Linda Tripp: Grimacing
By Stephanie Herman
January 11, 1999
Poet Edwin Honig once wrote that America's greatest war has been civil.
North/south, city/country, Republican/Democrat; 1998 proved this
yet again. And though Bill Clinton was responsible for most of the
the unfortunate Linda Tripp became its only lasting effigy.
No mainstream media outlet, for example, has yet to publish a picture of
Tripp when she's not grimacing. Personally, I'm waiting for Naomi
Wolf to kindly inquire of the angry mob our country has become: "Did you
actually read my book?"
Sure, maybe those of us defending Tripp have been too quick to dismiss
the gravity of "betraying a friend," or perhaps too willing to ignore the
fact that her last two tapes were made illegally. But it's hard to abandon
the Tripp defense -- her villification by Clinton Loyalists (CLs) has been
so caustic, most thinking people wonder how any one person could be so
hated so hypocritically and yet so professionally.
Despite the CLs' deep moral outrage at Tripp's betrayal of Monica, no
of morality has prevented them from making downright vulgar comments
Tripp's appearance -- and they haven't limited their criticisms to her
grimaced visage. (Whatever happened to the bleeding-heart,
make-love-not-war leftists Clinton once inspired?) And despite the CLs'
furious incredulity that Tripp lied about her arrest record on her
clearance form (she didn't, actually), they haven't let any sense of
hypocrisy keep them from completely ignoring Clinton's lies made both
under oath and to the country as a whole.
And though '98 will be remembered as the year our nation collectively
admitted that we all lie (especially about sex), we all cheat on
our spouses, we all should be allowed one grope, we all commit perjury in
sexual harassment cases, and we all just generally break the law willy nilly,
the CLs were simply appalled to discover that anyone would secretly
tape record a friend. Linda Tripp, I guess, was the year's only sinner.
It's nice to see the left has given up that pesky "judge not"
This article copyright © 1999 by Stephanie Herman and may
not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its
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