Back in the nineties, it was the scandal that rocked the nation. President Bill Clinton had some sort of (ahem) affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. After the news hit the internet, she basically became the first scapegoat of the blowback in negativity that one could possibly receive at the hands of the internet.
“I was Patient Zero,” Lewinsky said, according to the magazine. “The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet. There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram back then, but there were gossip, news and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial up. Yet around the world this story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly ‘social media.’”
According to Forbes, which recapped the presentation, Lewinsky got emotional while discussing her life in the wake of the political scandal. “Staring at the computer screen, I spent the day shouting, ‘Oh my God!’ and ‘I can’t believe they put that in. That’s so out of context,’” she said of the infamous Starr Report, which was released online in 1998. “And those were the only thoughts that interrupted a relentless mantra in my head: ‘I want to die.’”
Lewinsky, as she first wrote in an essay for the June 2014 issue of Vanity Fair, explained that the tragic death of Tyler Clementi was what moved her to break her silence. (Clementi, a gay Rutgers University student, committed suicide in 2010 after being publicly humiliated by classmates on the Internet.) “The tragedy is one of the principal reasons I am standing up here today,” Lewinsky said Monday. “While it touched us both, my mother was unusually upset by the story, and I wondered why. Eventually it dawned on me: She was back in 1998, but to a time when I was periodically suicidal; when she might very easily have lost me; when I, too, might have been humiliated to death.”
She was “Patient Zero” indeed! She survived the mass onslaught of negativity thrown her way and now the scandal is a part of history. Hopefully she is getting her life together so that she can really get past all of this and LIVE!
Source, Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet
Posted Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 10:10am
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