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September 2, 2010

Coming Around Again

Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe
Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe

Like Clinton, Blair is a much-sought-after and charismatic speaker, reportedly commanding fees of more than $200,000 for a single appearance. He has also signed extremely lucrative contracts as a consultant to firms such as JP Morgan and to the governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

His wealth, by one estimate, is about $23 million. The money helps pay for a large personal staff, office space in central London and mortgages on a stately home in the affluent county of Buckinghamshire and a flat in one of the toniest districts of London, among other properties.

From: Tony Blair reemerges with memoir (LA Times)

In defining different types of political news photos, these fall into the category I call “the re-introduction.” As if calling this out, the pictures from Getty Europe seem to barely contain their contempt for Blair, Dubya’s Iraq War doppelgänger, as his book hits the shelves.

Above, there is: Two faces of Tony, half-price.

Then, there is: Embargo Tony.

And: Tony at the bottom of the barrel.

With the ability to score all the cash he needs, the fact all proceeds from the book are going to injured war veterans has led many English to call it blood money.  Exactly how did it happen in Western celebrity culture that sitting on the sidelines for a requisite stretch earned someone a clean slate?

(caption: The memoirs of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, entitled ‘A Journey’, goes on sale in Waterstone’s flagship store on September 1, 2010 in London, England. Mr Blair’s book, which he took three years to write, describes his life in politics and reveals details of his relationship with the then Chancellor Gordon Brown.)

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  • black dog barking

    The sentence starting –

    Like Clinton, Blair is a much-sought-after and charismatic speaker

    could have been written to begin Unlike George W Bush with no loss of meaning. Apparently the Invisible Hand™ has anointed Messrs Clinton and Blair, shown its backside to Mr Bush.

    In real time major newspapers like the LA Times tended to investigate President Clinton, breathlessly hunting down the testimony of Arkansas state patrolmen, and apologize for President Bush as with the Downing Street papers. Perhaps the clean slate phenomenon is a result of the media coverage passing to a different internal bureau. The Business section is quite forgiving. If the accountants like your work, you’re golden, even if you use the wrong fork for salad.

  • Amir Goy

    Hey…Tony hasn’t exactly been ‘on the sidelines’…he’s been pretending to be working as an ‘envoy’ for mideast ‘peace’ out of some very posh digs in Jerusalem! Beyond that,the cover image could just as well be, much more fittingly…his mug shot. The ‘Half Price’ reminds us all of what a cheap whore he was for behind the scenes elite warmongers. And the fact that he is now well wadded with cash and multiple luxury homes and estates seems to scream that (war)crime DOES pay.

  • thomas

    It’s a pretty blank expression, matched by a blank background and nondescript attire. But the title is the real coup de grâce of noncommittal, monochromatic flatness. “A Journey”? Maybe they wanted a more exciting title than “A Book.”

    The cover is the depiction of an overly careful, colorless courtier, and the contents are probably characterized by the same strategic and hollow convictions that decorate his political career. It could be that when you are marketing yourself to a multinational audience you want to scrupulously avoid being too closely associated with any one particular country or event. Palin may want to look to this if she wants to kick her game up to the next level.

  • Michael

    The key feature of the main photo is the ‘half price’ label. This is the man who used the argument that he ‘just felt it was right’ to go to war. He used an argument, that is, that was no argument at all. We were just to trust his sincere feelings. How fitting that his book, with its sincere cover, should start at half price, hinting at the worth of his sincere sincerity. The price will continue on down, to seek its real level…

  • DWhite

    the expression on his face looks like someone just said to him “you’re a f**king idiot”, and his is not sure whether to laugh or get mad

  • gmoke

    He looks aged. The open mouth in not quite a smile looks like it’s pleading. The dark jacket and shirt with open collar is casual as if he might be retired, with nothing much to do.

    Half price but one book in each hand. Now you can twice as many!

  • Blue Shark

    …Put it in the 99 cent bin with the other literary detritus.

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