Not surprised by Arnold revelation

The current salacious interest in former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s disintegrating marriage and unethical sexual behavior is, we suppose, only to be expected in our current celebrity and scandal-fueled culture.

But how can anyone express surprise?

Eight years ago, reporters from the Los Angeles Times documented—in great detail, and with a number of identified sources—a lengthy history of sexual harassment, sexual assault and just plain lecherous behavior on the part of then-candidate Schwarzenegger. Instead of taking the reporting seriously, Californians accepted the soon-to-be governor’s not-quite-apology for his prior “bad behavior” and vilified the women who came forward—and the L.A. Times—for “smearing” Schwarzenegger.

These revelations, occurring at the same time as the sexual-assault charges against International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, offer an opportunity to have a conversation about a number of important issues: the privilege that men with power can exercise; our cultural willingness to look the other way when it comes to celebrities, politicians, the rich and the powerful; sexual violence against women; and even whether private sexual behavior like Schwarzenegger’s “secret family” (as opposed to the crime with which Strauss-Kahn is charged) is relevant to politics.

But there’s no reason to be surprised about our former governor. Good reporting by a major news outlet eight years ago had already told us exactly what kind of man we elected.