Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Obama Wins, Roger McNamee Loses His Hair

Barack Obama’s move into the White House meant different things for different people. For Elevation Partners head Roger McNamee, it meant he could get a haircut.

Why is this news? Well, it’s not, really. Except that McNamee is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors–Elevation is the company betting big on a revival of Palm (PALM). And… how to put this politely… his hair, which had gotten really, really long lately, had been freaking people out.

You can get a sense of just how long it had been via this interview that Kara Swisher conducted earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

And, it turns out, McNamee knew his hair looked odd, too. He says that growing his hair was a political statement, and that cutting it was an act of charity–he has given 14 inches of the stuff to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that creates hairpieces for sick children. He explains it on a Facebook post:

My hair was a protest against the most mean spirited, incompetent administration in my lifetime. Giving to Locks of Love allows me to end the protest on a positive note on a positive night.”

See what you can learn via social media?

One question remains: What does McNamee look like now? I asked him for a new picture of himself, and he sent back these “before” and “after” shots.

Which are funny, but not satisfying. Anyone want to send in a bona fide pic? We’ll reward you with a grateful shout-out.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald