Tony Blair yesterday denied having an affair with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s wife.
The ex-Prime Minister was dragged into the mystery over the decision by billionaire Murdoch and third wife Wendi Deng to file for divorce after unfounded rumours swept the internet on both sides of the Atlantic.
FULL STORY HERE
The story has been kicking around in rumour form for a short while, the denials in mainstream publications have given it significantly more clout but there’s little evidence for it being anything more than internet whispers.
An article on the Guido Fawkes blog notices the present tense used in the denial. They’re not currently having an affair … but, did they ever?
The Hollywood Reporter, who got the initial denial, now carries an update on its story:
When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter, the rep said: “If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no.” UPDATE: It has since been made clear to THR by Blair’s rep that there has never been an affair.
In my personal opinion the entire thing smacks a little of a cover story. The denial has only fuelled speculation, the UK’s papers can legally now carry the rumour as long as they attach the statement and denial. Blair’s PR must surely have known this, if not they will likely now be in a lot of trouble.
Initially Blair was an incredibly popular Prime Minister. However, nowadays in the UK he encounters a lot of visceral hatred and for some his name is associated with spin and public-relations-style dishonesty.
His legacy was forever poisoned by the war in Iraq and although its never been clearly shown that he lied when advocating it many assume he did. The nickname Tony Bliar is often adorned on placards protesting his public engagements.
An alternative version of events is that he might have allowed himself to be seduced into doing the wrong thing by attractive, convincing, falsehoods. It’s an equally damaging claim for ‘leaders of men’ such as Blair. The idea he could be so easily led astray and tempted into doing the wrong thing, against his better judgement, is ironically his best defence though. Either way the decision has proven to be a grave mistake and effectively ended his career as an electable leader.