A May 23 Newsmax column by James Hirsen offers up an interesting explanation for why Arnold Schwarzenegger largely escaped scrutiny for his affairs and mistreatment of women: Body-building magazines that Schwarzenegger served as editor of were purchased by the publisher of the National Enquirer, and with that came a hands-off policy on Schwarzenegger.
But Hirsen is ignoring the role Newsmax played in trying to distract from those allegations when Schwarzenegger ran for California governor.
An Oct. 5, 2003, article followed in the footsteps of the Media Research Center when the Los Angeles Times reported numerous instances of groping of women by Schwarzenegger -- downplay and distract by playing the Clinton card:
Nothing that Arnold stands accused of comes remotely close to the charge by Juanita Broaddrick, who was subjected to a thorough FBI investigation and vetted by NBC News for a full five weeks before the network would even consider broadcasting her account of a sexual assault by Mr. Clinton.
Arnold may have indeed groped and grabbed his way through his movie days, but his accusers' complaints pale next to Paula Jones' lurid account, not to mention the accusations of Juanita Broaddrick and the "young woman lawyer in Little Rock."
Newsmax pushed the usual misleading claims against Clinton, such as that Broaddrick "had five witnesses who corroborated her story." But as we've noted, there were actually only three, and two of them held a grudge against Clinton for commuting the death sentence of the man who murdered their father.
An Oct. 6, 2003, Newsmax article trumpeted how "LA Weekly has found plenty of holes in the rag's story Saturday about three more women accusing Arnold Schwarzenegger of sexual misconduct" and how "A thousand readers disgusted with the rag's extreme bias have canceled their subscriptions." Newsmax added, "The hacks at the Times still fail to give satisfactory explanations about why they attack Schwarzenegger so prominently for claims of mere groping but buried news of alleged rape by Bill Clinton."
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy also played a role in downplaying and equivocating:
A liberal Democrat can be addicted to prescription drugs and we would be told to offer that person pity. Serial skirt-chasers in the Democratic Party never make it to the news.
While neither I nor NewsMax dismisses the seriousness of the allegations made against both Rush and Arnold, they are, at this point, simply unsubstantiated allegations.
I am not jumping to a conclusion about Rush or Arnold – not because they are Republicans – but because I am an American who believes in fair play. I want to hear all the facts first before making a judgment.
Ruddy parroted the usual media-bashing, grousing that "the Los Angeles Times has made clear to the world it is nothing more than a shill for the Democratic Party. It has sought to 'torpedo' Schwarzenegger’s campaign with last-minute allegations, some more than two decades old!"
Hirsen shouldn't pretend that his employer had no role in giving Schwarzenegger's indiscretions a pass.