Tag Archives: Scandal

A political Sex (best)-Seller

Sex and Politics- probably the most extreme antagonism ever. That´s exactly what makes it so interesting for the media and for us as an audience. In Peter´s example (see guestbook), when a bud was printed on a political campaign poster, the sex sell strategy didn´t really work.

The German party was forced to remove or censor the bud posters with the claim “The only reason to vote black- time for green” and the only positive effect was that they were in the media for a short time. They also could have lost voters not only because the posters could be considered to be pornographic and racist, the party was also not present because they had to remove their ads.

An example for a long lasting Sex Sells affair, literally a best-seller in Sex Sells is – everyone knows this video sequence – …the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Im sure you remember it but anyway, watch this:

The story was a best-seller not for the former US President but for Miss Lewinsky. How much money the intern earned by selling the story to the media, doing interviews and photo shoots is her secret. Nevertheless, the following numbers provided by Media Monitor reveal that it must have been a best-seller:

Allegations of a sexual affair between President Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky first appeared on national television on January 21, 1998. Over the next 30 days, the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows broadcast 305 stories on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, with a combined 9 hours 12 minutes of airtime.

During the first week after the story broke, the networks devoted more airtime to it (142 stories) than they gave to Princes s Diana’s death in a comparable period last fall (103 stories). In its first month, the Lewinsky story consumed more than one-third (34%) of the available airtime on the network newscasts – more than the showdown with Iraq, the winter Olympics, the Pope ‘ s visit to Cuba, and EI Nino combined.
(source: Media Monitor, Center for Media and Public Affairs.)

As the story evolved, journalists’ use of unnamed sources and the credibility of the ir information became a major source of controversy. Contrary to the claims of some media critics, it is not clear that the network s relied more heavily on unnamed sources in detailing the Lewinsky charges than they had in previous political scandals.

Accusations that Mr. Clinton had sexual contact with Monica Lewinsky – which would not by it self constitute criminal conduct – were discussed extensively in 114 stories. In contrast, stories alleging criminal behavior were less frequent.

What I find interesting about the case is that although the US President was lying and denying he didn´t lose any sympathies in the end (see video). Normally the most approved way to react on crises situations is honesty, isn´t it? But no: “I never had any sexual relations to that woman…”.


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