Larry Elder

The Los Angeles Times, only days before the Oct. 7 California recall election, published a front-page article alleging that Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger groped six women. Only two women gave their names, with four refusing to disclose them. Of the anonymous women, three still work in the Hollywood industry, and refuse to give their names, fearing reprisals. The fourth, while not in the industry, nevertheless feared a mega-reaction if she revealed her name.

The Los Angeles Times admitted that they assigned several reporters who spent seven weeks investigating alleged instances of sexual misconduct by Schwarzenegger. They also admitted that none of the women came forward or that any of the incidents came to light as a result of information provided by any of Schwarzenegger's "rivals." (Technically, this excludes Governor Gray Davis as the governor's name, by law, does not appear on the replacement ballot.)

No one excuses sexual misconduct -- groping, unsolicited touching or crude remarks and cad-like behavior. Indeed, Schwarzenegger, while not addressing the specific allegations, apologized for past improper behavior and apologized to women whom he offended. The next day, and the day after, the Times published allegations of yet more women who also accused Schwarzenegger of improper sexual behavior.

First, let's discuss timing. One day before the allegations were printed, the Los Angeles Times published a poll showing that the majority of Californians supported the recall and 40 percent intended to vote for Schwarzenegger for governor, putting him over 10 points ahead of his nearest rival. Then -- bam! -- come the allegations.

Also, the Los Angeles Times, on the first page on the same day, ran a headline accusing of Schwarzenegger of taking his election for granted, with a headline called, "Acting as if It's in the Bag." Note the "acting" reference, a dig at Schwarzenegger's presumed lack of qualifications for the office. The article suggested Schwarzenegger engaged in smugness by outlining a 10-step plan for his first hundred days in office. Yet, the same day, in an editorial, the L.A. Times chastised anyone for voting for empty-suit-Schwarzenegger because, according to the paper, he lacked a specific agenda or plan to bail California out of its fiscal jam. So which is it? The "actor" as unprepared to lead, or the "actor" as arrogantly preparing to do so?

The Los Angeles Times, understand, supported Gray Davis when he first ran, supported him again for re-election, and editorialized strongly against the recall.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.