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Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2003 at 9:12 PM
We wanted Oprah to ask Arnold Schwarzenegger the tough questions. She didn't.
Should someone be elected governor just because he and his wife had a chummy, chatty interview with someone who's been their friend for nearly 30 years?
Should someone be inflicted on millions of people just because he had the courage to make a "personal journey" decision to enter politics?
His wife loves him and supports his "dream" (which, if successful, would affect all of our dreams). Does that mean we should all support his dream?
Code Pink, the women's peace group, was trying to get Oprah to ask Arnold and Maria the hard questions. It now appears that she largely missed that opportunity. Focusing mostly on her personal friendship with the gov wannabe and his wife, she only brought up the controversial topics in the most timorous way, and accepted the vague, evasive replies offered by the couple.
Actually, it was a disgraceful display of narcissism and self-absorption. The whole "personal journey" angle tends to obliterate questions about the personal journeys of millions of Californians. The "man I love" angle obliterates questions about why the rest of us should love him enough to accept him as our governor. The "I want to contribute something" angle obliterates the fact that millions of people would like to contribute something, but we only want the best one of them to be governor.
Arnold admitted he's still learning about the issues. There are others who have mastered the issues. So why should Arnold be governor instead of any of them?
Most hilarious of all was Maria's appeal for the press to respect the couple's "privacy." For Pete's sake! We are not talking about a celebrity couple that made a controversial artistic decision or business endeavor, we are talking about a couple that wants to take over our state and change all of our lives! We have the right to know if we're electing a sexual predator to the highest office.
If Arnold and Maria are so concerned about privacy, why didn't Arnold respect the privacy of a forty-year-old woman on the set of "Terminator 2" whose breasts he reportedly pulled out and fondled without being invited? That would be enough to get a non-celebrity jailed and registered as a sexual predator for the rest of his life! This man's celebrity arrogance is truly disgusting.
Most disgraceful of all, for Oprah, is the fact that she showed so much care and concern for her longtime friends without displaying the slightest bit of concern for the people of California. Throughout the whole charade, no one mentioned a single important issue in California, except toward the end when Arnold made some vague references to the economy and Workman's Comp. Hey, Oprah! You may have been immersed in the world of celebrities for years, but this is not about your friends; it's about millions of us non-celebrity Californians!
The least Oprah can do is invite other California candidates on her show. If she doesn't, then today's show was nothing more than unpaid political propaganda. Surely Oprah is sophisticated enough to know that when you give air time to an active political candidate, you are helping their campaign. At least, she knew this three years ago, when she gave equal time to Bush and Gore.
Some other observations:
Instead of asking Arnold and Maria, straight up, whether the allegations were true, Oprah timidly asked whether there was anything "behind" the allegations, and whether there was "some of that" exaggeration when Arnold gave those interviews. Instead of saying that the allegations were untrue, Maria said that people can say what they want in a free press, but did not mention the existence of libel laws as a check on that. Instead of saying the allegations were untrue, Arnold repeated his excuse that he "said outrageous things" to publicize body-building, and that he didn't remember any interviews or parties. Way to dodge!
Arnold said that the 70's were a "crazy decade," but nobody, neither Oprah nor anyone else, mentioned the vilest allegation of all: the incident on the set of "Terminator 2", which Premiere Magazine reported as happening in 1991. It seems that everyone in the big media would rather forget about that one, when that's the one that should be forgotten least of all: it's the incident that comes closest to non-consensual sexual assault. (And if it's not true, why wasn't Premiere ever sued for libel?)
Some delightful Arnoldisms:
He doesn't care that all the big Democrats, like Bill Clinton, are coming to California to fight the recall, because, Arnold self-righteously preens, "it's between me and the people...I talk to the people." Well, actually, Clinton and Davis are talking to the people too, at churches and town meetings. Sometimes, unlike Arnold, they take tough questions at those meetings.
He justifies his avoidance of every debate but one on the grounds that he'll only go to the "biggest" debate, the one on September 24. "I didn't compete for Mr. Venice Beach, I went straight for Mr. Olympia!" What Arnold fails to mention is that that debate, which he calls the "biggest" one, is the only one where the candidates get the questions in advance. Nobody on the show mentioned that Arnold has also ducked press conferences, interviews with any interviewer who isn't a personal friend or who might be tough on him, town hall meetings where the guests haven't all been specifically invited, or any situation that may be unscripted or unfriendly. Basically, he's coming off as a coward rather than a man of the people.
He says that the opposition to the recall is based on the Democrats' concern about the 2004 presidential race rather than "the issues facing California." Well......I didn't hear very much about "the issues facing California" on this show, either.
Some delightful moments from Maria:
"He doesn't care what people think of him." Ummmm.....since he's trying to get people to vote for him, doesn't it sort of matter what people think of him? This could only be seen as a Freudian slip from an elitist mindset.
And, the BEST MOMENT of the show: Maria covering her husband's mouth!!!! Isn't that just an apt metaphor for Arnold's whole campaign???
Don't be fooled! Don't vote for the "Hypocrator"!
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||Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 4:38 AM
||Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 5:12 AM
||The ghost of Sen. Joseph McCarthy
||Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 7:20 AM
|Equal Time IS important!!!!
||Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 8:54 AM
||Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2003 at 9:02 AM
|Arnold and the scamgals
||Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 6:51 PM
||Saturday, Nov. 08, 2003 at 4:35 PM
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