It’s been over a decade now since the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal shook the White House, and the entire country became suddenly obsessed with the sexual lives of those in the Oval Office. Now, most Americans have stopped tittering over John Goodman’s Saturday Night Live Linda Tripp portrayal or grimacing when people joke about cigars. That could be changing again, now that Lewinsky has chosen to “go public” about her affair with then President Bill Clinton.
But times are far different than they were in the 90′s, and we now have a ceaseless number of 24 hour news stations, social media platforms and online news sites ready to jump on the tiniest nugget of news, all with endless hours and countless posts to fill. Is this really the environment that Lewinsky wants to dive back into?
Here are just 4 over the top reactions to the return of Monica Lewinsky:
1) Hillary made her do it! Considering the right wing’s obsession with the Clintons, an obsession just as passionate today as it was in 1998, it’s not surprising that Monica Lewinsky’s return to public has been with conservatives claiming Hillary Clinton is pulling her strings. “I really wonder if this isn’t an effort on the Clintons’ part to get that story out of the way. Would Vanity Fair publish anything about Monica Lewinsky that Hillary Clinton didn’t want in Vanity Fair?” asked Lynne Cheney, wife of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney. “Getting it out of the way so we can say one more time it’s old news seems to me like a strategy or a tactic, perhaps.”
2) Monica‘s cashing in. Maureen Dowd is partying like it’s 1998 again, and she’s taking the New York Times with her as she calls out Lewinski for “exploiting her own exploitation,” by coming back to cash in on her old scandal. “You’d think that the book ‘Monica’s Story,’ the HBO documentary, Barbara Walters’s interview and the 1998 Vanity Fair spread would be enough about the most covered affair in history. Heck, the seamy Starr report was enough,” writes Dowd. “But she must feel that her reticence over the last 10 years of “self-searching and therapy” has led the public to hunger for her thoughts on the eve of Hillary’s book rollout in June and at a moment when President Obama is struggling to pull focus back from the Clintons, whose past and future are more dominant than Obama’s present. Monica is in danger of exploiting her own exploitation as she dishes about a couple whose erotic lives are of waning interest to the country.”
3) Stop being bullies! One CNN opinion writer is flummoxed by all of the negative reaction to Lewinsky as fall out from the affair, both in the 90′s and today. “Frankly, when you consider just how intense, relentless and abusive the Lewinsky bullying has been for the past 16 years–by the media, the politicians, the public and trolls on the Internet, it’s a wonder she had the psychological stamina to resist those suicidal thoughts. And thank God she did,” he writes. Not everyone is so compassionate about allowing Lewinsky to use the bully frame, especially as she compares herself to Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old who killed himself after being victimized by relentless bullying and harassment. “In an egregiously offensive plea for understanding, Lewinsky compared her situation to that of cyberbullying victim Tyler Clementi…” writes Andrea Peyser at the New York Post. “What an imbecile. Lewinsky potentially wounded Clementi’s family, folks who’ve already suffered so much.”
4) Buzzfeed nails it. Whatever comes about from the reappearance of Monica Lewinsky, be it good or bad, self-indulgent or selfless, pro-Hillary or anti-Hillary, we will all have one moment that no one will regret: Buzzfeed’s imagined renditions of what today’s online media would do with the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. From the faux-Upworthy’s headline, “The President Invited An Intern Into the Oval Office. What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind.” to the fake 538′s charts on how bad Lewinsky really was for President Clinton, every headline is a literal piece of satiric art.
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