The Clinton Sex Scandal

Topics: Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton, President of the United States Pages: 9 (3792 words) Published: April 16, 2000
The Clinton Sex ScandalRare is a person that crosses the path of the White House without some emotionof envy or awe. This building epitomizes world leadership and unprecedentedpower. This renowned leadership may be the only association made by certaincountries, while in the United States many see an other significance:Watergate, Whitewater, Kennedy's brutal and mysterious assassination, andtoday, Clinton's "zippergate" scandal. When the President of the United Statestakes oath, he gives up a part of his life. His private life becomes thepublic's life, and they feel the right to know what happens behind the OvalOffice. Now the Presidency must battle against Newspaper journalists, radiopersonalities, televised news reports and now, even more menacing: theInternet.Presidents who are constantly reminded of their power and prestigious rank,become exasperated because they cannot control the news media, even though theycan to a large degree set the news agenda. Media has expanded in its presence,becoming widespread on the Internet, perhaps monopolizing the domain, bybecoming more powerful and more used than written, televised or radio journalism. The Presidents' inability to control the press exposes their vulnerability and tends to question the actual power they can actually exert.All presidents, at some time or another, became frustrated at what theyperceived as unfair treatment by the press, even while acknowledging its vitalfunction in a free society, and many presidents have been a part of a scandal.The current Presidential scandal with Monica Lewinsky had swept the Nationovernight. It seems quite impossible to know just how it will all turn out, andunfair to even speculate, but the media certainly seems to think they possessthat right. It is obvious that this story has changed the face of journalism,has put online media on the map in a major way, and has made life moredifficult for newspapers forever.First, let's take a look at how this story developed and how it acted on theInternet. David Noack of E&P in his article "Web's Big Role in Sex Controversy"does a great job of detailing the twisting path this tale took from rumor toinvestigation to publication, and how the Internet played a key part. Noackpoints out in his article that the "Clinton/Lewinsky" scandal has drasticallychanged online media. He writes:"A year ago, most newspapers and news magazines adhered to the hard rule thatthey would not stoop themselves by putting breaking news on their Web sitesbefore it appeared in their print editions. But a rapidly-growing public demandfor almost "instant" Web coverage of breaking national news stories has forced even the largest newspapers and magazines— like the Washington Post and Newsweek—to abandon the old rule.""Out with the old, in with the new." It is easy to think breaking storiesonline could dilute journalists' on-paper presence; now many have realized thatonline media puts all journalists on equal footing with radio and TV. So whodrove this change, pushing away the status quo? Matt Drudge, author of "TheDrudge Report". It is still the Internet's gold rush period and everyone isrunning around trying to make a profit. The irony is that the person who bestembodies what's revolutionary about the Internet has made next to no money fromit: Matt Drudge, 30, is the author of "The Drudge Report", a bulletin ofentertainment gossip, political rumor and witty meta-news. His web page ( is austere; it consists of a headline, links tonews sources and some black and white clip art. Apparently he is really quitewell informed, he reads 18 newspapers a day and he admires politics enough togo after both sides of the story when the time comes. Drudge's contact list hasbeen expanding far quicker than his bank account he now has a huge following,with a mailing list of over 85,000 people.This web journalist has such an impact on the Internet that last week hemanaged to cause consternation in the White House and...
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