By LARRY WOODY
Today, amid the floods, fires, famines and assorted other minor distractions, but Keith Urban got a haircut.
A Nashville TV station did a story about it -- it got a scoop on the snip.
As anchor-persons like to say, looking gravely into the camera: "Channel so-and-so has learned ..."
Journalism question: If you've received a hot tip about Keith Urban allegedly getting a haircut, do you need two sources for corroboration before you run with it? What if there are no eye-witnesses, and Shorty the barber has clammed up?
It's pressurized decisions like that for which news directors get paid big bucks.
Once the story broke about the haircut -- and Keith Urban didn't deny it -- other media outlets quickly picked up on it.
One, looking for a fresh angle, did a side-bar about the little hairs that got down Keith's neck.
Another did a fascinating feature about talcum powder.
My favorite was a man-on-the street segment: "Can you tell us you name, sir, and what you think about Keith Urban's new 'doo?"
I understand that The National Enquirer smuggled a camera inside the barber shop for some "special secret photos" of the haircut in progress. The paper plans to run the pictures alongside some pix of Nicole Kidman (Mrs. Urban) cavorting in a skimpy bikini in the Cancun surf, with a headline:
"While Keith Snips, Nicole Dips!"
Hey, it sells papers.
OK, I'm kidding about the Enquirer, but one TV station DID post a photo on its website showing a vacant barber chair, with shorn locks scattered on the floor.
Was the hair Keith Urban's? Maybe. We're not sure. The clippings could have been his, or they could have come from a trim given to Joe Slobbervich, a back-hoe operator who wanted to look sharp for his bowling team photo.
Although the TV station evidently couldn't get a shot of actual haircut, and had to settle for a photo of the vacant barber chair WHERE KEITH URBAN REPORTEDLY SAT, it was able procure a before-and-after shot of Keith.
In the "before" shot he has long, shaggy hair hanging down in his face.
In the "after" shot he has long, shaggy hair hanging down in face. But the sides appear to be a tad shorter.
And some say TV news is dead? Somewhere Huntley and Brinkley are spinning in front of their teleprompters.
Understand, I'm poking fun at TV "news," not Keith Urban. He has a perfect right to get a haircut if he wants to, and I assume he didn't invite the media to cover it.
I don't know Keith. My son's girlfriend's sister used to baby-sit his kids, and she said he was always friendly and nice.
By all accounts he's a talented and popular entertainer, although I must confess I haven't listened to much "popular music" since the Bee Gees retired and I put my glowing-plutonium Leisure Suit in mothballs.
If someone asked me the difference in Keith Richards and Keith Urban, all I could tell them is that one looks like he's overdue for embalming, and the other has a fresh haircut.
But judging from the play it received, TV news believes it scored a journalistic coup when it broke the news about Keith's haircut.
I can't wait for the exciting sequel: "Keith Urban gets a shave! Live report at 10!"