An Affair to Forget: AP Dances Around Re-elected Dem Mayor's Adultery

Robert Durell/LA Times file photo"Villaraigosa affair may not be one to remember," prophesied the July 7, 2007 headline in the L.A. Times. A year and a half later, the Associated Press danced around the Democratic Los Angeles mayor's adulterous liaison with a Spanish-language reporter assigned to the city hall beat.

From today's story on his March 3 re-election accessed at CBSNews.com (emphases mine), notice how the AP pulls its punches, euphemizing the adulterous affair in the 12th paragraph of the story:

The mayor of Los Angeles easily won re-election after a bumpy first term in the nation's second-largest city, fueling speculation that he will be among contenders next year to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the first Hispanic mayor in more than a century, was rewarded Tuesday with a second, four-year trip to City Hall despite an uneven first term that saw the breakup of his marriage and the defeat of his signature plan to reform city schools.

"I stand before you all humbled tonight, humbled by your support and by your confidence," Villaraigosa told supporters at an election night rally.

Unofficial returns from all but one precinct and a tally of vote-by-mail ballots early Wednesday gave the Democratic mayor 56 percent of the vote. He needed to capture more than half the vote to avoid a May runoff. 

[...]

In Los Angeles, crime is going down and the charismatic Villaraigosa helped push through higher taxes to fund transit projects, but his tenure was slowed by the failure of his plan to take control of city schools and the disclosure of his long-running relationship with a TV newscaster. His wife filed for divorce. 

At least the AP mentioned Villaraigosa's Democratic party affiliation.

For more background, visit our NB archives on Villaraigosa's mistress Mirthala Salinas and on the mayor himself.

Photo featured above is by LAT's Robert Durell, via LATimes.com, and depicts reporter Mirthala Salinas interviewing Villaraigosa in the California State Capitol in August 2006.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters