Monica Lewinsky writes scathing non-obituary remembering Roger Ailes and Fox News.

Monica Lewinsky writes scathing non-obituary remembering Roger Ailes and Fox News.

"This is not another obituary for Roger Ailes," begins Monica Lewinsky, writing in the New York Times about a man who used Fox News to "hammer... ceaselessly" the story about her affair every hour of every day during the worst chapter of her life.

Roger Ailes ran Fox News from 1996 to 2016, when multiple sexual harassment accusations led to his resignation.

But just two years into his tenure, in 1998, he transformed Fox News into a juggernaut—with a relentless focus on Lewinsky's affair with Bill Clinton. Lewinsky quotes one of Ailes's underlings:

John Moody, a Fox executive editor, reflected on that period: “The Lewinsky saga put us on the news map.” As he put it in another interview: “Monica was a news channel’s dream come true.”

"Their dream was my nightmare. My character, my looks and my life were picked apart mercilessly," wrote Lewinsky. "Truth and fiction mixed at random in the service of higher ratings."

Sound familiar?

Meanwhile, Lewsinsky says, she stayed at home and watched the coverage. And if Fox News was bad, there was no refuge on MSNBC or any other network. The internet was its own slideshow of horrors.

"I ceased being a three-dimensional person. Instead I became a whore, a bimbo, a slut and worse."


Here's the "worse" she's referring to:

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”?

The original trolls, just as internet culture became mainstream, went for her blood. Nor does Lewinsky take pleasure in the "irony of Mr. Ailes's career at Fox." That he launched it on her sex scandal, and ended it with his own.

But despite all that, Lewinsky's essay is hopeful—she points to the firing of Bill O'Reilly and Bob Beckel as two positive signs.


In the end, her essay isn't an obituary for Roger Ailes. But, she hopes, it's "an obituary for the culture he purveyed."

Read Lewinsky's full essay over at The New York Times.