Days of Change

Day 1245 – The Golden Age of Misogyny

April 2, 2012

Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection posted and old story by Jake Tapper about his date with Monica Lewinsky just weeks before the infamous Drudge post in 1997. He pointed out some of the qualities that made Monica a likeable person. She was realistic, but cheerful. She was approachable and she actually cared what someone else was saying. She also talked about herself, which was her undoing.

Lewinsky told Linda Tripp, a former employee of Vince Foster, that she had an affair with Bill Clinton. Tripp recorded the later conversations and gave them to Kenneth Starr. Newsweek sat on the story until it was leaked on the Drudge Report website. Lewinsky never held a press conference. She tried to move on from her time as an intern. The media had no such intention.

For some time, apologists for Clinton (including his wife) came up with every excuse possible as to why this was not true. There was a “right-wing conspiracy,” Monica was crazy, Bill was drugged by the KGB. Then the positive evidence was revealed. I think the major source of information about the Lewinsky affair ended coming from Saturday Night Live.

Linda Tripp was raked over the coals, being played by actor John Goodman. Lewinsky was played by Molly Shannon, in another of her virtually indistinguishable characters. It was a combination of dumb and slutty with ugly and bitter. When Clinton’s popularity was not affected by the events of the scandal, SNL portrayed Clinton’s approval ratings going to 100% as Lewinsky described a three-way between herself, Clinton and Vernon Jordan.

Sadly, attacking the woman in the media is not new. Lewinsky went on to do reality television, as a certain notoriety limits your options in reality. For that, she was criticized. Things may be bad now, but they were never very good. Even in the supposedly fantastic Clinton era, women who don’t speak the talking points get abused. It’s kind of like the way Linda Tripp was bashed by serpent head James Carville when she questioned the circumstances of Vince Foster’s death. That may have come back to haunt him.


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