Many know by now that Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles has admitted to a lengthy affair with a television reporter. So, what do you call an extremely thoughtful, well-written commentary that suggests that the mayor uphold his wedding vows, immediately end his affair, repent for his actions, and work to restore the relationships between his wife and his children? If you're the helpless Tim Rutten at the Los Angeles Times, you call it a "hysterical screed."
The news of Villaraigosa's marital difficulties was broken by a blogger, Luke Ford, then fleshed out by the Daily News, which immediately posted the story on its website. The paper's editorial page editor set the tone for much of the subsequent commentary by immediately putting up a hysterical screed that, believe it or not, included terms you probably haven't seen since the last time you read "Elmer Gantry," words like "homewrecker" and "repent."
"Hysterical screed"? Oh, really? Rutten may want to look back at his own paper to Robert Scheer's nasty column from August 17, 1999. In the column, Scheer brutally attacked former Speaker Newt Gingrich for his two divorces. Spewed Scheer, "Now it's his turn to be judged bad fruit." Scheer then concluded his column by tagging Gingrich as a "serial home-wrecker."
Look, Tim! Scheer used the same word as Weinkopf! But, wait. Gingrich is a Republican. Villaraigosa is a Democrat. Did you publicly report anything "hysterical" with Scheer's column back then? I didn't think so.
Yet another double standard at the LA Times.
(P.S.- Rutten did get one thing right: The Villaraigosa story was largely driven by blogger Luke Ford. Ford broke the news of Villaraigosa's marriage back in January. Hey, Tim. Where was the LA Times?)