Linda Tripp: Grimacing in Effigy

By Stephanie Herman
Rightgrrl Co-Founder
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 aphorism yet again. And though Bill Clinton was responsible for most of the turmoil, 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 sense of morality has prevented them from making downright vulgar comments about Tripp's appearance -- and they haven't limited their criticisms to her grimaced visage. (Whatever happened to the bleeding-heart, feel-your-pain, make-love-not-war leftists Clinton once inspired?) And despite the CLs' furious incredulity that Tripp lied about her arrest record on her Pentagon 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" mentality...

This article copyright © 1999 by Stephanie Herman and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.