Not The Mirthala Salinas Story We’ve Been Waiting For

I’ve been blogging that we need a good Mirthala Salinas profile. She’s an interesting, intelligent and scandalous woman. It takes The Los Angeles Times to produce a boring article on her. That required special skill.

Why is there no mention of the dismal quality of Spanish-language news in Southern California? The Times article treats Telemundo as though it is a respected and trusted news organization. Who respects and trusts it outside of The Los Angeles Times?

The Times calls Salinas a "respected and aggressive journalist." Respected by who? For what? Aggressive how?

More than twenty times in the story, The Times lauds Salinas’s journalism but fails to provide a single instance of her advancing let alone breaking an important story.

Could fear of racism account for The Times laying on the plaudits for Salinas without providing any examples for why those plaudits might be deserved?

The final paragraph is particularly pathetic:

"She is a community figure; people relate to her and respect her," said Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief executive of Enlace, an L.A. communications marketing firm that specializes in Latino media. "Spanish-language news anchors are not just readers of the news. They are the voice of the community; they are advocates for the community and role models."

Why do people respect her? Because she sleeps with people in power?

The one true thing this quote points out is that  Spanish-language-media-journalists in Southern California are not journalists as much as advocates for their ethnic group.

Mickey Kaus writes on

The LAT finally puts out another Villaraigosa-Salinas story–which focuses like a laser on the least interesting aspect of the scandal, the journalistic conflict of interest! Yes, that’s why Angelenos are upset–because a Telemundo reporter might have compromised her objectivity. Someone call CJR! Mayor Sam‘s Joseph Mailander asks:

[W]hy is the future of the woman always the way a blown affair really pans out? The Times is really letting the man skate here by shifting all the scrutiny to the gal.

But, of course, the tedious conflict-of-interest angle is the only one to obtain the grudging stuff-shirt approval of Consigliere Rutten! … What about the mayor’s callous behavior toward his wife? (In New York City, that was enough to get Rudy Giuliani in trouble.) And did a lobbying firm executive really sell the mayor’s honey a condo? Was it on the up and up or does someone now owe someone a favor? Was the mayor lying when he tried to stop the P.R. bleeding by denying he’d been fooling around with anyone other than Salinas? How stupid does he think voters are? Are California’s top Latino pols–including but not necessarily limited to ex-Salinas-paramours such as Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez--some kind of secret male bonding-through-womanizing fraternity and what does that mean for the state? … These are all more significant civic issues than the Agony of Telemundo. But the Times shouldn’t need them to justify covering the main event here. Why aren’t its readers allowed to simply want to know whom their mayor has been seeing? We know it’s not his wife. … 1:50 P.M. link

Sherrie emails me:

i was watching the news the other night when villaraigosa was, as always, standing in front of the cameras. he was complaining that some of the anti terrorist money had been cut for the city of los angeles. doesn’t he promote terror by courting illegals? aren’t so many of the gangs in los angeles made up of illegals? it would seem that terror is terror, whether it is coming from al qaeda or illegals south of the border. it’s incredibly hypocritical. rather than worry about terror that may come to los angeles, he needs to do something about the terror that already exists in the city. i will never understand how a member of MEChA becomes the mayor of los angeles in the first place. doesn’t being a member of an anti-american group seem anti-american to you? do you think any of the so called legitimate news papers will ever have the guts to do an investigative, in-depth story on him?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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