Bill Clinton can’t escape his past.
His scandalous past will haunt him forever.
And he was just reminded of that in the most surprising way.
Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The impeachment will forever taint his Presidency.
But Monica Lewinsky dredged the scandal back up when she used it as an outrageous excuse to attack former Fox News President Roger Ailes following his death.
Lewinsky claimed in a New York Times op-ed that Ailes ruined her life by sensationalizing the affair on Fox News programming.
“This is not another obituary for Roger Ailes, who died last week 10 months after being ousted at Fox News. It is, I hope, instead an obituary for the culture he purveyed — a culture that affected me profoundly and personally.
Just two years after Rupert Murdoch appointed Mr. Ailes to head the new cable news network, my relationship with President Bill Clinton became public. Mr. Ailes, a former Republican political operative, took the story of the affair and the trial that followed and made certain his anchors hammered it ceaselessly, 24 hours a day.
It worked like magic: The story hooked viewers and made them Fox loyalists. For the past 15 years, Fox News has been the No. 1 news station; last year the network made about $2.3 billion.
Some experts have noted that viewers found Fox for the first time because of the crisis. John Moody, a Fox executive editor, reflected on that period: “The Lewinsky saga put us on the news map.” As he put it in another interview: “Monica was a news channel’s dream come true.”
Despite admitting that every network covered the Clinton-Lewinsky affair to the hilt, Lewinsky singled out Fox News:
“Their dream was my nightmare. My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly. Truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings. My family and I huddled at home, worried about my going to jail — I was the original target of Kenneth Starr’s investigation, threatened with 27 years for having been accused of signing a false affidavit and other alleged crimes — or worse, me taking my own life. Meantime, Mr. Ailes huddled with his employees at Fox News, dictating a lineup of talking heads to best exploit this personal and national tragedy.
For myriad reasons — information gathering, boredom (I couldn’t leave my home without being trailed by paparazzi) and a touch of masochism — I watched the news around the clock. On Fox, it seemed, no rumor was too unsubstantiated, no innuendo too vile and no accusation too abhorrent.”
This is nonsense and revisionist history.
Fox News did not become the dominant cable news channel until 2001.
And she accuses Ailes of fostering an environment of sexism and harassment, which is rich, considering she ignores Bill Clinton’s role in the affair.
Clinton preyed on a young intern.
And in the course of his public life, he was accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
He was disbarred for lying under oath about his affair with Lewinsky and paid out an $800,000 settlement in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit.
This is rewriting history.
Bill Clinton was the predator in this situation, but Lewinsky changes the facts and makes Roger Ailes the real villain.