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Time Pleads: Stop Talking About Johnny’s Hair!

Amy Sullivan has moved from the liberal Washington Monthly to Time magazine, but has the tone of the former Tom Daschle aide’s copy changed at all? In this week’s “Washington Memo” for Time, Sullivan scolded her fellow journos for focusing on the “Trivial Story” of the John Edwards $400 haircut as the Silky Pony went on a poverty tour: “But many of the three dozen journalists accompanying Edwards couldn’t seem to get those snapping shears off their minds. Nearly every news story about the poverty tour made reference to Edwards’ lavish coif by way of calling into question the candidate’s ability to relate to low-income Americans.”
Calling into question? Isn’t that what reporters are expected to do? According to Sullivan, the time now is too important to trouble Democratic front-runners when they should be compared to collapsing George Bush: “The Trivial Story has its place, but in 2007 it needs to move to the sidelines. With the country at war and a presidency in crisis, this may be a good time to remember that a candidate’s foreign policy instincts tell us more about his fitness for office than his grooming habits do.”
Certainly – and Edwards’s foreign-policy instincts are Cindy Sheehaneque. But Sullivan did not and would not write that David Vitter’s admitted bordello stops were a Trivial Story, and maybe that’s because liberals delighted in that hypocrisy. The expensive Edwards haircut wasn’t just a trivial story – and it’s usually not a “story” at all, but a one-liner in a deeper piece – it’s a hypocrisy story. Could Time be any more transparent in hiring Democratic aides and strategists to bring us the “news”?

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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