Monday, July 09, 2007

The L.A. Mayorial Sex Scandal

The Los Angeles Mayor is in hot water. Antonio Villaraigosa is breaking up with his wife, whom he has left for a sleezy reporter. Ironically, this reporter broke the story on Villaraigosa's breakup before it was revealed that she was the cause of it. She is now on paid leave.

This story has been going on for a couple of days and I've been watching it in interest, because while at one time the press would ignore such behavior, the story has been fueled by a prominent blogger there. Additionally, the classically liberal press is bemoaning the fact that such behavior is being covered.

As the L.A. Times writes, "Villaraigosa's personal connection with Salinas is a private issue that legitimately concerns only the two of them and their families. No one else has a moral or rhetorical right to an opinion on that aspect of their conduct. However, the fact that Salinas continued to report on the mayor while they were involved in this fashion is a public issue."

How nicely they segue an anti-moral stance to a quasi-moral one. Never the less, the problem remains: What gives the press the right to declare that personal misbehavior is off-limits when it comes to public figures?

Personal misbehavior most definately is telling. If someone is willing to treat their loved ones badly, how trustworthy are they? Additionally, people who tend to do wrong things behind closed doors are also people who can be more easily manipulated, either due to their weaker character or because they're vulnerable to blackmail.

To try to seperate serious personal missteps from the person who is making them is to make excuses for someone who doesn't deserve any.

Those of us who work hard on our character, our lives, our relationships, and our business obligations have every right to demand that others do the same. If there is no moral standard, then there is no measure any longer.

As my mother has always said, common sense is not so common. When will the American press begin to grow a backbone and get some common sense once more? Thank goodness for bloggers, who are keeping the press responsible to a certain extent.


Scott said...

As usual my liberal feelings come up here. Keep in mind that i know nothing of the story, but if the man had an extra marital affair it does not really have anything to do with his job. To automatically assume that someone who cheats on a spouse, especially when we know nothing of their relationship, is also going to do ILLEGAL things related to their job, well that to me is a pretty big leap in judgement. But hey, that is me.

I just look at people in other jobs, and they don't lose their jobs because they sleep around.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I do not know if this is really an issue or not. But it makes for excellent non-news fodder.

Was he ever accused of violation of the public trust or some other criminal matter?

I think that there is a HUGE problem in this Country in the regards that people can not seem to distinguish between important crap and not important crap.

Celebrity bullshit - NOT IMPORTANT! Tom Cruise and the space aliens? NOT IMPORTANT! Anyone walking on a red carpet? NOT IMPORTANT! And yet all this gets treated as serious highly important "news".

Plus - it is LA. That place is so screwed up anyway does it really matter if the Mayor is banging some ho on TV? Don't they have larger things to worry about?

Cranky Yankee said...

You sound as worked up as you were about Paris Hilton. Oh the moral outrage!!!! These are minor distractions to keep the masses distracted from real issues. Look through your ideological bias and see this and most sensational stories as the corporate media manipulation they are.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Scott, but doesn't a lack of personal ethics indicate to you that it wouldn't be as hard for this person to also have a lack of professional ethics? Or let's look at it this way: If you can choose between a man that has always tried to live an upright life, and one that has made such a serious mistake, wouldn't you tend to trust the first guy over the second?

Saur♥Kraut said...

CrankyYankee, "worked up" I'm not. But condemnatory I AM. How is this not important? Are you saying it's acceptable and unimportant for our leaders to have such lapses in morality? And, subsequently, are you saying it's OK for all of us to do such things? If so, why bother getting married in the first place and committing to only one person?

Lazy, but IS this "unimportant"? Why is it unimportant: Simply because he doesn't have his hand on the nuke button? The thing with such behavior is that it's insidious: You never know what else he might be shady about that may not come to light.

Cranky Yankee said...

I'm saying with everything else going on this is a non-issue, a minor distraction... and quite frankly who care? He's not your Mayor. Now if he were to lie to a grand jury about it then there might cause for attention but until then this is a private matter between him and his family...

But really, freak show sex scandals are by their nature nothing but distraction. Your moral outrage is yours to deal with while it plays nicely with what the corporate masters pulling the media strings want. Why don't you save your outrage for the thousands dying every month because your president is a bungling idiot.

Herr Krokodil said...


Thank you so much for those kind words. There are times when I feel like my blogging message isn't getting through to people and then I read this post.

I think maybe you are over complicating this issue though, the man simply found a hot young thing that is willing to have sex with him. When this happens you have to use your common sense and weigh the alimony payments against the great sex.

In this day-and-age we should just be happy he didn't pop a cap into his old lady.

Excellent post.

United We Lay said...

The behavior should definitely be covered. People should know about the morals of those in elected positions. It should effect his next election, but not his current carreer.

Hans said...

I believe it's more titillating than newsworthy. Yes it does show a lack of good judgement on the part of the Mayor but really so what.

Why does the press give public figures a pass on their sexual improprieties? Part of the reason we end up with less than the best public leaders is because candidates have to pass all these inconsequential test. We end up not with the guy that could do the best job but the one who hasn't made any mistakes.

If this becomes a big deal Rudy is in trouble. He's traded in for a younger model a couple of times. So has John McCain and the savior of the Republican Party, Fred Thompson. Who had quite the reputation of being the "cocksman" back in the day.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Saur - maybe he was having marital problems we do not know about. Maybe his wife was giving him the "bait fish" treatment for 5 years (no more head and no more tail). Maybe over the years they just grew apart, and chick #2 came along and they hit it off.

Or maybe he just did her thinking he would never get busted and nobody would ever know.

We do not know. So why does this have to effect his Mayoral duties? Did he steal from the public? Did he cut shady deals with questionable businessmen? Did he do anything to violate the public code of ethics as it relates to his position? Probably. They all do. But this is not the issue out there now.

Marital problems and affairs do not always have to mean the guy is going to screw everything he sees. If this were the case, Ill bet a lot of CEOs would be out of a job. And Bank Presidents. And other elected officials. And a lot of other people. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce (or so they say) does it mean 50% of the population is shady and untrustworthy?

I say HELL YES! Of course I am trustworthy. And I have never been divorced. Or married :)

daveawayfromhome said...

Did you ever think that we lock onto sex scandals becasue they're easy to point a finger about?
And why was Bill Clinton was nailed by conservatives using the same arguement you are, yet Newt Gingrich, who dumped his wife while she was being hospitalized for cancer, gets hardly a mention.

If you're going to remove people in power for sexual shenanigans, you're going to have to clean house every six months or so. Even being ugly doesnt help, have you seen Dennis Kucinich's wife?

Yes, you've got a point, if your leaders cannot keep faith in marriage, how can we expect them to do so in office? But let's not use this as a litmus test. There's no gossip about Bush or Cheney having affairs that I've heard, yet I wouldnt trust them to hold a bag of used kleenex. Sexual behavior is just one aspect of morality.

Also, how much hardwiring is involved sexual behavior? For instance, given the option to easily spread one's genetic material via the aphrodisiac called power, how many people (men, or the women drawn to them) can truly resist it?

Emma Sometimes said...

Bloggers rock. Period.

By the way, I'm delurking to ask what you think of this story on Julie Amero, the sub teacher being held responsible for unintentionally exposing kids to porn pop ups on the school computer? (think: she facing up to 40 years in jail)

It makes my blood boil how computer illiterate the prosecution is.

PS. Hope you are over your cold and feeling better.

The Lazy Iguana said...

How the heck can they hold a substitute teacher responsible for a school computer? What are subs supposed to set up the school firewall and be responsible for whatever is in the hard drives even if they have never been in that school or classroom before?

When I did sub work I would collect the power cords to the computers. That really threw those monsters off. I would also pull the plug on the network cable and let the kids think the network was down.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Emma, yes, it's a ridiculous case, isn't it? I'm surprised that it went as far as it did!!! Thanks for popping by.

Everyone, I could try to address this individually, but the general theme seems to be "not our business." I simply refer you back to my initial post.

Daveawayfromhome, As for it playing into the hands of the press, nothing could be further from the truth. Most times, the press would love to evade such issues, as is pointed out in the story that I linked to above by the LA Times. The author wrote of several other instances where the press was mum lately. This is a story BECAUSE it's an exception, and not a welcome one.

Lazy, I really got a grin over the baitfish treatment. BUT, if he WAS getting the baitfish treatment, THEN it gets redressed via counseling or divorce and THEN he goes out to find some head and tail. ;o) I can't approve of his straying.

As for your making a great politician, you undoubtedly would. And, as for marriage, it's not all that it's cracked up to be (thus the statistics). Some of us seem to be blessed to be single, though I've been married, too (for many yrs, may I add).

UWL, I agree to a point, but why shouldn't it affect his CURRENT career? And actually, it really can't touch his current career because unless California's laws state differently, cheating on your spouse isn't illegal. HOWEVER, it should certainly be a sign of what he IS and not what he WANTS us to think he is.

Herr Krok, ;o)

The Lazy Iguana said...

It is not a matter of approving of the behavior or not. Nobody said you have to stand up and cheer for the guy.

It is a matter of job performance. He is the Mayor of LA, not The Pope. Nobody ever accused a politician of being a stand up, pillar of morality and virtue kind of person.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, but shouldn't they be?