Noting that "mini-scandals about politicians' haircuts are more like Chia pets than human heads of hair. They don't grow on their own. They require reporters to pursue and water them with investigations into the practices and prices of high-end barbers." Zaitchik goes over the history of Washington Post reporter John Solomon's "well-known obsessions with...the personal finances of prominent Democrats and, apparently, their boyish bangs"—and explains the important consequences of such petty journalism:

If Solomon were some deadbeat alt-weekly columnist with a grudge against Edwards, the haircut story would make for mere humor, but the Post has reach far beyond its own pages—it's one of a handful of media outlets that can establish diehard narratives about politicians that can dog them for decades. The Post in Solomon's hands is a weapon that can almost single-handedly force Edwards or another candidate off their campaign focus. In the case of Edwards, that means a total distraction from trying to start a national discussion on poverty issues.

Originally by Alexander Zaitchik (AlterNet) from FAIR Media Views on August 6, 2007, 7:31am


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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    • I posted this because I was thinking earlier today about how John Edwards had called the issues about his $400 hair-styling sessions, his investments in more than questionable hedge funds, and his personal mansion, etc., nothing issues. He says it's all a distraction.

      Well, it is not all a distraction. John Edwards wants to lead the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth. He is trying to recast himself as a champion of the poor to garner votes. He knows the pendulum has swung left because of the insanity of the Bush administration.

      However, one of his hair cuts could feed four hundred people for a day given the right food purchase. Put another way, it could feed an otherwise starving child for more than a year.

      What's wrong with using a regular barber?

      Also, with his kind of money, he could easily have chosen long ago to invest with a conscience.

      As for his house, it's apparently big enough for dozens of people to live in. Why has he needed such a huge house while so many people are homeless?

      We aren't requiring him to cut his own hair or fast or live in a little house or apartment, but for him to call his lifestyle just a nothing issue or a mere distraction is offensive.

      As for his other views such as his views on war, they're terrible.

      He wants to be the president, and he's in the lime light.

      What the world needs are good stewards--consistent souls. Jesus made clear that both the little and big things matter together. The little things all add up to one's entire way of being and dealing with more impactful moral choices. John Edwards can't escape that just by calling his actions non issues. His hair cuts speak volumes about him.

      He's not our shepherd, and he's never going to be with his current willfully inconsistent attitude.