Monica Fails Another Accountability Test

This is the graphic the Times used above the Lewinsky op-ed. You didn’t know that the whole Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was staged by Roger Ailes, did you? Yes, it was all his fault. Really. And since he’s dead, this is the perfect time for the Times to say so.

In an New York Times op-ed prompted by the death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, Monica Lewinsky demonstrates that she sees herself as a pathetic victim, and blames others for what happened to her after a President of the United States decided to indulge himself and use a star-struck White House intern as his sex toy. Yet Monica’s others barely include Bill Clinton (he is mentioned just once in her screed), who did victimize her. Instead, she is accusing  Ailes and Matt Drudge, who committed the sin, Lewinsky implies, of preventing the mainstream news media from burying the story, as it was in the process of trying to do.

Monica’s attack on Ailes is just the latest in the hate-fest from the Left in reaction to his death. His primary crime, in their eyes, was  interfering with the left-wing media’s ability to spin the news to recruit the public in uncritical and ignorant support of all things liberal. Many of the vicious tweets from reporters (When Al Sharpton stands out for being fair, you know something is amiss) focused on Ailes’s sexual harassment, but it is fair to assume that Clinton, another serial harasser, will not be memorialized by these critics in the same way. Ailes was a sexist, power-abusing pig, but these people work with and cover  and vote for sexist power-abusing pigs all the time. They revile Ailes because he broke up their monopoly.

The Times can only have decided to publish Lewinsky’s jaw-droppingly obtuse and self-serving column as part of its own post-mortem smear of  Ailes, even though it makes Monica look deluded and juvenile. Yes, she is being used again.

She writes in part:

Mr. Ailes, a former Republican political operative, took the story of the affair and the trial that followed and made certain his anchors hammered it ceaselessly, 24 hours a day. It worked like magic: The story hooked viewers and made them Fox loyalists. For the past 15 years, Fox News has been the No. 1 news station; last year the network made about $2.3 billion. Some experts have noted that viewers found Fox for the first time because of the crisis. John Moody, a Fox executive editor, reflected on that period: “The Lewinsky saga put us on the news map.” As he put it in another interview: “Monica was a news channel’s dream come true.”

Their dream was my nightmare. My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly. Truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings. My family and I huddled at home, worried about my going to jail — I was the original target of Kenneth Starr’s investigation, threatened with 27 years for having been accused of signing a false affidavit and other alleged crimes…Just as television news was devolving into a modern coliseum, the internet came along and compounded this culture of shame and vitriol. Remember: The story of my affair was not broken by The Washington Post, The New York Times or the networks, but online by the Drudge Report. The comments on television and online were excruciating. I ceased being a three-dimensional person. Instead I became a whore, a bimbo, a slut and worse. Just days after the story broke, Fox asked its viewers to vote on this pressing question: Is Monica Lewinsky an “average girl” or a “young tramp looking for thrills”?

Imagine! An intern has a sexual relationship with the President of The United States who has constantly promoted his marriage as the perfect team, prompting him to lie  under oath in court, triggering cover-up and making impeachment a real possibility, and Fox News was so cruel and venal that they treated it as worthy of round-the clock coverage! The monsters! The worst part was that had it not been for Drudge and then Fox News, maybe the pro-Clinton media could have minimized public attention on a historic scandal.

Lewinsky, as she has shown before, is hardly a history or media scholar. Those of us who remembered the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy’s assassination, the Watergate hearings, and the O.J. trial, among other long-running stories that captivated the public interest, didn’t regard the intense media focus on this obviously important episode as out of proportion.

Dear Monica,

I am sorry about what happened to you. Had Bill Clinton not been such a cur, you would be a happier person today. He betrayed you and your trust, and you weren’t the only one. However, the other individual at fault for your fate is you–not Ken Starr, not Matt Drudge, not Linda Tripp, not Roger Ailes.

You.

Do you know how you could have shortened the coverage, Monica? You could immediately have told the truth, handed over the blue dress, and admitted who actually drafted that affidavit you gave to Linda Tripp to sign. If you didn’t want to look bad in the reports, you could have called Bill Clinton on his brazen lie to the nation when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” You could have pointed the finger of blame at the one who earned it: President Bill Clinton, who violated his own sexual harassment law after handing out pens to NOW officials and women’s right activists in his signing photo-op, who jeopardized his marriage, his political agenda and his party, who made the United States look foolish and tawdry, all while placing a naive young woman in a disastrous situation that he knew might destroy her future. He just didn’t care.

Bill Clinton had an obligation to you as your superior and as the President. Roger Ailes’ obligation was to only his audience, and he met it, spectacularly well.

Fox News didn’t invent the narrative  that you were the villain. Democrats seeking to circle the wagons around their scummy leader did that. I heard Maxine Waters, in a committee hearing, say that young women like you trap vulnerable elected officials like Bill Clinton, using their seductive wiles. (Yes, Maxine has been saying stupid and irresponsible things that long.) She was not alone. Is Monica Lewinsky an “average girl” or a “young tramp looking for thrills”? I agree that’s a bad poll question. I don’t believe average girls with appropriate values and common sense jeopardize a Presidency and a President’s marriage by allowing him to institute an illicit sexual relationship. The term “tramp” is needlessly harsh, though just about any wife of a businessman who discovers that her husband has been getting blow-jobs from an office  worker half his age would use that term or worse to describe her, would she not? Roger Ailes is not responsible for your character and reputation being tarnished. Your own actions, inadequate ethics and miserable decisions are.

Until you accept responsibility and accountability for that, you will never be able to escape the fate a charming, powerful, sociopathic leader charted for you.

31 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

31 responses to “Monica Fails Another Accountability Test

  1. Do we need to recount all of f the rationalizations used to defend Bill Clinton’s conduct?

  2. It was a big turning point in my life. Our company cafeteria had a television wall, set up to make the presentation HUGE. I remember sitting there watching Slick Willy himself point his finger at the camera and scolding America for daring to even think he could disgrace the very Oval Office in this way. I remember thinking that hubris like that begs to be brought down.

    Then the little blue dress showed up (I watched them carry it in on that same TV wall) and the liberals went nuts.

    And… Bill got away with it. Broke his own law. An avatar was born from this incident. I have used ‘slickwilly,’ in one form or another, ever since as a reminder that justice is NOT blind, that Democrats no longer care about America, or the people, or fair play, and that we allow such degenerates to get into power through apathy.

    Monica was twisted by what happened. She is an extreme, public example of what happens to each of us: the results of our choices.

  3. Neil Dorr

    Jack,

    I’d love it if you could find that Maxine Waters quote, or if you could at least remember more specifically how it was phrased. Google has been no help so far.

  4. Pete sez howdy

    I am left with the conclusion that Mr. Clinton was sleazy, Ms. Lewinsky was sleazy, and Mr. Ailes was sleazy.

    In her 2014 Vanity Fair article, Ms. Lewinsky refers to the episode as “an affair” that was “mutual.” Hard to find a victim in that.

    • What do you mean? Hillary, the nation, the party, Al Gore, honesty, standards, the Presidency—there were too many victims to count. Ailes was very sleazy, but his sleaziness was irrelevant to Monica’s problems.

      • Other Bill

        And don’t forget, If Monica Lewinsky had been a comparably young black suspect, rather than a young white woman, she’d have been called “a child” these days.

      • Pete sez howdy

        Thanks for asking me to clarify. I mean that: since she seemed a willing participant and co-creator in “the affair” it seems difficult to conclude that she was the victim of anything.

        I agree that Mr Clinton was/is “charming, powerful, sociopathic leader”, but you are only a victim if you are an innocent who is seduced by that. How many on your list allowed Mr Clinton’s excesses because it was convenient to their own interests to allow it?

        The individuals ‘too many to count’ are those playing the game and jockeying for their own interests …If the biggest manipulator among them out manipulates the others, where the story? … it seems like “Dog bites man” to me.

        Is the nation worse of for all this? You betcha! Are we victims? No. We are co-creators of the system that encourages such abuses to happen. The accountability weight on fixing the mess lies on you & me, not on the idiots whose bizarre behavior gets in the news. Let’s not yield our power to those unethical bozos, like we typically do.

        • Other Bill

          If she were your daughter would she have had it coming to her?

          • Pete sez howdy

            Other Bill: an interesting hypothetical. I am going to duck it and just note that the principles at play here, to me, seem to be

            1) you can’t con an honest man (sic); and,
            2) there is no such thing as power, only the willingness to yield power

            My argument taken simplistically may seem like “blaming the victim” … it depends, really on the motivations of the characters in question … I put a lot of responsibility on each individual to act ethically. If that happens, then those exhibiting unethical behavior become irrelevant. If it doesn’t happen, then yes, our unethical behavior invites nasty consequences, whether it is my daughter, or not.

            Vote an unethical character into office? We invite the consequences.

            Unsure of their character before voting for them? Find out. That is our social responsibility.

            Can we be fooled by them, In principle? not really. Just look close and be discerning.

            Can we be fooled by them, In practice? Well, yes, it happens all the time … but I put the onus on myself for not looking closer or not working hard enough to install an honest alternative in that office.

            If the system itself is the corrupting agent, well then it is time to change the system.

          • Yes.

            I teach my daughter in personal responsibility (with object lessons given out for free) and on natural consequences. My wife and I sometimes choose NOT to mitigate results of bad choices even when we easily could so the cause and effect drives the lesson home. How else is she to learn?

            Had she done this anyway, with all the lying and skulduggery Monica did, I would have been there for her. She gets grace and forgiveness, if she needs it from her parents. But the consequences would be what she chose.

            Of course, I would have killed Slick Willy and spent my life in prison had this been my daughter 🙂

  5. Risa

    Amen! You nailed it, so to speak, Jack!

  6. I am in way too bad of a mood today to say much, but I do appreciate the reminder of just who is – and always was – responsible for what, in that particular White House sex scandal in the 1990s.

  7. I’ve never thought much of Monica and this op-ed of hers pretty much confirms my previous perception of her. I’ve always thought of her as a self-absorbed blithering idiot, kind of like one of those idiot sorority girls trying to fuck her way to the top by bedding the richest frat boy with the biggest dollar earning potential.

    Now don’t you fellow sorority girls take offense, I bet each of you can name at least one girl from either your sorority or a rival sorority that you privately labeled as a whore or a slut; of course maybe if you don’t know that girls were being labeled as such maybe you were the one being labeled. Snark with a capital S 😉

  8. dragin_dragon

    I had a friend, once, really a co-employee, who was forced to perform oral sex, with a belt around her neck, and the obvious threat of strangulation if she did not comply. Other than this one example, it seems to me to be an activity in which both parties were, and need to be, willing participants.

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