It truly pains me to have to write anything negative about Monica, who was exploited and humiliated by a President of the United States, and had her life permanently derailed because she trusted and even loved a rogue who regarded her as little more than an animated sex toy. Her re-emergence now, however—yes it is sad and desperate and makes me furious at Bill Clinton all over again—in the new guise of a “cyber-bullying” victim is intolerable, a delusion on multiple levels, despicable blame-shifting, and a welcome weasel-out of-accountability-free card for the Clintons. Yeccch.
I’m sorry for what happened to you, Monica, but you’re 40 now: it’s time to start seeing life more clearly—especially your own and the reasons why you are in the mess you are.
“Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one. I was Patient Zero,” Lewinsky said in a speech Monday to Forbes’s Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. “The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet.”
It has to take a near-fatal injection of self-serving historical air-brushing for the ex-intern to say this with a straight face, and it tells us volumes about the audience that it didn’t start throwing tomatoes:
- She wasn’t a “completely private figure.” She was a woman having a sexual affair with the President of the United States while he lied about it—to his wife, his staff, and under oath (I haven’t covered all of the lying, either.) That makes her an individual who is engaged in conduct with tremendous public and official consequences who is only “private” because a powerful official is using his power to make it so. The proper term is “inevitable public figure waiting for the dam to break.”
- The reason for her humiliation was and is William Jefferson Clinton, and no other. He is the one who described her as “that woman,” while denying what was true. He is the one who made his relationship with her part of a legal record while he was trying to avoid the consequences of another “bimbo eruption,” as his long-time “fixer” liked to call them.
- Lewinsky’s exposure was no different from that of any woman involved in a scandal with national implications and subject to great public interest, and subjected to the attention of the news media then in existence. She was no more Patient Zero than Rachel Jackson, Evelyn Nesbitt, Ruth Snyder, or Anne Boleyn for that matter. The fact that the internet played a role in her world-wide exposure is incidental, not the cause of her reputation problems.
- “…to watch yourself — or your name and likeness — be ripped apart online . . . For me, that was every day in 1998. There was a rotation of worsening name-calling and descriptions of me. I would go online, read in a paper or see on TV people referring to me as: tramp, slut, whore, tart, bimbo, floozy, even spy. The New York Post’s Page Six took to calling me, almost daily, the Portly Pepperpot. I was shattered.” Again, this has nothing to do with the internet, but the nature of scandal reporting and commentary from the beginning, whenever that was. Andrew Jackson maintained that the cruel comments in the press about his wife’s alleged bigamy caused her death…and it would have made about as much sense for Old Hickory to blame Matt Drudge for her fate as it does for Lewinsky to blame the web link-provocateur now.
- Lewinsky wasn’t “bullied” by a social media that didn’t exist. She was scapegoated by a news media and an unprincipled Democratic hit machine determined to protect a popular sociopathic President at all costs, and if it meant destroying a naive, gullible young woman, so be it. I’ll never forget Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca) exonerating Clinton during the debate over impeachment by insisting that Lewinsky was a sexual predator against which a President twice her age was helpless.
- All it would have taken for Lewinsky to be taken out of the cross-fire was for the President of the United States who so dazzled her to be a gentleman, an honest public official, a role model and decent human being, and to say to the nation, the second the story came out, the following:
“I want to conform acknowledge that I have been engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Ms. Lewinsky for two years. I take complete and sole responsibility for it and the harm it has caused. I was unfair to Monica. I abused her trust and encouraged her affection under false pretenses and representations that her regard was reciprocated for purely selfish ends. No one should regard her as anything but a victim in this matter, just as my wife and daughter are victims. This is my failing, and my failing alone. I want to apologize to them, and also to the American people for failing to meet the high standard of conduct that they should expect and demand from the President of the United States.”
Instead, he allowed her to be ripped to pieces. She has not healed yet.
Meanwhile, liberal pundits are applauding Monica’s desperate ploy—Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, linked above, is a serial Bill apologist— as they try to change the subject from Clinton misogyny, dishonesty and ruthlessness to internet bullying—a non sequitur, really—in time for Hillary to run for President as if she wasn’t as culpable in Monica’s destruction as anybody.
I feel very sorry for what happened to Monica, and hope that she finds an honorable route to happiness and fulfillment. Misrepresenting who was at fault for her problems, however, isn’t it.