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Palin’s Hair Controversy


During the Haiti trip, Bristol Palin once helped Sarah Palin fix her hair. The Associated Press snapped a photo of the incident.

What was the caption? “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, center, has her hair done during a visit to a cholera treatment center set up by the NGO Samaritan’s Purse in Cabaret, Haiti, Saturday Dec. 11, 2010. Palin arrived Saturday in Haiti as part of a brief humanitarian mission. Dieu Nalio Chery /AP.”

The failure to mention that it was Bristol (whose face was blocked in the shot) arranging Sarah Palin’s hair, as the FreeRepublic’s Kristinn pointed out, gave rise to the impression that Sarah Palin had brought along a hair stylist on the trip.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail snarked, “Ready for Her Close Up…Sarah Palin Lands in Haiti (where they don’t care what her hair looks like),” while the Huffington Post sneered, “Palin Does Haiti Cholera: How’s My Hair? (and, Did AP Lend a Curl?). “Damn right it’s revolting seeing Sarah getting her hair made up like this field hospital is her movie set,” wrote the Huffington Post’s Michael Shaw.

Since the FreeRepublic noted that it was Bristol in the photograph, the Daily Mail has modified the headline to omit the hair reference, while Shaw has added an update to his HuffPo piece.

“This takes the cake,” tweeted Sarah Palin about the incident. “Really?”

UPDATE: AP has now changed the caption, explicitly noting that it is Bristol fixing Sarah’s hair. AP spokesman Paul Colford told The Cutline that the AP had not initially realized it was Bristol in the photograph. “Once we figured out it was Bristol Palin,” he said, “we amended the caption accordingly.”


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