I tend to agree with Glenn Greenwald, with a caveat: John Edwards's haircut was a valid story to cover, although its impact and signifiance were magnified beyond reason and sanity.
But learning that Mitt Romney's face powdered is akin to learning that George W. Bush likes to get theraputic back rubs.
The Politico found a neat little item in Mitt Romney's second quarter disclosure forms -- $300 he spent on make-up in advance of television debates. It's kind of funny for a half a second -- man wears make-up, ha-ha. $300 is close to $400, which is what John Edwards spent on a haircut.
Why doesn't John Edwards's hair equal Mitt Romney's face paint?
The primary difference is definitional: The centerpiece of Edwards's campaign is his anti-poverty efforts; he presents himself as a dedicated messenger for the cause, and he likes expensive haircuts, bought a gimungous house, etc. etc. His credibility as a messenger comes into question when he spends money ostentatiously. (The haircut was inadvertently billed to the campaign, a spokesman later said).
There is a difference in the political reality: fairly or unfairly, a healthy chunk of the national political press corps doesn't like John Edwards.
Fairly or unfairly, there's also a difference in narrative timing: when the first quarter ended, the press was trying to bury Edwards. It's not so much interested in burying Romney right now -- many reporters think he's the Republican frontrunner.
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