Cutting-edge reporting from WaPo: Let's take an in-depth look at ... Romney's cruel high-school pranks

And so the general election media coverage begins.  I guess the Washington Post ran out of stories based on Seamus the Roof-Ridin’ Dog.  Despite demonstrating zero curiosity over Barack Obama’s college transcripts to check on just how brilliant the academic actually was, the Post now has a big expose on Mitt Romney’s high school career as … a practical joker:

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

That is a pretty cruel prank.  It’s one reason not to vote for a teenager for President.  It’s not a story that will cover Romney in glory, but this took place almost half a century ago.  Here’s something that happened in the last three years:

In case one wonders how the Post just happened to stumble onto this story, it’s pretty clear in the fourth paragraph, emphasis mine:

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

You don’t suppose that Buford might have passed that story along to campaign leadership in case Romney won the nomination or got picked to be John McCain’s running mate, do you?  Naaaaaah.  I’m sure the Post got this story by perusing student records from Cranbrook and cold-calling everyone who went to school with Romney in that time.

In the meantime, here’s what else happened in the last 50 years — of recoveries from recessions:

Oh, and also this:


And we’re talking about Mitt Romney’s high-school pranks?  Seriously?