There were lots of people in 2003, me included, who couldn’t fathom why anyone in California would want Arnold Schwarzenegger to be their governor.
He wasn’t that smart. He had no good ideas. He had a Australia-sized dose of charisma and charm, sure. But the man was repeatedly exposed as a sexist, serial groper of women, and even though California was in awful shape then (though now it’s in worse shape, of course), I couldn’t possibly understand why anyone would vote for him.
Well, eight years later, here’s Arnold. He left California in awful shape, and it turns out the lovely Maria Shriver left him after finding out Arnold cheated on her and has a child with another woman.
What a disgrace. And to think he got to lead one of the biggest states in the union.
The brilliant L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez, a Schwarzenegger skeptic from Day 1, has written this terrific piece about the former governor.
I read it and just shook my head. The leaders we choose aren’t always what we deserve…
**Next week brings the publication of a brand-new book about one of my favorite subjects: ESPN. Like many of you, I’m sure, I used to love the now-enormous media giant. And then slowly, slowly, slowly as it grew so gigantic, little parts of its soul started melting away, piece by piece, until finally last summer, in one of the low points of our civilization, they allowed LeBron James to hijack the network for one giant French kiss to himself.
Anyway, telling the story of the history of ESPN has been attempted before, but never quite to this extent. James Miller and Tom Shales, who wrote the fabulous book “Live from New York” about Saturday Night Live, have written the story of ESPN’s rise. They interviewed 550 people, and apparently there’s a lot of good and bad in there.
The good: Lots of creative, brilliant people worked there, including Keith Olbermann (who gets praised and savaged in this excerpt I highly recommend).
The bad: A culture of sexual harassment was rampant, and egos were out of control, leading to so many bad ideas.
As much as I’ve grown to dislike ESPN, I do love it for one thing: Its explosion led to so many more televised sports events. Which is a good thing for nuts like me.
Check out the book on Amazon here.