Reporters bombarded him today with gossip-column questions. Inquiring journalists wanted to know: Was Villaraigosa still seeing his girlfriend, Mirthala Salinas? Should she keep her job as an anchor at Telemundo Channel 52, even though she covered the mayor while the two secretly dated? What about rumors of another relationship between Villaraigosa and a city planning commissioner?
"You know they’re out there — you know they’ll come out!" one reporter shouted out to the mayor. "Were there other affairs in the last year and a half?"
Villaraigosa, with perspiration over his upper lip but maintaining his composure, took the question head on: "Look, the answer is no. But I’m not going to respond to all of those issues…. I accept responsibility.
"I obviously have caused a great deal of pain to my family, to many people involved here. Some people feel let down, and I understand that. I’m going to focus on my job, do the best job I can for the city of Los Angeles, and the people will have to evaluate me based on that."
While the 54-year-old Villaraigosa was fending off questions that made his staff cringe, Salinas, 35, was awaiting word of her fate.
There’s a beautiful synchronicity now between the blogs and the mainstream media. Do you think these reporters would’ve been this aggressive if the blogs hadn’t been blazing a trail?