October 6, 2003
Karen Pomer, founder of the Rainbow Sisters Project and Spokesperson for the California "Code Pink" Initiatives Highlighting Schwarzenegger's Sexual Harassment, Groping and Admiration for Hitler
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
"Code Pink: Women for Peace" is one of the most innovative advocacy groups working in America today http://www.codepinkalert.org/. The Nation magazine correctly called them, "not an organization but a phenomenon: a sensibility reflecting feminist analysis and a campy playfulness." They understand how to attract media attention to the issues that are of burning concern to them. Since September, they have played a leading role in making sure that Schwarzenegger's recent disreputable behavior (see LINK) is put before the public. In short, if Governor Gang Bang the Groper is elected to "lead" the state of California, Californians will know what they are getting as a result of Code Pink, a despicable person (a serial sexual harasser and groper) with no leadership skills other than those of his fictional movie characters.
BUZZFLASH: You had a personal encounter with Maria Shriver involving a 1996 "Dateline" program. Can you explain why you were profiled and what Maria said to you that sheds light on Arnold Schwarzenegger?
KAREN POMER: I was kidnapped at gunpoint by a stranger in 1995. I was profiled on "Dateline" not only because I was a victim of a serial rapist, but also because I spoke out against the Santa Monica Police Department. They botched the case and another women ended up being raped by this man.
Dateline did an hour-long special. The first question out of Maria Shriverís mouth was, "Why are you going public?" I explained I didnít want to be a "blue dot," referring to the woman who accused William Kennedy Smith of raping her [and whose identity was concealed on television during the trial]. I could see from her expression that I might have said something that could have insulted her. But she did not ask me to explain and she knew exactly what I meant.
Maria spent three days with me. At one point, after an interview with her that took place at a hotel, myself, a friend of mine there to accompany me, and two producers, both women, and Maria were sitting there talking and Maria said to me, "Karen I just canít believe your boyfriend stayed with you after your rape." I asked why she would say that and she said, "Because my husband wouldnít go near me after I was raped because I would be damaged goods. He would leave me."
I was shocked. It wasnít just what she said, itís how she said it. It was like she was buying into that. Itís true that 70 percent of relationships break up after rape, but she was saying it like it was acceptable to her. She said it so matter of fact-like that it was unbelievable. (BuzzFlash note: Shriver denies making the remark.)
BUZZFLASH: Were you offended by the remark you claim Shriver made about Arnold considering her tainted if she were raped? It would seem a bit self-centered and insensitive.
POMER: Of course I was, but I mostly thought she was pathetic. I blurted out to her that I couldnít imagine being with someone who wouldnít stick with me at the most vulnerable time in my life. I said that to her because we were all shocked by what she said.
During those three days she was constantly telling me how fat she was, which of course she isnít, and Iíve been reading about how Arnold has yelled at her and berated her in public. Premiere magazine reported that he berated her when she was throwing up on the tennis court [the couple later announced she was pregnant]. And Arnold told Playboy he doesnít like it when his wife wears pants. This is exactly how his father treated his mother.
BUZZFLASH: You are active in the Code Pink effort to hold Schwarzenegger accountable for his sexual harassment of women and his hypocrisy. Can you explain what Code Pink is and why it is so actively involved in the effort to expose Schwarzenegger's disreputable and perhaps illegal sexual harassment and perhaps assault actions?
POMER: Code Pink started in opposition to the war in Iraq. During that time, I was hired as a publicist. Weíre involved in this because there was a deafening silence from womenís organizations in Los Angeles about Arnoldís harassment of women. I went to Jodie Evans, the co-founder of Code Pink, and said no one else is doing anything and we have to get out there. The first demonstration was Sept. 5 outside his headquarters.
BUZZFLASH: Beyond the sexual harassment issue and Schwarzenegger's stated admiration for Hitler in the '70s, what are some of his other characteristics that trouble you, beyond the simple fact that he is unqualified to run the largest state in America?
POMER: His whole connection with Enron that Greg Palast wrote about is disturbing. His ad man used to work for Karl Rove and is a wife-beater. Mother Jones reported in 1997 that two ex-wives accused this man of being physically abusive.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is racist, fascist and sexist, and those are not terms I use lightly.
BUZZFLASH: We read in an LA Times story that some of Schwarzenegger's brown shirts ripped protest signs away from two nuns and other Californians exercising their First Amendment rights. Has there been a pattern of suppressing any opposition to Schwarzenegger at rallies?
POMER: Absolutely (see the incident list compiled by Code Pink, at the bottom of this page). I had half a cup of yogurt thrown on me yesterday. These guys are thugs, and right-wing talk radio is feeding the frenzy. But weíre not backing down.
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
otherwise noted, all original