By admin | May 9th, 2014
No matter where you land on the political spectrum or what you think of scandal, you have to give credit to Monica Lewinsky’s communications approach this month.
I have no idea about the motivation behind her wanting to reappear in America’s headlines, but she went from almost no media presence to being part of the political/cultural news cycle as rapidly as anyone on record. The stories generated in just a handful of days have ended up as strident (and weird) as ever. A small sample set:
- • The Chicago Tribune ran an opinion piece under the headline “Monica Lewinsky’s comeback”
- • Los-Angeles-based TMZ stayed classy with “Monica Lewinsky’s Strip Club Job Offer . . .s ”
- • Fox News offered “Monica Goes Viral: Lewinsky revives her Clinton calamity for the social media age”
- • Slate ran a story that focused on how a New York Times columnist benefited from the now 16-year-old Lewsinsky scandal — “ ‘Ditsy, Predatory White House Intern’: Looking back on how Maureen Dowd painted Monica Lewinsky as a crazy bimbo—and won a Pulitzer for it.”
Below is Universal Information Services news monitoring summary of Monica Lewinsky’s U.S. media mentions from May 1 through May 8 equals 12,559.
Following this month’s Lewinsky stories with radio, TV, and web tracking is something like watching a tidal wave roll in and break on a beach. There’s nothing to do but be amazed by thousands and thousands of news items generated by . . . basically a personal column.
All of this coverage comes not from an event or a happening or even from Lewinsky giving a high-profile interview, like she did with Barbara Walters back in 1999. Lewinsky (and/or her advisers) took control of how she would re-enter public life with a direct message—a first-person article for Vanity Fair, which is now available digitally but won’t be out on newsstands until May 13.
Lewinsky hasn’t had to answer a question in any way, shape, or form from a journalist anywhere. Reporters across the country of every stripe (political, entertainment, media-focused) and belief (conservative to liberal) found themselves dealing with how to create credible second-hand stories. It’s not the media’s finest hour.
Like a tidal wave, this 2014 Lewinsky story will quickly recede. Only time will answer whether all of this was simply leveraging Lewinsky’s name for personal benefit, a political maneuver to help or hinder a future candidate, or just a middle-aged woman wanting to tell her story. The only sure thing? Monica Lewinsky is back.