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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

LA Times defends its Arnold stories

As the Schwarzenegger story came into focus, these were our choices:
  • Publish it late in the campaign. Given the passions of the election, this would touch off an outcry against the newspaper. We had no illusion that it would be warmly received.
  • Hold it and publish after the election. This would prompt anger among citizens who expect the newspaper to treat them like adults and give them all the information it has before they cast their votes.
  • Never publish it. This could be justified only if the story were untrue or insignificant.

We, of course, chose the first option. Regrets? Not one.

When the story was published, Schwarzenegger admitted that he had "behaved badly" in the past and offered a general apology to any women he had offended. At another point, he said, "I have never grabbed anyone and pulled up their shirt and grabbed their breasts and stuff like that." But when asked whether he was denying all the stories about grabbing, he said, "No, not all." At still another point, he questioned the credibility of some of the women.

But the facts in the Times stories have not been seriously challenged.