The back story of how a 1977 interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a now-defunct sex magazine got to be the latest hot story of the campaign is a tale of intrigue on the Internet.
It started with the Web site of online journalist Mickey Kaus.
"Where's all that Arnold dirt?" read a bold-faced plaint that Kaus posted Aug. 22 on his site, a must-read for the small but connected network of pundits, journalists and various other fans of political news analysis. He got an answer, of sorts, at 9:46 a.m. Tuesday from a man whom Kaus identified only as from the Midwest.
"He says, 'Where's the dirt? Well, it's probably in this magazine I have at home that I intend to put up for sale on EBay,' " Kaus recalled Thursday, paraphrasing the e-mail writer. "He says, 'Why haven't more people tracked this down?' " Kaus was curious. "I sent him an e-mail back saying, 'What's in it?' "
The e-mail writer said he would fill Kaus in later after he, himself, read the story carefully.
About 10:30 that night, the e-mail writer responded with a summary of the question-and-answer interview in which Schwarzenegger, then a young bodybuilder, detailed some of his sexual escapades. "He included quotes and the EBay listing," Kaus said. "At first I thought, do I trust this guy? Is it a hoax?"