Another Associated Press Lie — About the Guvernator This Time

A number of sites, including WizBang are pointing out another lie from the Associated Press, this time one that relies on a major distortion of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech at the Republican National Convention.

According to the Associated Press, Schwarznegger couldn’t have seen Soviet tanks as a boy as he claimed,

Austrian historians are challenging California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for telling the Republican National Convention that he saw Soviet tanks in his homeland as a child and that he left a “Socialist” country when he moved away in 1968.

Recalling that the Soviets once occupied part of Austria in the aftermath of World War II, Schwarzenegger told the convention on Tuesday: “I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes.”

Historians, however, are questioning Schwarzenegger’s version of postwar history — if not his enduring popularity among Austrians who admire him for rising from a penniless immigrant to the highest official in America’s most populous state.

“It’s a fact — as a child he could not have seen a Soviet tank in Styria,” the southeastern province where Schwarzenegger was born and raised, historian Stefan Karner told the Vienna newspaper Kurier.

But Schwarzenegger was quite clear in his speech that he saw tanks when he visited the Soviet-occupied part of Austria, not in his hometown which was not under Soviet occupation,

When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector.

The Associated Press can’t be bothered to include the “I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector” line from the speech. Thank goodness we have major media organizations to act as gatekeepers and filter out unimportant information before it reaches the masses.


Historians dispute Schwarzenegger’s convention comments. Associated Press, September 3, 2004.

Al Franken, Dennis Miller and George Clooney Are No Arnold Schwarzenegger

Newsweek speculates on whether other Hollywood types like Al Franken, Dennis Miller and George Clooney might jump into politics given the success of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe they will, but I suspect all three are unelectable.

Each of these three have both engaged in relatively partisan and frequently extremely mean spirited attacks on those they disagree with. This is in contrast to Schwarzenegger whose campaign platform seemed to be that he a) opposed taxes, b) supports lots of spending, and c) loves children.

Frankly I was a bit surprised at the conservative bloggers and others who embraced the actor while he ran what had to be the most vacuous political campaign that I can remember watching. All of those ridiculous stereotypes that Ronald Reagan was stupid fit Schwarzenegger perfectly. For someone who apparently thought about public office for a long time, Schwarzenegger acted as if he had never actually thought much beyond the fact that it would be nice to be Governor.

And the thing is that this is not actually a bad place to be in American politics at the moment. With an elite political culture increasingly addicted to the nonsense put out by the Michael Moores and Ann Coulters of the world, a good looking candidate who really, really cares about the children looks to be a winning product (it got so bad, that I swear Schwarzenegger mentioned “the children” even more than John Kerry mentions Vietnam).

Schwarzenegger vs. PETA

The San Francisco Chronicle reported in August that Arnold Schwarzenegger had asked People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to remove from their site a quote from Schwarzenegger that appears in the film, “Pumping Iron.”

In the documentary about the Mr. Universe competition, Schwarzenegger tells the filmmakers that “Milk is for babies.”

PETA has a page on its MilkSucks.Com web site in which it tries to link Schwarzenegger’s 26-year-old statement to PETA’s nonsensical claims about milk. In an effort to milk the media phenomenon over the California governor recall effort, PETA also apparently is trying to place a billboard featuring a photograph of Schwarzenegger with the “Milk is for babies” quote.

The Chronicle quoted an unnamed PETA source as saying,

That quote has been up for a long time and we suspect that they’re just trying to get it removed now because he doesn’t want to upset the dairy industry. It’s utterly ridiculous, so to speak.


Arnold’s Campaign Concerns. San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2003.

Pumping Iron, Dumping Milk. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Undated.

Equal Time Idiocy and Arnold Schwarzenegger: Let Them Make FIlms

The candidacy of Arnold Schwarzengger for Governor of California is demonstrating the absurdity of equal time provisions. These would really only apply to broadcast stations, especially those in California, but a number of cable outlets have decided to pull Schwarzenegger’s films until the end of the election as well (thankfully TNT seems to be showing nothing but Schwarzenegger films lately — they’ve shown Predator two or three times in the last week).

Like I said, I think equal time provisions are pointless and a violation of the First Amendment, but if they’re going to be there anyway, the requirement out to be that if a candidate wants equal time the broadcaster only has to provide it if the candidate can provide content comparable to what the broadcaster originally aired.

For example, suppose a local California station shows “Predator” and Gary Coleman wants equal time. Fine, but Coleman has to submit an 80 minute movie showing him kicking alien ass.

If Bill Simon has a fit because a network broadcast “True Lies,” that’s his right, but if he wants to respond he has to deliver his campaign message in the context of saving the country from nondescript terrorists trying to detontate a nuclear bomb while simultaneously making us believe he’d even have a shot with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Or suppose Gray Davis wants to get in on the act after an airing of “Total Recall.” So Davis would have to submit a drama full of plot holes featuring him constantly shifting identities (or, in this case, the judges would likely rule that tapes of Simon’s campaign speeches about the size of the California deficit from the last election would also meet this criteria).