Political Scandal and Viral Online Content
The media’s appetite for scandal is no great secret. But how did the rise of the Internet – and of social media – contribute to that?
For the first time in more than a decade, Monica Lewinsky – no stranger to the media’s rabid focus on scandalous conduct – has spoken out. In a speech on Monday, she said that her affair with then-President Bill Clinton was the first true viral story online. Others have pointed to the media’s handling of then-Senator Gary Hart’s affair in the 1987 presidential campaign as the genesis of this intrigue, but without the Internet, the story was not as all-consuming as the Lewinsky scandal.
However scandals begin, it’s certain that crises provide the most exciting fodder for reporters. That’s why it’s so critical to have a plan in place and to act decisively when under the microscope.