, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I anchored news coverage for KPFK radio in Los Angeles during Governor Davis’s Recall to perhaps a quarter million listeners. Backed by solid investigative reporting and original interviews with numerous sources, my staff and I wrote what I would deliver after Schwarzenegger declared victory.

I co-authored and authorized the use of these words to introduce the new Governor. Much thought and weeks of effort went into it – listen:

I was initially suspended for my actions, but listeners protected me and I defended myself with sources and original reporting we had done into Schwarzenegger’s background for each of the adjectives we used to describe the new Governor.

In the end the phrase “sexual predator” was the issue. But I had, myself personally interviewed women for our news program who claimed it. Several others on our staff had interviewed other women complaining of it as well.

These were women who had been unheard by the State, likely because of Schwarzenegger’s power. We were the only news outlet affording them airtime. I made that call. As a journalist, I felt obliged.

I don’t know if anyone else described it like this on mass media, but I doubt it. Now years  later, Arnold’s sexual problems have been revealed publicly and his marriage dissolved from it. We were right. We said it … and few people heard.

and just a few minutes later, I was asked to describe and explain it to Londoners, who were just waking up to the fact that the movie actor Arnold Schwarzenegger had just won the Governorship of California.

MTK on British morning drive time radio.

That was 12 years ago, I was 33 and a news director with the backing of a huge progressive community in Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network – we were a voice for that community. That was the last of many lonely moments in that year for myself and our listeners.

An Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, stole the Governorship of California because Democrats couldn’t effectively prevent a Republican-forced Recall Election of Governor Gray Davis, nor, once the Recall was in effect, competently back the supremely qualified Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante to victory (many in the State claimed it was because he was a Latino. ouch … 2003.)