Revelations that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a long-time employee certainly cast new light on his character, but they also illuminate the character of the media.
On the one hand, ten years of press silence on this scandal—despite reports in European tabloids—indicate that U.S. journalists may not pursue a partisan, leftist agenda as ruthlessly as conservatives suspect. Arnold might have lost either of his gubernatorial races to liberal Democrats had his personal problems received more intensive publicity.
On the other hand, media observe a code of silence about womanizing by most politicos until some outrageous embarrassment suddenly explodes, as with John Edwards or IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Reporters feel queasy about emphasizing these stories because they know marital and sexual misbehavior is common among powerful people—particularly, perhaps, among major figures in media.