Picture of the Day: Topless Newt Gingrich on a Rock? Or Random Guy?

Newt on beach TMZ.jpg

Updated 5:10 p.m. --

This photo, via celebrity news site TMZ, was taken on June 2 and purported to show the 68-year-old former speaker of the House "chilled out on Paradise Beach on the island of Mykonos." His staffers quit en masse just days later.

But Joe DeSantis, who works for Gingrich and has co-authored a book with him, says that it is not in fact the presidential candidate. "Just asked Newt...the picture on TMZ is not him...remarkable resemblance though," he tweeted.

That led Washington Post reporter Rachel Weiner to quip, "Anticipating a tearful Newt press conference later this week where he admits the photo is of him after all."

Photos of presidential candidates in bathing trunks are pretty commonly snapped by the celebrity press these days (Obama underwent a round of beach scrutiny in early 2007) and there also are a fair number of pictures of the later 20th century presidents in the historical archives in which they wear nothing but swimming shorts.

Add this latest twist to the events of the past two weeks though -- a period in which Rep. Anthony Weiner baldly lied about sending a lewd picture and said he did not know if it was a picture of himself; two straight American men were uncovered falsely posing online as lesbian bloggers, one Syrian and allegedly kidnapped; and it was reported that the man riding the motorcycle in the latest Jon Hunstman ad is not the candidate -- and it seems clear that we've gone back to the future on questions about what is and is not real online.

The gossip website took the picture down some time Wednesday. "They took it down when they realized it wasn't Newt," Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told Hotline On Call.

Image via TMZ

Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In