After The Monica Lewinsky


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after the monica lewinsky The Clinton Sex Scandal


Rare is a person that crosses the path of the White House without some emotion
of envy or awe. This building epitomizes world leadership and unprecedented
power. This renowned leadership may be the only association made by certain
countries, while in the United States many see an other significance:
Watergate, Whitewater, Kennedy's brutal and mysterious assassination, and
today, Clinton's "zippergate" scandal. When the President of the United States
takes oath, he gives up a part of his life. His private life becomes the
public's life, and they feel the right to know what happens behind the Oval
Office. Now the Presidency must battle against Newspaper journalists, radio
personalities, televised news reports and now, even more menacing: the
Internet.

Presidents who are constantly reminded of their power and prestigious rank,
become exasperated because they cannot control the news media, even though they
can to a large degree set the news agenda. Media has expanded in its presence,
becoming widespread on the Internet, perhaps monopolizing the domain, by
becoming more powerful and more used than written, televised or radio
journalism. The Presidents' inability to control the press exposes their
vulnerability and tends to question the actual power they can actually exert.
All presidents, at some time or another, became frustrated at what they
perceived as unfair treatment by the press, even while acknowledging its vital
function in a free society, and many presidents have been a part of a scandal.

The current Presidential scandal with Monica Lewinsky had swept the Nation
overnight. It seems quite impossible to know just how it will all turn out, and
unfair to even speculate, but the media certainly seems to think they possess
that right. It is obvious that this story has changed the face of journalism,
has put online media on the map in a major way, and has made life more
difficult for newspapers forever.

First, let's take a look at how this story developed and how it acted on the
Internet. David Noack of E&P in his article "Web's Big Role in Sex Controversy"
does a great job of detailing the twisting path this tale took from rumor to
investigation to publication, and how the Internet played a key part.  Noack
points out in his article that the "Clinton/Lewinsky" scandal has drastically
changed online media. He writes:

"A year ago, most newspapers and news magazines adhered to the hard rule that
they would not stoop themselves by putting breaking news on their Web sites
before it appeared in their print editions. But a rapidly-growing public demand
for almost "instant" Web coverage of breaking national news stories has forced
even the largest newspapers and magazines like the Washington Post and
Newsweekto abandon the old rule."

"Out with the old, in with the new."  It is easy to think breaking stories
online could dilute journalists' on-paper presence; now many have realized that
online media puts all journalists on equal footing with radio and TV. So who
drove this change, pushing away the status quo? Matt Drudge, author of "The
Drudge Report". It is still the Internet's gold rush period and everyone is
running around trying to make a profit. The irony is that the person who best
embodies what's revolutionary about the Internet has made next to no money from
it: Matt Drudge, 30, is the author of "The Drudge Report", a bulletin of
entertainment gossip, political rumor and witty meta-news. His web page (
http://www.drudgereport.com) is austere; it consists of a headline, links to
news sources and some black and white clip art. Apparently he is really quite
well informed, he reads 18 newspapers a day and he admires politics enough to
go after both sides of the story when the time comes. Drudge's contact list has
been expanding far quicker than his bank account he now has a huge following,
with a mailing list of over 85,000 people.

This web journalist has such an impact on the Internet that last week he
managed to cause consternation in the White House and this was not the first
time. He flagged a story Newsweek had been sitting on for six months: that
President Clinton may have propositioned a White House worker named Kathleen
Willey on federal property.

I found an article on the Internet that seemed to sum up exactly what people's
opinion on Drudge is, very mixed:

"The best thing about the Internet is Matt Drudge. He knows how to use the
online medium. He prizes speed, being first, and he connects strongly with an
audience that wants personality and gossip. The worst thing about ... more

after the monica lewinsky

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Democracy

Complete and true democracy is almost impossible to achieve, and has been the
primary goal of many nations, beginning from ancient civilizations of Greece and

Roman Empire, all the way to the government of the United States today. There
are a few essential characteristics which must be present in a political system
for it to be even considered democratic. One essential characteristic of a
legitimate democracy is that it allows people to freely make choices without
government intervention. Another necessary characteristic which legitimates
government is that every vote must count equally: one vote for every person. For
this equality to occur, all people must be subject to the same laws, have equal
civil rights, and be allowed to freely express their ideas. Minority rights are
also crucial in a legitimate democracy. No matter how unpopular their views, all
people should enjoy the freedoms of speech, press and assembly. Public policy
should be made publicly, not secretly, and regularly scheduled elections should
be held. All of these elements and government processes are a regular part of
the American government. Yet, even with all the above elements present in the
governmental operations of our country, numerous aspects of the governmental
process undermine its legitimacy, and bring to question if United States
government is really a true democracy. Considering the achievement of complete
democracy is most likely impossible, the political system of American government
is democratic, but its democratic legitimacy is clearly limited in many
respects. One of the first notable aspects of the United States government which
brings the democratic legitimacy into question is the ever-occurring bias
between classes of people that participate in the electoral voting. Class is
determined by income and education, and differing levels of these two factors
can help explain why class bias occurs. For example, because educated people
tend to understand politics more, they are more likely to vote. In fact,
political studies done at Princeton in 1995 clearly showed that 76 percent of
all voters had college degrees. The same studies have been done in the next
three years and showed the percentage steadily holding at 76 percent, except in

1997, when it dropped down by two percent (Avirett 11). This four to one ration
of college educated voters versus non-college educated voters shows a clear
inequality and bias in the American voting system. This also brings about the
aspect of income. People with high income and education have more resources,
while poor people do not, and instead, tend to have low political efficacy. This
efficacy has been interpreted as feelings of low self-worth in the world of
politics. "Vast majority of the lower class simply feels they do not have
enough power or influence to make a change, thus choosing to exclude themselves
from the electoral process" (Fox 13). Turnout, therefore, is low and since the
early 1960s, has been declining overall (Fox 17). Although in theory the

American system calls for one vote per person, the low rate of turnout results
in the upper and middle classes ultimately choosing candidates for the entire
nation. This concludes that because voting is class-biased, it may not be
classified as a completely legitimate process. The "winner-take-all"
system in elections may also be criticized for being undemocratic because the
proportion of people agreeing with a particular candidate on a certain issue may
not be adequately represented under this system. For example, "a candidate who
gets forty percent of the vote, as long as he gets more votes than any other
candidate, can be electedeven though sixty percent of the voters voted
against him"(Lind, 314). Such was the case with president Carter and the
opposing Republican candidate Ford in the 1972 presidential election. Carter won
the presidency by only one percent in the peoples pole, as well as just
barely managing to get by in the electoral college with 297 votes over Fords

241 (Lind 321). This meant that almost fifty percent of the voting population
did not agree with Carters views, yet had to endure them for at least next
four years. Even though democracy is based on the principle of the majority
rule, such close elections make the majority not that major at all, and
seriously put a question mark on the democratic legitimacy of the United States
government. Another element of the United State government that brings
controversy to the democratic process and its legitimacy are the political
parties. "Political parties in America are weak due to the anti-party,
anti-organization, and anti-politics cultural prejudices of the Classical

Liberals" (Avirett 23). Because there is no national discipline in the ... more

after the monica lewinsky

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