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Old 10-03-2003, 11:07 AM   #106
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A Deplorable October Surprise

By Susan Estrich
Susan Estrich, a professor of law and political science at USC, is the author of "Sex and Power" (Riverside Press, 2001). She was national campaign manager for Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.

October 3, 2003

So this is the October surprise? The Los Angeles Times headline that Arnold Schwarzenegger groped and humiliated women?

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.

The anonymous incidents occurred on movie sets and consist of touching a woman's breast in the elevator, whispering vulgarities and pulling a woman onto his lap. Though emphasizing that not everything in the stories was accurate, the candidate responded Thursday with an apology: "Yes, it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful, but now I recognize that I offended people." And he pledged to treat women with respect if elected.

As a professor of sex discrimination law for two decades and an expert on sexual harassment, I certainly don't condone the unwanted touching of women that was apparently involved here. But these acts do not appear to constitute any crime, such as rape or sodomy or even assault or battery. As for civil law, sexual harassment requires more than a single case of unwelcome touching; there must be either a threat or promise of sex in exchange for a job benefit or demotion, or the hostile environment must be severe and pervasive.

But none 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.

Facing these charges, a candidate has two choices. If he denies them, the story keeps building and overshadows everything else he does. Schwarzenegger's bold apology is a gamble to make the story go away. It may or may not work.

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.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:25 PM   #107
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I like Susan.

Here is a great example of the difference between Republicans and Democrats IMO. Democrats such as Susan, Alan Colmes, and myself will admit when such obviously partisan, low-down media mud slinging happens and say it's ridiculous and wrong.

If this had been a late breaking mud slinging on a Democrat about womanizing or sexual impropriety? Oh my God, the Republican's would be eating it up with a spoon and outraged at both the candidate and anyone who would think of defending him/her.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:58 PM   #108
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The only reason Arnold is apologizing is because someone had the guts to make him face his obviously inappropriate behavior. If no one had ever mentioned the incidents he would have never apologized.

These incidents happend about 30 years ago. It was a different time back and that the consequences of reporting a superior were far more sever than just keeping quiet. If you were a woman and sexually harassed you just shut up and took it.

These women perhaps didn't have a choice about speaking up when these incidents originally occured. Bravo to them for calling Arnold out for his behavior.
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Old 10-03-2003, 01:24 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally posted by womanfish
I like Susan.

Here is a great example of the difference between Republicans and Democrats IMO. Democrats such as Susan, Alan Colmes, and myself will admit when such obviously partisan, low-down media mud slinging happens and say it's ridiculous and wrong.

If this had been a late breaking mud slinging on a Democrat about womanizing or sexual impropriety? Oh my God, the Republican's would be eating it up with a spoon and outraged at both the candidate and anyone who would think of defending him/her.
Are you kidding me? Democratic operatives have been planning this for months. Before Arnold even announced he was running, a top Democratic strategist blatantly said these stories would be published to discredit Arnold ("shopping them around the tabloids" was the phrase I recall).

I posted the Estrich article because, considering her party affiliation and her focus in teaching, I found her comments well above the fray. (She also teaches at a very fine institution)

Don't stoop back down with such a cheap generalization of Republicans based on what you think "they would have done".
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:29 PM   #110
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I think its Rubbish that Democrats and Womens groups are coming out now to attack Arnold on his alleged "sex actions" from decades ago. Where the hell were all these Womens groups when several women came out to say that Bill Clinton Raped them? These Women groups care more about their pet political issues than whether any of these women were actually harmed. They'll use them when their politically useful, ignore them when their politically not. For the political party to do that is one thing, for Womens group that should be concerned strictly with the health of women, this is not understandable.
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:45 PM   #111
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Originally posted by STING2
Where the hell were all these Womens groups when several women came out to say that Bill Clinton Raped them? These Women groups care more about their pet political issues than whether any of these women were actually harmed. They'll use them when their politically useful, ignore them when their politically not. For the political party to do that is one thing, for Womens group that should be concerned strictly with the health of women, this is not understandable.
I agree with STING.



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Old 10-03-2003, 03:47 PM   #112
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Not that it matters, but I just wanted to say that my disdain for men who harass, grope, rape, or otherwise degrade women has NOTHING to do w/ party affiliation or politics.

It disgusts me no matter who does it, and I don't agree w/ it being used solely for political purposes.

Of course it's entirely possible that Arnold has regret for what he has done, realizes how wrong it was, and hopefully has changed his attitudes towards women. People can change, sometimes.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:04 PM   #113
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What about this?

Schwarzenegger Denies Admiring Hitler
Thu Oct 2

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Arnold Schwarzenegger was forced on Thursday to deny comments he made 25 years ago that he admired Adolf Hitler and wished he too could enjoy a stadium full of screaming fans.

The Austrian-born actor, who is the leading candidate in California's gubernatorial recall race, was quoted as making the comments in a 1975 transcript of an interview while filming the documentary "Pumping Iron" that made him famous.

ABC News, which broadcast the remarks on Thursday, said they were contained in an unpublished book proposal with quotes from what it calls a "verbatim transcript" of the interview.

Asked about his heroes, the young Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying; "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."

The actor was quoted as saying he wished he could experience being .."like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium and have all those people scream at you and just being total agreement whatever you say."

Asked by ABC News to comment on the old remarks, Schwarzenegger said: "I cannot remember any of these. All I can tell you is that I despise everything Hitler stood for. I despise everything the Nazis stood for ... everything the Third Reich stood for."
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:27 PM   #114
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The NY Times has already called this report into question, including the accuracy of the transcripts.

Democrats warned Davis not to pull this crap. It looks like his operatives went ahead per their standard operating procedures.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:32 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Not that it matters, but I just wanted to say that my disdain for men who harass, grope, rape, or otherwise degrade women has NOTHING to do w/ party affiliation or politics.
Too bad more woman's political groups cannot act like you. They are outraged by the actions of Schwarzenegger and Packwood while they turn a blind eye to (and actually support) Clinton. I am glad you, MrsSpringsteen, can see past the party affiliation.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:46 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The NY Times has already called this report into question, including the accuracy of the transcripts.

Democrats warned Davis not to pull this crap. It looks like his operatives went ahead per their standard operating procedures.
Any proof that Davis was the one to release this or approve this? Nope. In fact he came out and directly said that no Democrat running in the race was responsible for providing any information about the sexual allegations or this. Seems like an asshole move from people who don't like Schwarzenneger at the Times (which I don't agree with timing-wise).

You automatically defend Arnold and make baseless statements against Davis. I'm glad your party lines are very clearly drawn.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:59 PM   #117
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The statement regarding the release of information is not baseless. A top Davis advisor spoke to the media threatening to release this type of information well before the recall was even certified - essentially a warning to Arnold not to get into the race.

I do not condone Arnolds actions with women. The Hitler comments are taken out of context at best. They already tried to stick the Nazi tag on Arnold regarding his father.

There is too much partisian barfing in this forum already - I try and avoid the simplistic "well [fill in your favorite Democrat here] Clinton did this..." type of responses.
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:35 PM   #118
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true crusader,

I know the Hitler thing came up a long time ago, so I don't really see this as a surprise.

The sexist stuff makes me wonder a bit about the way he truly is in his private life, but still it's dirty to spring this stuff 5 days before the election.
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:42 PM   #119
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womanfish,

You make this a great place for debate. I truly appreciate your posts.

Thank you,
NBC
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:48 PM   #120
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thanks NBC - right back at ya. Even though I know I'm pretty liberal, try to keep an independent open mind. You'd be surprised that I find Bill O'Reilly fairly reasonable about 25% of the time. Anyway, it's always fun to see everyone's view in here and to learn and to look at things in different ways. Damn if it weren't for you and dread and few others, it would be no fun and I'd be hopelessly lost in my liberalness.

I still want to know how Melon consistently comes up with those interesting articles from all places and dates.
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