‘In 1998, says Monica Lewinsky, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become a constant. In a brave talk, she takes a look at our “culture of humiliation,” in which online shame equals dollar signs — and demands a different way (20 March 2015)’.
The online database of biographical details of over 40,000 people of note, the Notable Names Database or NNDB reports that in “June 1995, when Lewinsky landed her internship in White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta’s office, she reportedly told friends, “I’m going to the White House to get my presidential kneepads.” According to Linda Tripp’s famous recorded phone calls, Lewinsky bragged of satisfying President Bill Clinton’s needs as early as November of that year. Within weeks of her first presidential tryst, Lewinsky left her unpaid internship in Panetta’s office to take a paid position in the Office of Legislative Affairs. Her official duties involved sorting incoming letters from members of Congress and bringing them to the Oval Office. By April 1996, Lewinsky had been transferred to a job in Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon’s office, but she continued making “regular visits” to the White House. Tripp, Lewinsky’s alleged friend who had secretly taped Lewinsky talking about her sexual exploits, took those tapes to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and conservative mother & son columnists Lucianne and Jonah Goldberg. From there, the tapes made their way to Paula Jones’ attorneys, who subpoenaed Lewinsky’s testimony to show Clinton’s ‘predatory pattern’ for their sexual harassment suit against him”.