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Opinion: The week when Nancy Pelosi’s hair was the focus of our pandemic anxieties

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at Capitol Hill news conference on July 24.
(Associated Press)

For all that the coronavirus pandemic has done to sharpen our focus on the most intractable problems of our time, it has also made us acutely aware of the modern, daily comforts of life we took for granted before March. I think of it like this: Society desperately needs to reduce inequality and keep everyone safe and healthy, and I desperately need a haircut.

Comes now Nancy Pelosi, whose secretly recorded blowout at a San Francisco hair salon briefly made the Democratic House speaker the flashpoint of our pandemic polarization and anxieties. Readers responded to Pelosi’s alleged hypocrisy either with anger at her and anyone else perceived as protecting her, including the “liberal media,” or dismissiveness of her critics.

Janet Polak of Beverly Hills takes a swipe at the L.A. Times and sympathizes with salon owners:

Of course the L.A. Times and other liberal media outlets aren’t focusing very much on Pelosi’s visit to a hair salon in San Francisco. This is typical of the elites’ “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

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Thankfully, Gov. Gavin Newsom has since allowed hair salons and barbershops to reopen for everyone else. At great expense, these businesses put in all the safeguards required by the state to reopen.

What is really offensive is the indifference of our elitist leaders to the plight of the shop owners and wage earners. Hopefully, not too many have been forced out of business.

Gary Tereshkow of Palm Springs detects an overreaction:

Geez, I can already hear the the chants of “lock her up” over Pelosi’s “salongate” episode. Perhaps the Republicans will also initiate an congressional investigation.

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Robert Faircloth of Roseboro, N.C., is dismissive of Pelosi’s “setup” charge:

The presentation of the story as a “setup” is interesting. I believe something important is missing: Who is being charged with kidnapping the speaker? Was she forced into that salon?

The only setup appears to be the spin of accusations and excuses. She could have hired someone to visit her house to perform the service.

Jeffery Segall of Long Beach offers the perspective of a professional:

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As a California licensed cosmetologist and registered nurse, I would like to state that responsibility for a violation falls squarely on the shoulders of the salon owner and the stylist.

It is the responsibility of these people to know what the local regulations are at any time. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. But apparently, ignorance was not part of the equation.

Hours after the salon owner appeared on Fox News, the stylist, through an attorney, stated that the owner had been operating illegally while the restrictions were in place. The very same owner who appeared on Fox News calling the speaker a hypocrite has allegedly been in violation all this time.

The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology should be fully investigating this matter, along with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.


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