When a reporter asked Schwarzenegger last week to detail his position on the environment, Arnold made do with "I will fight for the environment. Nothing to worry about." Uh-huh. When Diane Sawyer asked his opinion on gay marriage, the would-be governor answered, "I don't want to get into that now." I see. And when asked how he would fix the state's fiscal crisis, Schwarzenegger replied: "I will be there for everybody, young and old, men and women alike." Gotcha.
There are the press rumbles in the distance suggesting the media's growing discomfort with this unserious recall campaign. That would be good, except to see how some in the media choose to make this "serious" makes me pine for more Terminator lines.
On the August 7 "Today" show, Katie Couric was ready to talk seriously about Schwarzenegger's candidacy, and posed this "question" to Democratic strategist Darry Sragow: "Let me ask you about his baggage, if you will. He's admitted smoking marijuana, using steroids … He's the son of a Nazi Party member … Through his publicist he's denied allegations … that he sexually harassed women and committed infidelity. All those things, are they gonna be front and center, Darry, do you think, in this campaign?"
But just four days later, Couric did a complete back flip when she posed this question to candidate Bill Simon: "According to the New York Daily News, it says a Simon strategist said, 'His lagging campaign plans to win by stirring up the base, spotlighting the actor's raunchy past and liberal social views.' How dirty will you get?"
Moral of the story: Only hypocritical reporters are allowed to hurl mud.
The Cato Institute governor-watchers gave Gray Davis an F rating last year. He has "become one of the biggest spending governors in California history." Spending went up 13 percent in 1999-2000, and then rose another 14 percent in 2001-2002. Davis bungled the state's energy crisis by locking in electricity prices at two to three times the market price. The bond rating has been downgraded twice in his tenure.
The news media should be covering the real issues, accurately explaining the problem, and challenging all real candidates to present their comprehensive solutions to solve the crisis. Until they do, they will be as guilty of promulgating this charade as that midget actor and hybrid driver.
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