The Cry Echoes: Leave Britney Alone!

Tony Blair's spin doctor speaks up for troubled pop star
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 10:48 AM CST

(Newser) – As Britney Spears' public meltdown continues, the pop star has found an unlikely defender: Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair's spin doctor. Writing in the Times of London, Campbell confesses to being a big Spears fan—her songs keep "popping up in the '25 most listened to' on my running iPod"—and regrets her transformation from human being to "news commodity."

Campbell, a notorious figure in Britain for his distribution of a bogus dossier on alleged Iraqi WMDs, admits his defense of Spears might make colleagues wonder if he has "gone soft." But even if he worries journalists fail to respect the "basic humanity" of their subjects, he recognizes the trend is probably unstoppable: "It's sick. She's sick. But perhaps the phenomenon is beyond healing."