"In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the press."
Oscar Wilde

Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky

On the fateful day of Friday January 16, 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr accompanied by FBI agents confronted Monica Lewinsky at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Northern Virginia and demanded to know the details of a sexual affair she had had with President Bill Clinton. Starr threatened to prosecute Lewinsky for perjury, but offered her immunity if she wore a wire and recorded telephone calls with President Clinton, aide Vernon Jordan and others. Faced with this choice, 24-year old Lewinsky fell apart. She asked for her mother. "My life is ruined!" she claimed, correctly. The media broke the story almost immediately and the rest is history.

"My life is ruined!"

by Wendell Berry

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. And you will know
that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books,
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
"I am not ashamed." A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.