What’s This “Silence” That Monica Lewinsky Is Breaking?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 6 2014 4:54 PM

What’s This “Silence” That Monica Lewinsky Is Breaking?

72738947-monica-lewinsky-attends-the-mens-health-best-life_1
Vows of silence aren't really her thing.

Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images

By general and probably unconscious consensus, all manner of competing news outlets are covering the re-emergence of Monica Lewinsky in the exact same way. In the Grey Lady:

In the Washington Post:

Advertisement

In the New York Post:

In the Huffington Post:

Slate, which is the only magazine you usually need to read, went with the duller-sounding headline "Monica Lewinsky Will Write About Bill Clinton in Vanity Fair." This headline had the advantage of being true, whereas the "silence-breaking" headlines made no sense. What silence was being broken? The Huffington Post notes that Lewinsky "is opening up about her affair with former President Bill Clinton for the first time in years," but that's not the same as breaking "silence." The Times reports that Lewinsky "says she became reclusive during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president in 2008 for fear that she would be used for political purposes."

Still not the same as a person "breaking silence," right? It's been 15 years since Lewinsky cooperated with Andrew Morton for Monica's Story, which you can pick up for $0.01 on Amazon, so hot is the interest in this story. (Even after you pay shipping, it's cheaper than a copy of Vanity Fair.) It's been just 12 years since Lewinsky cooperated with Monica: Black and White, a documentary she promoted on cable news. It's been 10 years since Bill Clinton published My Life, his memoir, and Lewinsky broke her silence to accuse the former president of lying.

It really doesn't seem like Lewinsky has anything new to add about the facts of the most thoroughly reported extramarital affair of all time. But let's pretend that she does.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.