Monica Lewinsky Scandal

Monica Lewinsky Scandal

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Updated Jun 06, 2018 at 04:55PM EDT by Matt.

Added May 08, 2014 at 01:55PM EDT by Don.

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Monica Lewinsky Scandal was a political sex scandal that emerged from an extramarital affair between United States President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The news of the scandal was first reported on by the news aggregation website Drudge Report in January 1998, which marked the first time that an online news publication provided exclusive coverage of breaking news before any other newspaper and the print media.


In 1995, Lewis & Clark College graduate Monica Lewinsky was hired as an intern during Clinton's first term as President of the United States. During the course of her internship, Lewinsky told friend Linda Tripp in several secretly-recorded telephone conversations that she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Clinton. In January 1998, Tripp gave tapes of the conversations to Independent Counsel investigator Kenneth Starr after consulting literary agent Lucianne Goldberg. On January 17th, 1998, the news site Drudge Report[1] broke that story in an article titled "Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern," reporting that the news magazine Newsweek had refused to run a story about a sexual affair between Clinton and a young White House intern. On January 21st, 1998, The Washington Post[2] was the first mainstream news media outlet to report on the story.


Notable Developments

Clinton's Denial

On January 26th, 1998, Clinton famously denied the accusations at the end of a White House press conference (shown below, left).

"Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you."

On the following day, Clinton's wife Hillary was interviewed on the Today Show by host Matt Laeuer and claimed that the allegations against her husband were part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" (shown below, right).

Clinton's Admission

After receiving transactional immunity in exchange for grand jury testimony regarding her relationship with Clinton, Lewinsky gave Starr investigators a blue dress stained with Clinton's semen to provide DNA evidence of their encounter. On August 17th, Clinton admitted to having an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky during a taped grand jury testimony. That evening, Clinton admitted to the relationship in a nationally televised address to the American people (shown below).

Starr Report

On September 11th, 1998, Starr's report[3] on Clinton was released to the public online, which alleged that Clinton denied several meetings with Lewinsky and a conversation with adviser Vernon Jordan under oath and that Clinton obstructed justice by witness tampering and delaying testimony for seven months. CNN[4] reported that hits to the website hosting their copy of the report peaked at an estimated 340,000 per minute, America Online saw a 30% increase in overall traffic and the Associated Press website was hit with 20 times as many visitors.


On December 19th, 1998, the United States House of Representatives impeached Clinton on one charge of perjury and one charge of obstruction of justice. On January 7th, 1999, the Senate trial began and concluded on February 12th with both charges defeated.


On February 1st, 1999, a biography of Lewinsky titled Monica's Story by writer Andrew Morton was released, for which Lewinsky received $500,000. On March 3rd, Lewinsky was interviewed on the ABC television news program 20/20 by host Barbara Walters (shown below, left). ABC subsequently announced that the interview received 70 million viewers, breaking the show's previous records. In 2000, Lewinsky began starring in commercials for the weight loss and nutrition company Jenny Craig (shown below, right).

Inappropriate Timing Bill Clinton

Inappropriate Timing Bill Clinton is an image macro series featuring a photograph of an enthusiastic-looking former United States President Bill Clinton walking into the White House Briefing Room to join President Barack Obama. The macros are typically captioned with lewd punchlines in reference to the Lewinsky scandal.

EWHITE HOUSE HINCTON Whose unemployment rates do you naye to lower to get blown around here?!

Vanity Fair Essay

On May 6th, 2014, Vanity Fair[5] magazine published a preview of an essay written by Lewinsky, in which she discusses the scandal and her life afterward. In the piece, Lewinsky mentions how the Internet played a role in her public "humiliation."

“thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.”

That day, BuzzFeed[6] published several photoshopped mockups of modern-day blog headlines reporting on the Lewinsky scandal if it had happened today (shown below).

Search Don't F------ Sleep With Your Interns Hamilton Nolan Flled to: REMINDER 1/27/08 87,604 48 * ▼ 1 2 You are an idiot. Ads by Google UPWORTHY The President Invited An Intern Into The Oval Office, What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind. Rollie Williams f Like 40Klw Follow1.1k Monica Lewinsky was just a lowly White House intern when President Bill Clinton took special notice of her and invited her to the oval office. You won't believe what happens at 2:01, and I'll admit it: I got a little choked up Subscribe to Upworthy - fshare On Facebook Twitter HOME VIDEO NEWS MUSIC FASHION PHOTO TRAVEL SPORTS TECH FOOD THE VICE GUIDE TO F------ THE PRESIDENT By VICE Staff Feb 9 1998 91 f Like 152Tweet 75 1 t tumblr + 1 point on reddit Share Like

Also on May 6th, Redditor woodcomedy posted an Inappropriate Timing Clinton image macro to /r/AdviceAnimals,[14] joking about Lewinsky performing oral sex (shown below).


In the coming days, several news sites reported on the essay, including Salon,[12] The Daily Beast,[13] CNN,[7] Us Weekly,[8] NPR,[9] The Washington Post[10] and NY Mag.[11] The full essay is set for release on May 8th on Vanity Fair's

Bill Clinton's 2018 Today Show Interview

On June 4th, 2018, President Clinton appeared on the Today show, where he discussed his feelings on the scandal roughly two decades later. During the interview, Clinton was asked about an article written by Lewinsky for Vanity Fair[15] that discusses the scandal in relation in regards to the #MeToo movement. He said:

“I don’t think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn’t … I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution[…]I felt terrible then, and I came to grips with it. Nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt."

When asked if he apologized to Lewinsky, he said, "No. I’ve never talked to her, but I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. The apology was public. I dealt with it 20 years ago plus, and the American people, two-thirds of them stayed with me. And I’ve tried to do a good job since then with my life and my work."

Following the negative response to the Clinton's comments, the former president appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In the interview, Colbert asked him to clarify his comments. Cliton said:

"The suggestion was that I never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me 20 years ago. First point is, I did. I meant it then, I meant it now. I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family and to the American people before a panel of ministers in the White House, which was widely reported. So I did that. I meant it then and I mean it today. I live with it all the time.

"The second is that I support the Me Too movement and think it is long overdue, and I have always tried to support it in the decisions and policies that I advanced," he said. "Beyond that, I think it would be good if we could go on with the discussion."

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Top Comments

Apu is shitting
Apu is shitting

Colbert is slowly become more and more like the caricature people interpret him to be and the left has no problems using him. How fucking narcissistic and delusional do you have to be to think that you can just "re-do" an interview because you're not happy with how the public opinion received the initial one?
It's a sad state of affairs, but it's stuff like this that makes you realize that the internet is a blessing in situations like this, because it keeps a record of the full timeline and you can't just make moments like that go away.


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