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." Zaitchik goes over the history of Washington Post reporter John Solomon's " 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 Postfar 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 . In the case of Edwards, that means a total distraction from trying to start a on poverty issues.
by Alexander Zaitchik (AlterNet) from on August 6, 2007, 7:31am