Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Really, Mayor Villaraigosa? Really?

(KNBC photo by David Reese.)

KNBC's website first broke the news today that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has a new girlfriend -- and like the last one, the new one comes from the world of TV journalism.

Villaraigosa is involved with KTLA anchor (and former Miss USA) Lu Parker, the station confirmed this afternoon.

Villaraigosa, of course, famously had an affair with former KVEA anchor Mirthala Salinas while still married to his wife; Villaraigosa eventually split from his wife and later Salinas as well. Salinas left the Telemundo station after being reassigned because of the relationship.

With a nod to "Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update," I think this brings us to an edition of... "Really?"

REALLY, Mayor V?! Another TV newscaster? How'd that last one turn out? OH YEAH, she was yanked from her anchor chair and sent packing to a Riverside bureau before she quit. And although your relationship didn't last long, it had a permanent impact on your image and reputation as a politician. Sure, you were easily re-elected... but that's because your most serious competitor was a right-wing nutjob. And now, you're still pondering a run for Governor, so whaddyuh do... you go ahead and start dating another high-profile newscaster, just to remind everyone of how disappointed they were in you the last time you did it.

Plus, this all comes out the same month your picture with the word "FAILURE" underneath can be seen on newsstands and in grocery store checkouts across Southern California (via Los Angeles mag). REALLY, Mayor Antonio? This is the time to let this relationship go public?

I will say this much: Given the plight of journalism and journalists these days, it's heartening to know that you're a big supporter of the people -- well, I suppose, certain people -- who make up our trade.

REALLY, Lu Parker?! You saw what happened to Mirthala Salinas' career. and you still think this is a good idea? And you anchor for a major L.A. TV station, and have covered the Mayor -- as recently as Sunday night, reporting on the possibility he's dropping his plans to run for Governor. You were dating the Mayor, yet went ahead with that report anyway. (Do you have inside knowledge that he has no plans? Perhaps he wouldn't be hanging out with you in Larchmont book stores if he was plotting a run?)

KTLA finally said yesterday that Parker will no longer cover local politics. REALLY, KTLA? Wouldn't you and your competitors have to actually cover local politics in order to pull someone off the politics beat?

And Lu, what's up with the website and the blog? You're not alone in this, several local anchors have posted semi-racy or revealing photos on their sites, so I don't want to just single you out. (I still don't get it though -- you guys are all still reporters. I don't remember seeing Hal Fishman or Jerry Dunphy posting pics of themselves in a Speedo on their sites -- or even cheesecake photos of earlier female anchors like Christine Lund popping up.)

But REALLY, your most recent blog post starts off with the protest that your blog is "by no means about me." Yet that post is right next to... a revealing shot of you in a bikini top, with your arms seductively up. REALLY, Lu? Not about you?

And then there's you, KNBC. You REALLY can't hide your glee at discovering that Mayor Villaraigosa has a thing with Parker. Your website even broke the news not with a normal news story, but rather with this snarky post.

REALLY, KNBC? I seem to recall that Salinas was an anchor on YOUR SISTER STATION, KVEA. And although it's a tad weird and journalistically questionable that Parker is dating Villaraigosa, he is a single man now. Back in 2007, it was your anchor who was dating a still-married Villaraigosa --a relationship that, again, tarnished his career.

And that concludes "REALLY?!: The Villaraigosa Edition."

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