In Richard Cohen’s column today, he takes a bit of a pot shot at journalists who recently covered Monica Lewinsky’s graduation from the London School of Economics.
I will not name names. But in recent days, Lewinsky has been back in the news. In December she graduated with a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics. Her thesis was titled “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity.” Her thesis might well have been called “In Search of the Impartial Journalist,” because she was immediately the subject of more poke-in-the-ribs stories about you know what. The Post, a better paper than it was that day, called her “dumb-but-smart.” It was more than could be said for that piece.
It does not take a Freudian to appreciate why Lewinsky chose the topic she did. She is a victim of publicity, and her life has been a trial — enough to floor almost anyone. But in Lewinsky’s case, she took a bad situation and made something good of it. That hardly makes her “dumb-but-smart,” but rather once young — and now older and incomparably wiser. An approximation of this befalls us all, but before we got to become wise and prudent in all things we were probably irresponsible, outrageous and wild — in other words, young.
The “dumb-but-smart” phrase-coiner was the Post’s own Libby Copeland.
Just two days into the new year and already a cat-fight is a-brewin’?