Looks like Zariff, President Obama’s barber, had a recent press avail to address the urgent matter of All The President’s Grays. (There have been, apparently, Internet rumors).

How else to explain the appearance today of two articles analyzing the president’s follicles: New York Times, A1, “For Young President, Flecks of Gray;” Washington Post, C1, “Obama’s Other Gray Matter”.

Zariff the barber is quoted in both pieces refuting apparent blogospheric buzz suggesting that Obama’s hair is dyed (either, as the Times reports, “gray, to appear more distinguished,” or black “to appear younger.”) The Post quotes both a scientist and an AARP stat (courtesy, perhaps, of the Post research assistant and the polling director who were brought in to contribute to the report). The Times sought comment from, yes, a doctor, but also from another sort of expert (genius!): “onetime basketball star” and walking-quote-generator Walt (“Clyde”) Frazier who— like any good Just For Men pitch man — makes the case for hair dye (and makes the Times piece the better of the two, by a hair) by offering this official Just For Men warning to Obama via the Times: “No play for Mr. Gray.”

Yesterday on Fox & Friends, during a segment on “Is The Media Sucking Up [to the President]?” (which I referenced yesterday) Tina Brown offered this:

We are in such a crisis right now even the press feel slightly paralyzed. There are so many complex issues coming at such speed… I think that journalists themselves are kind of overwhelmed with where the tough questions are to be asked.

Luckily, someone made the president’s hair dresser available to assist at least a couple of paralyzed journalists. The others? They’ll just have to (rinse and) repeat.


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.