- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky says Fox News Channel may become “fair and balanced” with the death of the network’s ex-chief executive, Roger Ailes.

Friends and family mourned at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday during Mr. Ailes’ funeral. Ms. Lewinsky penned an op-ed less than 48 hours later accusing the 77-year-old of creating a “culture of exploitation” at a nascent Fox News just as her affair with former President Bill Clinton exploded into a national scandal, because of reporting by other media outlets.

“Just two years after Rupert Murdoch appointed Mr. Ailes to head the new cable news network, my relationship with President Bill Clinton became public,” Ms. Lewinsky wrote Monday for The New York Times.

“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,” Ms. Lewinsky wrote.

Ms. Lewinsky said the network’s coverage of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s work in 1998 mixed “truth and fiction” in a way that encouraged pundits to “prey on the vulnerable.”

“I ceased being a dimensional person,” she wrote. “Instead I became a whore, a bimbo, a slut and worse. Just days after the story broke, Fox asked its viewers to vote on this pressing question: Is Monica Lewinsky an ‘average girl’ or a ‘young tramp looking for thrills’?”

Mr. Clinton’s former paramour then said it was ironic that Mr. Ailes was forced in 2016 by the network he helped build due to sexual harassment accusations by employees. Ms. Lewinsky’s affair became a legal and public matter when Mr. Clinton lied about it in the course of a sexual-harassment suit against him by Paula Jones.

“There are some positive signs that the younger generation at Fox — James and Lachlan Murdoch — seem to want to change the culture Mr. Ailes created,” Ms. Lewinsky wrote. “I hope the Murdochs understand that Americans will no longer tolerate a corporate culture that views hate and harassment as part of running a successful news business.”

Ms. Lewinsky also accused the Drudge Report, which first broke news of the affair, as an architect of “this culture of shame and vitriol.”

Mr. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice growing out of conduct in the Jones lawsuit, but the Senate acquitted him in February 1999.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide