Barely a week before the 2003 recall election that targeted California’s governor, a team of Los Angeles Times journalists led by Editor John S. Carroll put the finishing touches on a story that they knew could be a tinderbox.
They were right.
When the paper reported — five days before voters went to the polls — that actor-turned-GOP gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger had groped women, conservative commentators accused the paper of timing the story to help Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. Although Schwarzenegger won the election and admitted that he had “behaved badly” toward women, thousands of readers canceled their subscriptions.
Carroll met the criticism head-on.
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