Univeral Amplifier

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She’s Back! Monica Lewinsky Controls Her Media Message

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.

Universal Information Services measuring media for Monica Lewinsky

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:

    • 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.

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