By Michael Reagan
October 06, 2003
Some time ago, I wrote that given the current political climate, where smearing an opponent is the favorite strategy of the many demagogues running for office or seeking to hang onto a job they hold, I would not think about being a candidate for any public office.
At the time I said that I would never want to be put into a position of going home to my family and having to explain all the slanderous lies that would be told about me during the campaign.
As I look at what the thoroughly discredited governor of California and his conscienceless allies in the media are doing to Arnold Schwarzenegger, I realize just how right I was.
Nowadays, any Republican candidate can expect to have a lot of sleazy private detectives rummaging around in their backgrounds looking for material that can be made to look damaging. And right behind them will be the liberal media ready to spring whatever the scandal merchants unearth, preferably in the very last days of the campaign when there is little or no time to counter the lies.
Winston Churchill once described the strategy he used in World War II to deceive the enemy as a campaign of "truth surrounded by a bodyguard of lies." That's what we are seeing today - nuggets of truth which Arnold Schwarzenegger readily admits, accompanied by such lies as the deliberate distortion of a statement he made many years ago about Adolf Hitler, a man he has repeatedly condemned over the years.
According to reports, Schwarzenegger was as quoted as saying about Hitler, "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for his way of getting to the people and so on. But I didn't admire him for what he did with it."
But in the early editions of the liberal New York Times the quote was misstated having him saying that "I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."
There's a word for that: despicable. The Times initially ran with a bogus story they knew could severely damage Schwarzenegger's reputation without verifying the poisonous quote.
Susan Estrich is a liberal Democrat, not noted for coming to the aid of Republican candidates. Yet in her column in the Los Angeles Times she let loose a broadside against the 'Deplorable' L.A. Times for its unabashed anti-Schwarzenegger coverage.
Noting that none of the six women interviewed by the Times ever filed charges, that four were quoted anonymously and that "of the two who were named, one, a British television hostess, had told her story to Premiere magazine years ago, and it has been widely known and largely ignored. The other recounts an alleged incident of fondling at Gold's Gym nearly 30 years ago."
She adds that "none of these women, as The Times emphasizes, ever came forward to complain. The newspaper went looking for them, and then waited until five days before the election to tell the fragments of the story.
"What this story accomplishes is less an attack on Schwarzenegger than a smear on the press. It reaffirms everything that's wrong with the political process. Anonymous charges from years ago made in the closing days of a campaign undermine fair politics."
She ended her column by writing that the rabidly pro-Democrat Times "has been acting more like a cheerleader for Gray Davis than an objective source of information," and she predicts voters will reject the smear "as more Davis-like dirty politics."
She concludes: "To his credit, Schwarzenegger apologized for 'behaving badly.' So should the Los Angeles Times."
Instead of apologizing, the Times came up with three more women with similar complaints, two of which the Schwarzenegger campaign promptly branded as false.
A long time ago I wrote about conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and others that they should "Look over your shoulder ... be careful what you do. They're watching you. Spit on the sidewalk and they'll be on your back like a pack of hungry wolves going for the kill. If you're a liberal Democrat, however, you don't have to worry. With you anything goes. Ask Bill Clinton."
Arnold Schwarzenegger now knows
what I was talking about and so does Rush.
Mike's column is distributed to subscribers for publication by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc.