Monica Lewinsky is back in the news, this time complaining of her treatment by the liberal media, feminists and the Clinton Machine. In a long essay in the latest edition of Vanity Fair, Lewinsky blames all three for making her unemployable. Sorry, I'm not buying her sob story. Nearly 20 years after her stroll down the walk of shame, she's a far less sympathetic character than she was originally.
Lewinsky claims that her affair with President Bill Clinton was entirely consensual -- no sexual harassment here, she says. Nonetheless, she complains that the media frenzy that attended the public airing of what sexual antics took place in and around the Oval Office in the mid-1990s hurt her far more than it did him. Maybe.
Lewinsky is right that Clinton kept his job -- but the impeachment, Senate trial and nonstop media coverage were no picnic for the president and his family. He was universally excoriated, even by those who thought his offense was a private matter. In my view, Clinton should have resigned. I think most normal men would have, but then politicians as ambitious as Bill Clinton aren't normal. The fact that he didn't resign says nothing about what Lewinsky perceives as the double standard to which she thinks she was subjected.
What makes Lewinsky's bellyaching most irksome, however, is that she blames others for her own failure to make a go of her life. She acts as if she has no means for gainful employment, but the reality is that she's had many offers based solely on her celebrity status, including stints as a weight-loss spokesperson and as a host of a short-lived reality TV dating show. What she didn't get was a steady six-figure job in the media or, apparently, elsewhere.
She did earn a master's degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics -- so why didn't she take that degree and put it to use in an area where her notoriety might have been less of an obstacle to success? Instead she sought out jobs in "communications and branding," with an emphasis on charity campaigns, according to Vanity Fair.
Even the Vanity Fair article is an example of Lewinsky trying to cash in on her infamy. The irony is that it will help the Clintons far more than it helps Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton, no doubt, is glad that this narcissistic display (yes, Lewinsky appears to be a "narcissistic loony toon," just as Hillary described her to a friend at the time) is coming out now rather than in 2016.
The rule in politics is get bad news out early and on your terms -- and Vanity Fair seems to be helping to do that for Hillary Clinton, albeit with Lewinsky's assistance. There is no reason I can see that her husband's transgressions should be held against Mrs. Clinton. But getting the topic dealt with now rather than in two years makes the story old news, which is the kiss of death in our 24/7 news cycle.
Meanwhile, Lewinsky should forget about cashing in on her fame and get to work doing something for other people, not herself. At 40, she's a little old for the advice I usually give young people who ask how to succeed, but volunteering often opens doors to more permanent placement. Surely she could find a cause to believe in where she could spend time putting her social psychology degree to work.
If everyone runs at the mention of her name, change it -- that is unless she is more interested in the attention it garners than in finding work. She says everyone recognizes her. Well, she could change her looks, too -- lighten her hair, for example.
Outrageous? No, just practical. Lewinsky can't have it both ways. Either she wants to be judged for her skills and talents, or she wants to make big bucks as Bill Clinton's ex-girlfriend. The best way to get away from her past is to concentrate on who she is now. We'd all like to forget Monica Lewinsky's role in our national history, but we can't when she keeps bringing it up.