Monday, February 9, 2015

Scott Walker's Brian Williams Moment

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been in the news himself lately, as many of his stories reporting on Iraq and Hurricane Katrina have proven to be tall tales.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has similarly been in the news, but for other reasons. His speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit launched him to the forefront of the of the 2016 Republican primary discussions.

However, it appears that Gov. Walker has a trait in common with Williams, perhaps known as "elaborate storytelling."

You see, during his re-election campaign, Gov. Walker's bald spot became somewhat of an issue. Not the fact that he has one, but rather his specious explanation for it.

As Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports:

Walker went on to say he was fixing something in the kitchen — he doesn't say when — and hit his head on the cabinet. His wife, Tonette, repeatedly urged him to see a doctor, and when he finally did he was told his head would not be growing hair anymore in that area. He said Tonette cited this as proof that it's best to listen to your wife.
My favorite reader comment from the State Journal website: "Doyle must have REALLY bashed his head!"
The governor weaves an interesting tale there, and it caused left-leaning One Wisconsin Now to go apoplectic in a news release about Walker's "hair-raising excuses" and "baldfaced distortions." In short, they think he's lying about this and just about everything else.
Blog posts and other online references to the story outnumber Joe Biden's hair plugs. Walker's bald spot has its own Facebook page and, as of Thursday, 341 likes. You might say this isn't really news, and you'd be right. But we're getting into the political silly season of late October.
We have all banged our heads on things without causing the seas to part in our hairlines. When we were kids, my brother had an accident involving a lawn mower and a grassy hill. It left him with a narrow inch-long bare strip on the back of his head, but nothing more Costanza than that.
The top of my own head has developed a half-dollar-sized thinning circle as I get older. My barber — he coincidentally also cuts Scott Walker's hair — is mercifully careful to avoid highlighting that spot when holding up the mirror to show the back of my head at the completion of each $17 masterpiece. I'd ask if she does the same for Walker, but there are probably haircut HIPAA privacy rules.
Politicians need to worry more than most people about hair loss. Voters picking presidents have shown a preference for the thick mane of a John F. Kennedy or a Ronald Reagan, though we do have a Dwight Eisenhower sneak through every now and then
Walker's people didn't respond to my emails, because why would they on this topic.
I looked online for a hair loss expert to interview and knew I found the right one in William Yates because his website calls him "The Hair Loss Expert." He is a hair restoration surgeon in Vernon Hills, Ill
He said hair loss from injury is pretty common if the damage is serious enough.
"Once you have loss of hair follicles in that area, it's ball game over," Yates said.
Then I told him this article is about our governor and his story about the cabinet. Yates immediately went to Google and pulled up photos of Walker.
"His hairline is thinning and he has a bald spot in the back. That's totally normal male pattern balding," Yates said, making it clear he has not physically examined the guv's head.
Could it also be cabinet related? "Anything is possible," Yates said. "But I had a professor say everything has to make sense.
And it wouldn't make sense to have a bald spot this big from banging one's head on a cabinet, nor one that seems to be growing over time.
Is this yarn that Walker spun that big a deal? It depends. While his bald spot should not be a major issue, he made it one because he wasn't forthcoming. Honesty is an important quality for any candidate to have, especially one running for the presidency.

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