Monica Lewinsky. / Getty Images
It's time to put an end to the coverage, or "coverage," of Monica Lewinsky.
Unless you've just returned from a vacation on Saturn, you know that Lewinsky once again broke her oft-fractured silence last week with an article in Vanity Fair in which she offered up her side of her fraught dalliance with Bill Clinton.
While there wasn't much new in the piece, there certainly was nothing wrong with the media taking notice of this blast from the past.
The problem lies with the endless, not to say absurd, chewing over of the ramifications, the What It All Means, particularly for the presumed presidential candidacy of one Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Vanity Fair put forth an excerpt from the Lewinsky opus last Tuesday. Five days later, ABC's Martha Raddatz, who knows better, was still exploring the fallout Sunday, hosting a roundtable discussion on the gauzy subject on This Week.
To her credit, Raddatz grilled ubiquitous pundit Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, on whether he stood by his magazine's ludicrous proposition that Lewinsky's article was stage managed by the Clinton camp.
(In case you're at home scoring, Kristol dithered a little and inevitably changed the subject to the GOP obsession Benghazi.)
The last week has been rife with blather over whether Lewinsky's ruminations will "hurt" Clinton's presumptive campaign (by rekindling memories of Team Clinton's impressive collection of baggage) or "help" her (by focusing on the distraction long before the actual campaign).
This before Clinton, the overwhelming Democratic front-runner in the polls, has even said she is running. And at a time when Politico - and who knows better than Politico - says chances of her running are no better than 50-50, according people close to her.
Well, let's make this easy. The impact on Clinton's campaign, if there is one, of Lewinsky's splashy re-emergence is ... none. It will change the vote of precisely no one.
The market, as they say, has absorbed this news. People have pretty much made up their minds about the Clintons. The ones who can't stand the Clintons haven't forgotten about Bill's sordid ways, and never will. The Clinton fans have accepted them as part of the package. And Lewinsky's literary adventures aren't going to influence them either way.
And the lucky younger voters, who were spared the era of the flashed thong and the blue dress, not to mention other Clinton scandals, real and imagined, are going to judge Clinton on a variety of criteria, none of which is likely to be her husband's Oval Office affair with the world's highest-profile intern.
But the preoccupation with Lewinsky's return is as ineluctable as it is silly.
In the current media climate, thanks to the voracious appetites of cable, talk radio, politically focused websites, nothing is too small to overcover. Everything must be analyzed to within an inch of its life.
And so Lewinsky got the full treatment.
Inevitably, there were lists: Time ranked the top 10 mistresses. BuzzFeed told us what the world was like in 1998, when the scandal erupted. USA TODAY did a where-are-they-now on key players in the saga. Paging Ken Starr!
Probably the best piece of journalism to emerge from the paroxysm was BuzzFeed's dead-on look at how various media outlets, including BuzzFeed, would cover the Clinton/Lewinsky story if it took place today.
Mercifully, and surprisingly, we were spared a CNN segment on Lewinsky's take on the missing Malaysian airliner.
But there is a silver lining: Now we know what to expect when Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and other Clinton scandal veterans write their pieces for Vanity Fair.
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Read the original story: Rieder: Say goodbye to Monica Lewinsky