Archive for May, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the news again these days in a most negative and conspicuous way. After years of covering up the existence of a ‘love child’ who was the result of an extra-marital affair with his housekeeper of many years, Schwarzenegger finally came clean. But not without incident. You see, people still seem to think that politicians and celebrities should lead exemplary moral lives, and that they should keep their pants on at all times. And what continues to amaze me is the ridiculously naive and narrow-minded view people have of celebrities in general. It almost seems that people are shocked to hear that someone famous has done something illicit or in bad form…like they’re not human or something. And then to follow the act up with the speculation that this person will never work again…PALLLLLEASE! Politicians and actors all get their dirty laundry aired in the media. And the aftermath is (almost) always as the adage goes…”Even bad publicity is good publicity”. Or in other words, the more degenerate and scandalous the news story is…the more people enjoy it, or should I say ‘buy’ it. I guarantee you that Schwarzenegger will live through his ‘bad’ press despite being married to a Kennedy, and come out smelling like a rose. And Hollywood? Oh…they’ll probably give him a raise, because he’s created some buzz for them to work with. Thats just the way it is.

Below is CNN’s take on the story…read on:

By Michael Martinez, CNN Los Angeles
May 22, 2011

There is nothing ordinary about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Champion bodybuilder. Blockbuster film actor. A married-in (for now) member of the Kennedy family. Recent governor of the most populous state of the most powerful nation on Earth. And an Austrian immigrant, to top it all off.

Now, the extraordinary man known for outsized achievements is perhaps at the biggest crossroads of his life following the revelation that he fathered a child with his family’s housekeeper of 20 years, analysts say.

‘Shoe leather’ leads to Schwarzenegger’s secret son

Everything seems on the line: his marriage, his acting career and his post-governorship ambition to become a sort of statesman.

Can the man known for superhuman accomplishments pull himself out of a self-made mess worthy of Hercules’ Twelve Labors?

“This is not a positive, extraordinary moment,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development who has closely followed Schwarzenegger’s career, especially as governor.

“I believe from day one that what he would do with his post-governorship was model it after the post-presidency — ironically — of Bill Clinton,” who formed a foundation, promoted international causes, served as a diplomat and even negotiated the release of American journalists from North Korea, Jeffe said.

“But Schwarzenegger is radioactive right now,” Jeffe continued. “When Bill Clinton began, he was (several) years away from the Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment situation. So there’s been a bit of time between when he was able to reshape his image. I don’t see Arnold being able to put together that agenda at this time. Can you imagine him being now received by Elizabeth II, or anyone else for that matter?”

“I don’t think that’s going to work for a while,” Jeffe added.

When Schwarzenegger left the governor’s office last year because of term limits, his ratings were at a historic low, 22%, matching Democratic predecessor Gray Davis’ ratings just before a recall election ejected Davis from office, according to a Field Poll. That rating equaled the lowest ever given to a sitting governor in the more than 50 years that the Field Poll has been surveying the public.

Jeffe said Schwarzenegger’s woes grew from the state’s staggering deficit, despite his pledge to straighten out the finances.

Meanwhile Schwarzenegger, 63, has been forced to also place his movie comeback on hold.

Plans have also been halted to produce “The Governator,” a children’s comic book and TV show based on Schwarzenegger’s life. The title is a play on his successful “Terminator” films.

Hollywood media expert Michael Levine, a publicist who has represented 58 Oscar winners, called the Schwarzenegger love child revelation as “the most outrageous Hollywood scandal since the Woody Allen controversy in 1992,” when Allen, then in his mid-50s, declared he was having an affair with 21-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his longtime partner, Mia Farrow. Allen and Previn married in 1997.

“He was a terrible governor. Not mediocre. Terrible,” Levine said. “Politics: dead. Over. Forget it.”

“Now, Hollywood, he can try over a period of time to redeem his career, but I think that’s going to be very difficult because he’s an action star and he’s aging, and generally Americans like their action stars younger,” Levine said.

Female filmgoers are now going to have trouble with Schwarzenegger, Levine added.

“I don’t think what’s happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger is a crowd pleaser to women,” he said.

Yet Levine acknowledged how unpredictable Hollywood can be.

“History hasn’t been kind to people who have underestimated Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he said. “Prophecy is dubious business.”

On the home front in Los Angeles, he and Maria Shriver, 55, have put their marriage of 25 years on ice and have separated.

They have four children together, and one of them has shown signs of distress by changing his last name to Shriver on his Twitter account.

Complicating his family relationships is the love child, a boy who’s now 13 and was born less than a week after Shriver gave birth to their youngest child, another son, Christopher.

“This is a man who reinvented himself so many times,” said Wendy Walsh, an author and psychology expert who holds a doctorate in the field. “I don’t think he will ever have back the family in the way he had them. If he comes out of the other side of this, and if he uses this crisis to grow, he will be a different person.”

His relationship with his children — now five, not four — will be challenging, Walsh said.

“The question is how trustful will they be and how forgiving they will be — for all five,” including the love child, Walsh said. “Now there is a kid who’s traumatized, the youngest one living in suburban Bakersfield (California), living away from his half-siblings.”

“For the rest of his life, he’s going to watch his half-siblings live in mansions,” she said.

Less secretive, better relationships, a more authentic self — these are some remedies that Schwarzenegger needs to pursue, Walsh said.

“He’s got a pile of money on his hands and a lot of time. What’s he going to do with it?” Walsh said. “And he basically needs to keep his pants zipped for a couple of decades. And then people will go and pay to see his movies.”

 Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.

The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.

None of the men looked like bin Laden. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool.

“I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk,” Obama told the CBS program “60 Minutes.”

Based on the time-stamps on the pictures, the earliest one was dated May 2, 2:30 a.m., approximately an hour after the completion of the raid in which bin Laden was killed.

Other photos, taken hours later at between 5:21 a.m. and 6:43 a.m. show the outside of the trash-strewn compound and the wreckage of the helicopter the United States abandoned. The tail assembly is unusual, and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability.

Reuters is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because details in the photos appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday.

U.S. forces lost a helicopter in the raid due to a mechanical problem and later destroyed it.

The pictures are also taken in sequence and are all the same size in pixels, indicating they have not been tampered with. The time and date in the photos as recorded in the digital file’s metadata match lighting conditions for the area as well as the time and date imprinted on the image itself.

The close-cropped pictures do not show any weapons on the dead men, but the photos are taken in medium close-up and often crop out the men’s hands and arms.

One photo shows a computer cable and what looks like a child’s plastic green and orange water pistol lying under the right shoulder of one of the dead men. A large pool of blood has formed under his head.

Fake photoshopped image composite of OBL and another man

A second shows another man with a streak of blood running from his nose across his right cheek and a large band of blood across his chest.

A third man, in a T-shirt, is on his back in a large pool of blood which appears to be from a head wound.

U.S. acknowledgment on Tuesday that bin Laden was unarmed when shot dead had raised accusations Washington had violated international law. The exact circumstances of his death remained unclear and could yet fuel controversy, especially in the Muslim world.

Pakistan faced national embarrassment, a leading Islamabad newspaper said, in explaining how the world’s most-wanted man was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the capital.

Pakistan blamed worldwide intelligence lapses for a failure to detect bin Laden, while Washington worked to establish whether its ally had sheltered the al Qaeda leader, which Islamabad vehemently denies.

Osama Bin Laden dead: Gruesome photo is hoax, but White House debates release of real ones – (Reuters)

The White House is debating whether or not it will release photos of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse. Officials say they have pictures of the Al Qaeda terror leader’s dead body, ABC News reported Monday and “there’s no doubt it’s him.”However, because they are disturbing images, the Obama administration is uncertain if it would be okay to make them public.

“It is really, really graphic,” an official told NBC News.
The White House is explaining the decision to not release any pictures:
The White House had been weighing the release of a photo, in part to offer proof that bin Laden was killed during a raid on his compound early Monday. However, officials had cautioned that the photo was gruesome and could prove inflammatory.
“It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama told CBS News, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Officials said Monday that DNA evidence shows the body is in fact Bin Laden’s, but suggest releasing a photo of his body may be necessary to quiet critics.

The Bush administration released gruesome photos of Saddam Hussein’s two sons, Qusay and Uday, in 2003 for similar reasons after they were killed in a raid of their Mosul hideout.

An image of a bloody Bin Laden was shown on Arab TV late Sunday, as well as the front page of the Daily Mail. However, that image has since been shown to be a hoax.

The gruesome photo claiming to be of Bin Laden (r.) is actually a composite of two other photos, including the unidentified man on the left.

It was likely made at least two years ago, when it was used with a story claiming Bin Laden had been killed in 2009, according to England’s The Guardian newspaper.

The gruesome image is constructed of at least two different photos, eagle-eyed Internet sleuths believe. One is of an unidentified man and the other a 1998 photo of Bin Laden.

The nose, mouth and beard were taken from the terror leader’s picture, while the bloodied head and eyes were from an unknown victim. – By Michael Sheridan – Daily News Staff Writer