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