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Talk Amongst Yourselves

Sep
4
2003

Over at Slate, Michael Kinsley and Mickey Kaus are going at it over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s now-controversial Oui magazine interview.
This is the one where Arnold, then a stoner weight-lifter and 29-year-old documentary movie star, talks trash about the size of his penis (judge for yourself) and his participation in a gang-bang.
Kaus says A.S. made it all up to impress the interviewer who, after all, was writing for a porn mag. Kinsley says even if that’s true, it’s still gross.
This is what political commentary has come to and it’s ridiculous. Kaus is apologizing for Schwarzenegger which is something the Austrian Iron Man isn’t even bothering to do for himself. And Kinsley is just demonstrating the prudery that characterizes much of the working political press by saying it’s not what they think — it’s what they think their readers think — that matters in these sorts of discussions. You know what? Readers are getting tired of people telling them what they think they think.
Like the strong-willed egomaniac that he is — how do you think he got where he is? — Schwarzenegger’s certainly hasn’t bothered to worry about what the press thinks about him. That’s why he could give a damn about some trash talk 30 years go. It’s why he’s skipping debates. It’s an interesting tactic — and it may not work — but it’s almost refreshing.
The only other guy doing this is Howard Dean. Dean could give a damn about what anyone holding a pen thinks of him. And, well, that’s working too, isn’t it?

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 2:32 PM | Permalink

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