ALEXANDER ZAITCHIK (ALTERNET): CAN ONE REPORTER TAKE DOWN A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? JOHN SOLOMON IS TRYING TO FIND OUT

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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