Unwanted Exposure?

To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) had to know that if he ran for governor, his sex life was going to be discussed in the press. And Thursday in The New York Post, Schwarzenegger's statements to a sleazy sex magazine in 1977 were featured front and center.

Now I understand why the press does this. The actor did say these things about what he did in the bedroom and all of that. So it's fair game. And we Americans, many of this anyway, like this salacious stuff.

However, there's a price to be paid here. It's obvious that if you want power in this country, whether it's in political office, in the media or in business, you're going to get worked over. And many people simply are not going to put themselves in that position. Thus we lose a lot of good people in public service.

Does anybody really care what Arnold Schwarzenegger's sex life was all about in 1977? Does that have any bearing on what he would do as governor of California? I mean, it's nuts. This kind of exposure, pardon the pun, is hurting the country.

There's going to come a time when Americans start to see that some political tactics are simply unacceptable. I believe we are an inherently fair people. And although the press and certain individuals can make money off scandal, they will never achieve respect.

The revelations about Schwarzenegger are unnecessary, unkind, as well as being unflattering. I don't think it's going to have any impact on his chances to be governor of California, but it will have an impact on other people who might want to serve.

The public arena is now a bloody, brutal forum. And that's not what public service is supposed to be about.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

The National Office of the United Way continues to complain about us. The latest dustup happened after we reported the corruption that took place in a local Washington office of the United Way.

Unlike the Red Cross (search), which is aggressively trying to improve its efficiency and honesty about where the donations go, the United Way seems to be still a little disorganized.

For example, Phillip Jones, the national press secretary for the United Way was contacted repeatedly to appear or provide a statement on behalf of his organization. He was difficult to reach and finally canceled an appearance with us.

So, hey, United Way, you're welcome on The Factor, but you are chaotic, and I won't give you a dime until you can convince me things are going to get better.

To do otherwise would be ridiculous.