The Whistleblower in Opportunist Magazine
Author and freelance journalist Marinka Peschmann talks with the Opportunist’s Managing Editor Leslie Stone about her new book and why she believes we have to call politicians—from both sides of the aisle—out on their behavior.
It was 14 years ago this month that President Clinton testified before a grand jury about his involvement with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The Lewinsky scandal, as it came to be known, riveted the nation for more than a year and resulted in Clinton’s impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives. (And his eventual acquittal by the U.S. Senate.)
At the of this tawdry tale of sex, lies and audio tapes was civil servant Linda Tripp, Lewinsky’s fellow Pentagon employee, to whom she confessed—via telephone—the details of her alleged affair with the commander in chief. Unbeknownst to Lewinsky, as we learned, Tripp was taping their conversations. The rest is history.
Hailed as a hero by the right, suspected of being part of a “right-wing conspiracy” by the left, Tripp’s life was forever and irretrievably changed. She became a household word, the brunt of cruel jokes and was even impersonated—in the form of actor John Goodman in drag—in comedy skits on “Saturday Night Live.” We all felt as if we knew her. But did we?
In her book, The Whistleblower: How the Clinton White House Stayed in Power to Reemerge in the Obama White House (One Rock Ink Publishing), Peschmann tells readers what she learned during her exclusive interviews with Tripp about what really happened in the Clinton White House. Originally contacted to ghostwrite Tripp’s version of the story, Peschmann discovered that: “Linda was neither the whistle-blowing hero the right embraced nor the villain the left reviled—but she was used as such for political purposes by both sides. The truth was in the middle.”
“What’s so incredible to me is when you mention the story people think they know it,” Peschmann adds. “It’s a story you think you know but you don’t know.”