegger's innards. And I also see the courage inside
this woman in defying the powerful Terminator to now come
And something about that situation gives me reason to be
optimistic and pessimistic about our human condition and future
at the same time. Something about it makes me search on, read
on, write on...
Jackson Thoreau is an American writer and co-author of We
Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate White House.
The updated, 120,000-word electronic book can be downloaded
from his website.
Citizens for Legitimate Government has the earlier
version. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.