By Jackson Thoreau
Say what you want about the British media’s fascination with sexual scandals, but at least the press there is consistent, giving fairly equal coverage to the extramarital affairs by both Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, the U.S. media continues to ignore reports of California Gov. Wannabe and Groper Arnold Schwarzenegger’s extramarital affairs and groping sessions.
That gives more credence to the notion that the American media reports on such aspects of a politician’s character mostly if they involve Democrats. If Schwarzenegger was a Democrat running for office and not a Republican with the blessing of the White House, CNN and Fox and MSNBC and others would be doing 24-hour coverage on his extracurricular sexual activities.
The London Evening Standard laid out Schwarzenegger’s history of groping and sexual harassment against women nicely on Monday [see http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/showbiz/articles/6270067?source=Daily%20Mail]. The Standard was one of many newspapers I contacted and sent information after I wrote some columns on that same subject for various Internet sites [such as at http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/08/1634503_comment.php#1634648] about a week ago. Has anyone seen any other similar stories in U.S. newspapers? I have not.
The Standard’s story is by Wendy Leigh, author of Arnold: An Unauthorised Biography. It’s important to note that TV cameras actually recorded Robot Man putting his hand on Terminator 3 co-star Kristanna Loken’s butt while they waved to the crowds from a balcony with Maria close by them a mere few weeks ago. Not even Packwood would be that bold. And Republicans and some Democrats still think this “family man” is fit to be governor of California?
Leigh says that when Robot Man came to London in 2000, his behavior led insiders to label him “the octopus.” When TV interviewer Anna Richardson interviewed Schwarzenegger about his recent movie, he reportedly asked her pointblank if her breasts were real. “He then pulled her onto his knee, circled her nipple with his finger, squeezed it and announced: ‘Yeah, they are real,’” Leigh reported.
And when Denise Van Outen interviewed him, Robot Man “slapped her bottom, then brushed his arm against her breast. Afterwards, he smirked: ‘It was a handful. I never know if my wife’s watching. I’ll tell her it was a stuntman,’” Leigh reported.
There was another interesting bit about Schwarzenegger’s alleged affair with Gigi Goyette, who Leigh says was a former Little House on the Prairie actress [I couldn’t find another report confirming that – did Goyette change her name? I’m not exactly an expert on that TV series]. In 2001, the National Enquirer [see http://www.nationalenquirer.com/stories/feature.cfm?instanceid=11259]
reported on this affair, naming Goyette. That report said the couple met when she was 16 and he was 28 and unmarried, and they had sex. That would be a crime, I believe, to have sex with an under-aged girl, even in California. They separated, only to meet again in 1989 and continue the affair for some seven years.
Schwarzenegger and his handlers have denied such affairs and even the on-camera gropings, which are recorded for all to see. To them, the gropings are just friendly banter.
Still, Robot Man soon dropped out of the California governor’s race after that report, which was not exactly over-covered by the mainstream media [the New York Post was among the few to mention it]. To keep Shriver from leaving, Schwarzenegger reportedly gave her a Mercedes SUV, a convertible Lexus, a diamond bracelet and spa treatments worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Of course, Kennedy women are used to such treatment and bribes to stay married; Leigh says that Jackie Kennedy accepted a whopping $1 million from Joe Kennedy to stay with JFK after she tired of his extramarital affairs. For the record, I didn’t like the Kennedys doing that kind of crap and covering up their affairs with bribes – that at least borders on criminal behavior. [See, I’m actually criticizing a Democrat.] But not even JFK was brazen enough to hold another woman’s butt in front of his wife, as Schwarzenegger has done on camera.
The 2001 National Enquirer did not have Goyette confirming the affair, as Leigh’s story and a column a week earlier in The Guardian did. The latter British newspaper’s column at http://football.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,4284,1015989,00.html said Goyette made the claim on a TV program called “Arnold Schwarzenegger - Made In Britain.”
On that show, Goyette described herself as not so much a mistress, but as Robot Man’s “avenue of relaxation.” She also explained Schwarzenegger’s fondness for groping this way: “Sure, he will sometimes grab a woman’s ass and say, like, ‘Hey, you’ve got a nice ass.’ But it is just, like, his way of making them feel better. Every woman likes to get a compliment from time to time.”
I’ve never tried giving a woman a “compliment” by grabbing her butt myself, but the men I know who do usually get slapped or scolded – real fast. Some states even arrest men for sexual assault for doing that.
Leigh says that the roots of Schwarzenegger’s attitudes on women date to his Austrian teen-age years. His father, Gustav, worried about Robot Man’s sexuality since he was obsessed with bodybuilding, an activity that, rightly or wrongly, has gay connotations. [As a former high school and college hoopster, I have been in my share of gyms without turning gay. But I admit I received my share of propositions from gay men while there.]
So Gustav encouraged his son to bring girls to their home in Graz. That paid off, Leigh reported. “By the time Arnold was 19 and had come to England to compete in the Mr Universe contest, his appetite for women was well-developed — as was his crude approach to them. Newcastle bodybuilder John Citrone told me: ‘Any time we were in hotels or bars, he’d ask girls straight out: ‘Do you want to come to bed with me?’ He was very forward,’” Leigh reported.
So again, why should I care if the Republican candidate for governor of California is a hypocritical adulterer and groper? Isn’t that only the business of Schwarzenegger and Maria and God, as we Clinton defenders said during the Monica days?
For one thing, the accusations against Schwarzenegger include some that are not just extramarital affairs between consenting adults. Some involve sexual harassment towards women who wanted nothing to do with Robot Man; at least one report involves him slamming the woman against a wall after she said no. That’s a crime in most states, even California.
That’s the most important reason for me pursuing this. Then, I repeat what I wrote in an earlier column: If Schwarzenegger wasn’t hypocritically campaigning as a good family man, taking Maria and the kids with him on campaign stops, I might give him a break. If he was running for mayor of Brentwood, not the most populous U.S. state with the most electoral votes in the life-and-death 2004 presidential race in which we HAVE to kick Bush out of the White House, I might cut him some slack.
If Republicans hadn’t wasted millions in the 1990s investigating President Clinton’s private life and trying to oust him over lying about an affair, I might say “hasta la vista” to my campaign to publicize Republican Schwarzenegger’s extramarital affairs and bold gropings that at least border on sexual assault.
If we knew something about what Schwarzenegger might do as California governor, I might back off. If Schwarzenegger would – or could – tell us his vision for the state or speak about exactly how he will solve California’s earthquake-sized budget woes, I might stop writing right here.
If Bush racketeer Rove hadn’t cynically and secretly engineered this recall after their guy, Richard Riordan, lost in 2002, I might keep my nose in Texas. You really think arch-conservative Rep. Darrell Issa wanted to drop out of this race after spending $2 million of his own bucks to get the damn recall election?
You really think Riordan just decided on his own not to run, especially after Schwarzenegger burned him by giving him indications he might not run and lied about how they both supposedly worked together to maintain suspense? You really think people like former Gov. Pete Wilson just happen to become this political neophyte’s campaign co-chairman?
Fox News even reported that Republican leaders – they mentioned Rove in the story but mostly blamed a Republican California politician in the story at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,94955,00.html - are pressuring more conservative Republicans like Bill Simon, who was the Republican nominee last year against Gov. Gray Davis, and state Sen. Tom McClintock to get out of the race to make it easier for Schwarzenegger. So far, they have resisted the strong-arm tactics, but you wonder how long they can put up with cell phone calls by Rove and others who do his dirty work.
After my columns on Schwarzenegger ran, I have received many emails and read many other reports from people who say they know women who were sexually harassed or had an affair with the Terminator. Someone who contacted me is trying to organize a group that will speak out publicly. If you know a woman who has been sexually harassed by Schwarzenegger and would like to join others in speaking out, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, it was expected that someone like Rob Lowe, who once video-taped a sexual session of him in bed with two women – one of whom was under-aged - during a Democratic National Convention, would join Schwarzenegger’s campaign. After all, they can go out together hunting for under-aged girls to grope. [See, I’m criticizing a Democrat twice in the same column – a record for me.]
But Oprah Winfrey is considering endorsing Robot Man, which would really help his support among women. If you don’t think she should, contact the Oprah Show at http://www.oprah.com/email/tows/email_tows_main.jhtml.
And you can also sign a petition to totally recall Schwarzenegger at http://www.petitiononline.com/schwarze/petition.html. More than 600 people already have signed it in the first few days. If Robot Man does get elected governor, I plan to forward the petition to California Democrats who hopefully will initiate a real recall effort themselves. To sign a petition to oppose the recall, go to http://involve.progressivemajority.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=11167.
While some support me on this campaign, even fellow progressives have told me to lay off this sex stuff and focus on issues like Iraq and the economy. My response is that enough people are focusing on Iraq and the economy. Polls show that most American voters support what Bush is doing in Iraq but not on the economy. So if anything, we should be focusing more on the lousy economy and Bush’s inability to do anything to improve it as he takes another month-long vacation. Oh wait, that’s how Bush is improving the economy, by getting the hell out of the White House and going on vacation. That might work better than tax cuts for the super wealthy.
And I still think that if voters know that Republicans like Schwarzenegger have extramarital affairs and might have even committed assault while publicly acting like good family men, it will affect the way most Americans vote more than most other issues. That’s just the way the game is played these days. I’m not making up the rules, I’m just trying to take full advantage of them.
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 on his Internet site at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonthor/ebook.html. Citizens for Legitimate Government has the earlier version at http://www.legitgov.org/we_will_not_get_over_it.html.