‘Even by the standards of a seemingly increasingly partisan British media, the decision to invite Tony Blair to Guest Edit the London Evening Standard on June 27th, the fifth anniversary of his leaving office, was, well, bizarre.
The Standard (established1827) gained early eminence for its detailed foreign news. Within little over forty years of its founding, reporters had covered the American Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War.
Fast forward to the turn of this century when well grounded fact-checking had apparently become less relevant. The last time Blair “edited” The Standard (or apparently detonated all editorial scrutiny and detachment) was on September 24th, 2002, when the newspaper’s bannered page one read: “45 Minutes from Attack” with a picture of Saddam Hussein and: “Dossier reveals Saddam is ready to launch chemical war strikes.” The full front page was taken up by the then Prime Minister’s “revelations” of the (first) “Dodgy Dossier.”‘