The Mayor’s Muddle

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Los Angeles Mayor Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s affair with Telemundo reporter Mirthala Salinas raises a pressing question: Should he recuse himself from championing NBC Universal’s plans for a massive project at their Universal City headquarters? NBC Universal is the corporate parent of Telemundo.

That’s the question posed by the Los Angeles Times today, and those who think it is a conflict tend to be opponents of the project and those who don’t tend to come from the companies involved.

NBC Universal does face an uphill climb in getting the project approvals, and this latest twist may not help things, even if the notion that it is a conflict is a bit of a stretch. The biggest barriers, reported in the Times, may be that L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky have reservations about the plans. They represent the areas either around the project or the property itself. Opposition from local reps helped undo Universal’s plans a decade ago to dramatically increase the size of its theme park.

War Stories: The New York Times weighs in on the coming blitz of Iraq-war themed projects, many of which cast a less-then-flattering light on the conflict and returning vets. The question, obviously, is whether there’s an audience out there for such films, given the disappointing numbers for “Home of the Brave” last year and the failure of the FX series “Over There.”

O’Reilly Factored: On Huffington Post, Lane Hudson writes that he was so upset over a Bill O’Reilly blog post that he called the Secret Service. The O’Reilly writing: “If Hillary wins, I will be respectful of our leader. If you could read my thoughts, I would be on the SS [Secret Service] watch list.”

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