Luke Ford broke open the Antonio Villaraigosa extramarital sex scandal. He's the one who posted the story back in January that the Los Angeles mayor wasn't wearing his wedding ring-- leading to a less-than-candid response from the mayor and an Old School dismissal from the lazy, cynical City Hall press corps. And now that it's been revealed that the mayor was having an extramarital affair with a local television newsreader and reporter (who, it turns out, is a reputed "powerf***er" who'd been passed on to the mayor from his buddy the State Assembly Speaker), it appears the local media has been complicit in the cover-up.
Mirthala Salinas is a sexy star on Telemundo. According to the LA Times, she's been boffing the mayor for at least a year and a half. We work in newsrooms. You can't tell us that everyone in her newsroom didn't know what was going on. Telemundo is a sister station to the local NBC news affiliate. You expect us to believe that journalists in that newsroom weren't aware? Veteran political reporter Laurel Erickson shares the same ladies room with the woman (and they can't use the invasion of privacy excuse. A public official's illicit affair with a reporter who covers him is news, not to mention an ethical breach).
So let's ratchet the story to the next level: Did he knock her up?
When asked if rumours of Mirthala's pregnancy were true, Villaraigosa offered a rare clear and decisive response to one of the questions that has swirled around this sleazy story for weeks now:
"I can tell you emphatically that that question is outrageous and the answer is no, she is not pregnant."
Okay. Let's sit back a moment. The mayor's lied before in this matter (ask Luke Ford, who first wrote about Villaraigosa's missing wedding band.) He may not be lying technically in this case, but is he telling the truth? Villaraigosa has proven himself to be a disciple of Bill Clinton in more ways than one, so let's parse that quote from a Clintonian perspective:
"I can tell you emphatically that that question is outrageous."
Clever, trying to throw attention away from the subject at hand. Outrageous? Why? According to the LA Times, the mayor was seen with a bottle of wine at Mirthala's apartment building eighteen months ago. One would assume he was at the apartment to have alcohol-fueled, passionate, illicit extramarital sex (most likely performing acts his wife would not). Pregnancy, planned or otherwise, can result from such fevered couplings. We'd say the question is not outrageous at all, Mr. Mayor!
"The answer is no. She is not pregnant."
A straight answer, but taken in context of Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," it seems we need a brave City Hall reporter to ask: "Okay. Mirthala's not pregnant now. But was she ever pregnant? And if so, were steps taken to end the pregnancy? Did you ask her to have an abortion?"
Could an affirmative answer to those questions lead the molester protector Cardinal to excommunicate Villaraigosa from the Roman Catholic Church? One thing those questions could end, for now, are the political aspirations, and possibly the mayoral term, of Antonio Villaraigosa.
Or Antonio Villar, since we hear his wife wants her half of the name back.