The show is American Morning. The topic? Is there a public interest in reporting on the sex lives of politicians?
I taped my interview at 6 a.m. Thursday with host Betty Nguyen. I don’t know when it will air.
I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. I fell asleep after 1 a.m. I woke up at 3:17 a.m. I showered, checked the Web for the latest on the mayor, and walked outside at 4:20 a.m. for my limo.
I got to CNN at 6430 Sunset Blvd at 4:40 a.m. I waited in the green room until 6 a.m.
While I’ve been interviewed many times on TV, I’ve never done it live.
I walk into a little room at 6 a.m. This is going to be taped (it was originally scheduled to be done live at 5:30). There’s no make-up. The director in New York encourages me several times to straighten my tie and button up my top shirt button.
Then host Betty Nguyen taped a post-show four-minute interview with me.
She asked me if people in Los Angeles were outraged about the mayor’s adultery. I burst out laughing and said I hadn’t met any.
(After the taping, someone at CNN told me that she was outraged by the mayor’s behavior.)
Betty: "Well, you’re obviously outraged by how much you’ve written about it on your blog."
Luke: "I’m not outraged at the mayor. I’m outraged that we have such a shoddy second-rate newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, that was too paternalistic to report the truth on the mayor. Their journalists knew the mayor’s marriage was over but their editors didn’t believe the public had the right to know."
Betty got outraged that I was taking all these "unfounded" shots at The Times, which she said was an award-winning newspaper.
The interview came to a quick halt.
When I came out of the building, my limo was gone and I had to catch a taxi home.
For the past decade, I’ve made my living blogging about the stories the mainstream media found too distasteful to break. This Antonio Villaraigosa story is no exception. The whole City Hall press corp knew the mayor’s marriage was kaput and that he was playing around but none of them could publish about it even if they wanted to. The feelings of their editors were too refined. They didn’t want to dirty their hands with this shmutz.
Tony Villar is the quintessential Los Angeles airhead. He never passed the Bar despite four attempts. Like Bill Clinton, he has nothing to say and no ideas to promote. Read this New Yorker profile and tell me where you see profundity in the man (aside from his profound ambition).
Robert Greene from The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote on LATimes.com Feb. 2: "Start with blogger Luke Ford’s outrage that no one at this paper, or anywhere else, had weighed in on the excruciatingly important fact that L.A.’s mayor has been spotted without his wedding ring."
What’s excruciatingly important is that your newspaper is lazy and that it treats minorities, be they black, latino, gay, etc, to a different standard than it holds majority white folks. If Villaraigosa had been white, your paper would’ve given him a far harder time about his sexual pecadillos. Remember what you did to the white Governor when he was first running. I have no problem with your stories on Arnold. I have a problem with your double-standards. So why don’t you take on my major point instead of isolating some minor detail?
Anybody who knows anything about L.A.’s mayor knows that he can’t restrict his romantic desires to one woman. He needs more affirmation than that. But the Los Angeles Times has long regarded Villaraigosa as a rock star. Except they didn’t want to report that Tony also partied like a rock star.
The electorate on the West Coast is the most forgiving of adultery of any part of the country because the West Coast is also the most secular part of America. Most Californians believed the reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger was a serial groper but they elected him anyway.
When you think of "California," the words "morality," "fidelity" and "monogamy" do not immediately spring to mind.
People come to California to get away from family, tradition, and obligation. They come here to screw around.
I know I did.
That San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa play around will not end their political careers. But it certainly won’t help. People will regard them with less respect. (My sense is that Angelenos are glad that something came along to wipe that smirk off Villaraigosa’s phony face.) And if the somnolent Los Angeles news media now get energized about Villaraigosa, there’s plenty of significant dirt they can unearth that will end his political career.
As for the Telemundo newscaster Mirthala Salinas, her career is toast.
This is how it works. If you are a news station and you want good stories, send in the reporter most likely to get a good interview. With womanizers you send in pretty young things who are willing to do what it takes to get the interview. Another thing, say you are a lobbying group. You want to get politicians to do what you want. Who do you send in? The lobbyist most likely to persuade the politician to do what you want. Again, you would send in a pretty young thing to a known womanizer.
How do I know this? My group sent me in to persuade Antonio on our issue. They sent me in because they said he was a womanizer who would listen to a pretty young thing with boobs. I have boobs. I talked to Antonio, he talked to my boobs, he was persuaded to see my point of view on our issue.
Yes, Antonio should not have cheated on his wife and left her for this journalist who’s just a politico fucker. But, these women are freely offering themselves to him, to get what they want. It takes a strong man to say "no" and we all know Antonio is weak.
p.s. I did not sleep with Antonio or do anything else with him. I just wore a snug black business pant suit, batted my eyes a little and paid him some compliments on his suit.
Here’s another smart comment on MayorSam: "It’s funny how the mayor’s personal life, according to him, has nothing to do with what kind of mayor he is…SO WHY DID HE TROT OUT HIS WIFE AND KIDS WHEN HE WAS RUNNING FOR OFFICE? He’s trying to have it both ways."
Dear Luke, I’m fairly new to your writings…I tuned in during Cathy’s last days and death, and I was sucked in with the Dennis Prager insights. I actually spent the better part of an all nighter reading your blog. You’re kinda weird in a good way.
Anywhat, since you’re the go to guy re the mayor these days (along with LAO/DN), I pass along what I found amusing today at my neighborhood parade. The Palisades parade announcer made public that the mayor cancelled his appearance a mere 2 hours before he was supposed to show (he rode it last year, maybe the year before too). Quips were PA’d that he had a date, was otherwise occupied (wink, wink) etc, etc…. In a town as liberal as 90272, I smirk as they eat their own.
All the best to you while navigating the attention-making whores, er, media makers. The story is a relevant one, and the carrot is yours.