In 1992, the stories about Bill Clinton’s dalliances, coercion, and general disrespect for women were public news. They were all over the pre-Internet media.
One of his senior staffers coined the phrase, “bimbo eruptions.” She got her own Wikipedia article because of this. The news had zero effect on his candidacy. Hillary shrugged it off. The media laughed it off. He got away with it.
Six years later, Matt Drudge was able to pull off one of the great media coup d’état’s in history. In 1998, he exposed the fact that Newsweek (R.I.P.) had suppressed the story about Clinton’s dalliance with an intern. Before this was over, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives. He was only the second President ever to be impeached. But he weathered the storm. He was not convicted by the Senate. He left office as a popular President.
Today, he is under fire. New books are coming out with these old stories, plus some new additions. They are gaining traction. They never gained traction before.
He was lucky in 1992. In the initial phases of the exposés, conventional media were dominant. There was no Internet. But when he got caught with Lewinsky, we can mark the rise of Internet journalism with that event. Drudge visibly transformed the world of journalism in just one shot.
Now that his wife is running for President, the stories have resurfaced. There is a generation of young women who have never heard anything about all this. This was big news in 1992. That was 24 years ago. There is no reason why a generation of younger women would ever have heard about these stories. The stories were old news by 1993.
Hillary Clinton blew the cover. She made a remark about Donald Trump’s sexism. Trump doesn’t care that he is called a sexist or anything else. He is more immune to political correctness than any public figure I have ever seen. He just does not care. The extent to which he does not care is astounding. So, he fired back. He reminded the world about how Hillary Clinton remains married to the most verifiably notorious sexist in the history of the White House.
The media give Trump full billing. Nothing that he says is not publicized all over the Web. His response got unexpected traction on Bill Clinton’s sex life. This is not just a dalliance with one intern. This is not wink-wink. Now the dirt is piling up. Critics threw mud against the wall 24 years ago, and it did not stick. This time, a lot of it is sticking.
There is something else to consider. Bill Cosby set the example. The women who did complain years ago never got any media exposure. Then, without warning, one of them gained attention with her story, and the dam collapsed. The cover of New York Magazine, with all of the accusing women in chairs, and one empty chair in the front row, was the equivalent of Matt Drudge’s article in 1998.
That cover and the accompanying story finished Cosby. He had been able to weather the storm up until that cover, but from that point on, his reputation was lost. It will never be restored. It is dead in the water. There is nothing he can do to get back his squeaky-clean image. He has been convicted in the court of public opinion. He is now presumed guilty until proven innocent, and he is never going to be able to prove himself innocent in this court. There were too many women on that cover.
The media realized what enormous destructive power they still possess. Cosby had been more untouchable than Clinton had been. Then, without warning, the media destroyed him. Better than this from the media’s point of view, they got lots of page views while destroying him. Cosby ceased being Fat Albert. He became Old Weird Harold.
The media can barely resist destroying people, if in doing so, they will get a lot of page views. Page views are the name of the game today. So, having destroyed an icon, along comes Trump to remind the media of all those buried stories a quarter century ago. Now there are books being published. I don’t know how much of the material is new, but it is new to a generation of women who were ready to vote for Hillary Clinton. They are now having doubts about her husband.
Hillary Clinton did a great Tammy Wynette routine, repeatedly, but it is now backfiring.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)