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The revelation that Arnold Schwarzennegger fathered a child with a member of his household staff shouldn’t really be surprising. As a Los Angelino, I have heard many, many stories about Arnold’s sexual indiscretions, and the only thing shocking is that this didn’t come out earlier.
As with all gossip stories, I try not to pay it too much attention. Schwarzenneger’s personal life is his own business, and has nothing to do with the job he did as governor. The media’s obsession with the personal lives of politicians (and in this case, a retired one) is symptomatic of a deeply corrupt industry that cares little for serious news and more about ratings. It is a giant distraction and not something I will be spending much time discussing. However, given the media’s unquenchable thirst for these type of stories, I do think it interesting that Schwarzenegger was able to keep this away from them for so many years. Breaking a story like this would have made a newspaper or website millions, and knowing the Los Angeles rumor mill, I am astonished no one came forward to spill the beans. Andrew Sullivan concludes the following:
It seems to me that this proves that when a small group of people all have a powerful incentive to lie, it’s amazing what can be done. And this is not the governor of a small-population state far away from the national spotlight. This is the governor of the biggest state, a global super-star, a man known across the planet, subject to massive press exposure, married to a Kennedy. And he got away with it.
While Arnold didn’t turn out to be a particularly good governor, his ability to do what Bill Clinton, John Edwards and a plethora of highly visible politicians could not is incredible.
I’m sure the press will be kicking itself for not digging deeper into Schwarzenegger’s personal life as they missed a potential goldmine. And it’s a pity they wouldn’t feel the same way about a story that actually mattered.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.