Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times ran a story about a Telemundo news correspondent who has been assigned to cover politics, local news and the city’s mayor for the last year and a half. Turns out she’s been covering him closely. REALLY closely. As in she’s-the-reason-he-no-longer-wears-a-wedding-ring closely.
The story dutifully consulted experts who explained it’s something of a faux pas to sleep with sources. In the Times article, Telemundo defended its correspondent, one Mirthala Salinas.
It was a bad day for journalism, as well as a bad day for people who were excited about L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as a rising Democratic star. The bright, charismatic leader’s carefully cultivated family image was awfully persuasive, at least to California newcomers like myself.
But Villaraigosa’s, shall we say, Clintonian shenanigans are no minor matter; it turns out he’s done this sort of thing before and obviously wasn’t smart enough to learn from his mistakes.
As for female journalists sleeping or romancing with sources: it’s bad enough when you see it depicted in movies – Blood Diamond is only the most recent example. It’s even worse in real life, turning reporting professionals into professional love interests.