To name or not to name the mother of Schwarzenegger's secret son

Media critic James Rainey runs his boss's explanation for why the L.A. Times hasn't run the name of the former Schwarzenegger-Shriver employee who had Arnold's child. Since the Times first broke the story late Monday night, Rainey says, "virtually every news organization I could find has named" her. Though not AP.

The Times has not only declined to name the woman, but is also not disclosing the name, age or sex of her child.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Times Editor Russ Stanton gave me a statement explaining why the Times didn't publish the name.

"The public has a legitimate interest in the behavior of someone who held high office in this state and is likely to remain prominent for a long time," Stanton said. "Schwarzenegger’s conduct is what was newsworthy.

"In some circumstances, it might be necessary or appropriate to reveal the identity of a politician’s mistress," he continued. "In this situation, we thought it was not. We hewed to the principle of protecting the identify of an innocent child.

"To have identified the mother would, in effect, have been to identify the child. Different media companies have different standards. We will stick by ours, regardless of what others do."

New York Times editor Bill Keller told Rainey, "We're sensitive to privacy issues, but in this case we don't see that compelling reason to keep our readers in the dark." Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast argues against release of her name. Radar Online is reporting now that Mildred Baena threatend to reveal the affair after Schwarzenegger fired her. Media have been swarming outside Baena's home in Bakersfield but as far as I know she hasn't spoken publicly. I started using her name at LA Observed on Tuesday night after it began to be reported.

Also: The LAT worked from a Metro desk tip and found a birth certificate that did not list Schwarzenegger, but a picture of the child showing a resemblance to the ex-governor gave the reporting momentum, The Wrap reports. I'm quoted in the story.

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