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Explanation of Schwarzenegger Article

October 14, 2003

I was one of those many Angelenos who was dead set against the recall until I read what I took to be your totally sleazy piece on Arnold Schwarzenegger's sexual misconduct and changed my vote. Times Editor John S. Carroll's "The Story Behind the Story" (Commentary, Oct. 12) only adds insult to injury.

"The reporters," writes Carroll, "began trying to find the women. It is hard to overstate the amount of wasted time such work entails." You bet! Doesn't it occur to Carroll that if it is all that hard to find "the women" -- women who could have come forward years ago and probably made a lot of money by pressing charges against the film star -- perhaps the "humiliation" he speaks of couldn't have amounted to much? Was it hard in 1992 to find the women with whom Bill Clinton had dallied? Or did Gennifer Flowers manage to speak up on her own?

Marjorie Perloff

Pacific Palisades

*

I commend Carroll. I needed to read the stories about the 16 women who claimed that they had been sexually mistreated by Schwarzenegger before I voted. Unlike many Republicans whose family values seem to be highly flexible, I believe that whether a candidate treats women with respect is an indication not only of his overall character but also of his ability to make unbiased policy decisions as governor.

Laura F. Meyers

Marina del Rey

*

As Charles Foster Kane, the protagonist of the movie "Citizen Kane" put it, "I think it would be fun to own a newspaper." Carroll is obviously having fun. In his commentary, he cites three options for the Schwarzenegger stories: publish late in the campaign, publish after the campaign is over or never publish. But he overlooks the obvious fourth choice raised in the commentary itself: publish when the information first became known, i.e., when the so-called "gossip" about Schwarzenegger reached its "peak," ostensibly in March 2001, when the Premiere magazine article "Arnold the Barbarian" was published. Schwarzenegger was a public figure even then. How convenient of Carroll to overlook this fourth choice and not explain why The Times did not investigate at that time.

Arnold G. Regardie

Los Angeles

*

Thank you for not giving in to those who would like The Times' motto to be: "Only the news you want to hear."

Edric Cane

Tujunga

*

Carroll's commentary stated, "Critics have accused the newspaper of malice toward Republicans.... " Gee whiz, how could we possibly think you would stoop so low? After all, your explanation for your Arnold-bashing was that "the examination was part of a broader look at all the leading candidates.... "

I'm sure you also unleashed legions of smut seekers on them. Somehow I must have missed the headlines.

Henry Hulan

Upland

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