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. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?