The three-ring media circus is finally over #045; or is it?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

OK. It's finally over, thank God! I don't know if I could have taken another week of it.

What am I talking about? The California recall election, of course.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the

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muscleman-turned-actor, is the new governor of the Golden State. Congratulations, Arnold. I mean, if an ex-wrestler such as Jesse Ventura can lead a state, I guess you can, too.

Arnold came out on top despite last-minute character attacks. In recent days, he was accused of groping more than 15 women and admiring Adolf Hitler.

Since the election was certified in July, it has been very difficult to take the

recall election of former Gov. Gray Davis seriously. The whole thing, with the on-again and off-again battles in court and 135 candidates, has been a three-ring circus. The only people we were missing were the bearded lady, the sword swallower and the clowns (although I heard both Bozo and Flippo were interested at one time).

The candidate list was not just long, it was ridiculous.

Other candidates included a former child actor with a tainted past (Gary Coleman), a twenty-something porn

star ("Mary Carey" Cook), a porn peddler (Larry Flynt), a one-named billboard goddess (Angelyne) and

a Sumo wrestler (Kurt E."Tachikaze" Rightmyer), to name a few. The only person with true political experience getting ink, other than Davis, were Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz, Bustamante, who finished second to Schwarzenegger, and Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock.

A recall election is, or

at least it should be, a serious matter. Such elections are reserved in most states for the removal of individuals who have committed crimes or otherwise shown themselves unfit to govern. Even though Davis has not been particularly successful as governor - Californians face an $8 billion state budget deficit, persistent unemployment and struggling schools - he is not, to my knowledge, a criminal.

The media are not helping any since they are treating the whole matter as a circus. Late night TV shows are having a blast, and some newspapers and magazines are running political cartoons and stories on some of the more absurd candidates in jest. It is hard to take this election seriously when it is being made out to be a big joke.

When it's all said and done, this election will make the Florida 2000 election look like a well-organized process.

Shawn Doyle is managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached by calling (740) 532-1445, ext 19 or by e-mail (shawn.doyle