Chicken-Fried News: Mullet over 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

When a reporter asked a flippant question about recently deceased oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens during a teleconference interview last month, Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy wasn’t having it.

“Don't hurt the real journalism world,” Gundy said. “It's jackasses like you that cause problems, OK? They shouldn't even let you call in.”

Gundy’s response was aimed at Austin reporter Mark Rosner, who asked whether Pickens, the namesake of OSU’s football stadium who donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the university, had bequeathed Gundy a barbershop gift card so he could get his infamous mullet cut. The angry retort predictably made headlines, but it’s notably not an actual answer but a “fake news”-style deflection. Based on Gundy’s 2007 “I’m a man, I’m 40” press conference rant, we know that he doesn’t read the newspaper “because it’s garbage,” but in case he really does have a $30 Supercuts credit burning a hole in his pocket, we’d like to offer a few suggestions for different but equally distractingly ridiculous-looking ’dos: a mohawk, a faux-hawk, the Rachel from Friends, the Kid ’n Play, the Guy Fieri, the 1800s president haircut that’s a handlebar mustache connected to mutton chops.

Gundy said he felt Rosner’s question was disrespectful to Pickens, but in the reporter’s defense, he was only referencing a social media joke and not an actual legacy-tarnishing Pickens incident, such as the time the energy tycoon, corporate raider and unapologetic Trump supporter donated $2 million to help finance the “swift boat” attack ads seeking to discredit John Kerry’s military service during the 2004 election or the 2007 op-ed Pickens wrote for National Review endorsing Rudy “Truth isn’t truth” Giuliani for president. You might call it business in the front, morally dubious party politics in the back, but maybe don’t say that to Gundy.

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