Linda Tripp, who disappeared from the spotlight after her role in the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal of the late 1990s, admitted this week that she secretly taped Monica Lewinsky’s recent TED talk, “The Price of Shame.”
“I have no political agenda,” said Tripp. “I simply believe America has a right to know what that woman is saying in a prepared speech on a public stage.”
Tripp had apparently attended said TED Talk, where she sat in the third row wearing a big floppy hat and dark glasses, and held a digital voice recorder. When reminded that TED talks are free and available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection, Tripp replied, “I can live with myself. I have nothing to hide. I’m simply doing my patriotic duty.”
“People should be allowed to document evidence of someone doing a TED talk,” Tripp says, matter-of-factly. “Where is the expectation of privacy if someone is conspiring to commit a TED talk?”
Tripp also adds that she feels it is important to monitor Lewinsky’s emerging narrative of a narrative that had been officially re-narrated years ago by people with a vested interest in controlling the narrative. “This is my narrative, too,” says Tripp. “Even a footnote is a narrative…although not one that people tend to want to read.”
Ms. Tripp’s recording captures all the key points readily available in Ms. Lewinsky’s purposefully public TED talk, which focuses on the destructive, sometimes tragic, and increasingly common nature of public social media shaming for profit. “I don’t know what any of this has to do with me or the current United States government,” admits Tripp, “but I’m not taking any chances.”
Ms. Lewinsky didn’t return calls for comment.
Ms. Tripp can also be heard on the recording describing in hushed tones what Ms. Lewinsky was wearing on the day of her TED talk. “It’s a dark gray button-down shirt with dark pants, and her hair looks the same,” Tripp says while covertly photographing a newspaper article about Lewinsky’s talk. “I just thought everybody should know.”