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Media Are Starstruck in Their Coverage of Major Candidates

September 05, 2003|From Times Staff Reports

A review of about 8,000 U.S newspapers, magazines and television news show transcripts found Arnold Schwarzenegger with a small lead over Gov. Gray Davis in the number of mentions each received in the national media during August.

Factiva, a commercial information service, counted the number of times the candidates' names appeared in print around the country and ranked the findings in the following order:

Arnold Schwarzenegger -- 3,404 media mentions

Gray Davis -- 3,166

Cruz Bustamante -- 1,450

Arianna Huffington -- 761

Peter V. Ueberroth -- 692

Tom McClintock -- 626

Larry Flynt -- 603

Gary Coleman -- 417

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday September 10, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 82 words Type of Material: Correction
Recall publicity -- An article Friday in Section A about the number of times candidates in the California recall were mentioned in news articles throughout the country during August mistakenly stated that the list of mentions was culled from about 8,000 newspapers, magazines and television news show transcripts. According to a representative of Factiva, the company that conducted the search, 225 print media sources were reviewed for mention of the names of candidates. Factiva's overall database consists of about 8,000 such sources. Launches Anti-Recall Effort

The political arm of, a Web site that has emerged as an influential organizer for liberal causes, announced this week that it was launching a campaign to encourage 1 million voters to cast ballots against the recall.

MoveOn organizers said they would use e-mail and house meetings to ask the group's 1.5 million members and their California friends and relatives to sign a pledge to reject the recall.

The group decided to get involved after members expressed overwhelming opposition to the recall as a Republican effort to thwart last year's election, co-founder Joan Blades said.

No Big Names but a Range of Viewpoints

Six of the lesser-known gubernatorial candidates will gather for a 90-minute debate today in Walnut Creek, Calif., a few miles from where the front-runners met in a televised encounter Wednesday.

"We have Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, all types taking part in this," said Darryl Mobley, an independent candidate from nearby Danville who is organizing the debate. "We wanted to have a chance to have a discussion and get our ideas out there."

Mobley will be joined by Cheryl Bly-Chester, a Republican from Roseville; Jonathan Miller, a Democrat from San Mateo; Ned Roscoe, a Libertarian from Napa; Georgy Russell, a Democrat from Mountain View; and Jon Zellhoefer, a Republican from Mariposa.

The participants were selected by special invitation, Mobley said.

"We wanted to get people who had interesting ideas and real solutions," he said.

Huffington's Tired of Discussing Her Switch

Arianna Huffington is plainly tiring of questions about her transformation from a Republican stalwart into an outspoken liberal pundit and independent gubernatorial candidate.

In an interview Thursday with Larry Mantle of KPCC-FM (89.3), she said: "At some point, there's going to be a statute of limitations about this question, because it's now over seven years ago" that she began to publicly criticize GOP policies in her newspaper columns.

"You know, when I was a Republican, Saddam Hussein was still our ally and Enron was a respected energy company," she said. "That's how long ago that was."

But in 1994, as Huffington campaigned alongside her then-husband Michael, a conservative Republican running for the U.S. Senate, Hussein was no ally.

The U.S. was urging the United Nations not to lift the oil sanctions imposed after the 1991 Persian Gulf War until it could be sure of Hussein's "peaceful intentions."

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