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For the Unsatiated, Sites for Clinton-Lewinsky News

By Margot Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 17, 1998; Page F23

Testimony to grand juries is closed, so don't expect to see a live Webcast today when President Clinton is scheduled to answer questions by video link. But you can bet that accounts of what he has to say about Monica Lewinsky and whether they did or didn't will be bouncing around cyberspace before he's finished.

For my money, I'll watch's "Clinton Accused" site for news about the president's testimony from my colleagues on the national desk, the Web edition of this newspaper and wire services.

But there are plenty of other places to go (see box) on the Web for news reports and special features from mainstream media organizations on special prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr's investigation.

ABC News offers "Under Investigation." CNN and Time join on AllPolitics for "Investigating the President." MSNBC also has "Investigating the President" and an insistent message asking you to download its News Menu plug-in. C-Span calls its multimedia archive "Investigation of the President." Court TV covers the legal issues with "Clinton in Crisis," claiming that what lies at the heart of the scandal is "not sex but the law and a bevy of legal issues."

Whether it's about law, lies, conspiracy, obstruction of justice or sex, this is hot stuff on the Internet. If you click away from the mainstream sites, you'll find a cacophony of voices on the Web, offering information, speculation and titillation on the seemingly inexhaustible subject. The Clinton-Lewinsky saga offers a view close up of the free-wheeling new world of electronic communication and occasionally electronic commerce as well.

It all started with a story in the Web's Drudge Report, now archived on that site as the Drudge/Lewinsky flashback headline: "Jan 18 1998 Blockbuster Report: 23-year-old Former White House Intern, Sex Relationship With President."

Within hours of this controversial Web posting by the site's then little-known creator, Matt Drudge, Monica sitings, hoaxes and discussions appeared on the Web and on Usenet newsgroups. Yahoo! opened a news section for the White House intern and search engines started to retrieve hits.

That's how I first discovered an entrepreneurial webmaster's tactic for getting his site some attention: By inserting "Monica Lewinsky" into the text or "metatag" keyword list, he made his page fly up to the top of the search engine hit list for at least the first few days of breaking news on the story.

Other entrepreneurs immediately registered domain names:, registered on Jan. 22 this year, is the "official" Linda Tripp site, with a snazzy design and pleas for contributions to her defense fund., also registered on Jan. 22, just sits there, silent except for the message, "This site is reserved for Monica Lewinksy [sic] to use to convey to the American People, the TRUE Story of the White House Incident." Another site registered on Jan. 22,, offers a bookstore, links to an Internet marketing company and shopping sites.

It goes on and on, and often in very poor taste. There are Monica chat rooms and archives of Monica newsgroups. There are anagrams, limericks, postcards, bumper stickers and, from a proud member of the right-wing conspiracy, an award for "the very best in cheap sleazy Clinton sex scandal sites."

There's a Monica camera giving you a live image from the entrance of 1100 Connecticut Ave. NW, the building that houses the offices of Lewinsky lawyers Plato Cacheris and Jacob Stein. Still haven't had enough about Monica?

Read some history. For accounts of previous presidential sex scandals (Martin Van Buren?) visit Presidential Peccadilloes from Fox News at

Margot Williams's e-mail address is

Places to Go

Here are sites that deal with the Monica Lewinsky story:

Clinton Accused:

Investigating the President:

Under Investigation:

Clinton in Crisis:

Investigating the President:

Investigation of the President:

Starr Clinton Investigation:

The Drudge Report:

Presidential Peccadillos:

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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