Remembering Linda Tripp, History’s Worst Best Friend

Ahead of Judas. And all of the Heathers.

Remembering Linda Tripp, History’s Worst Best Friend

Mariam Sharia

US Department of Defense/Getty

Ahead of Judas. And all of the Heathers.

Linda Tripp met and befriended Monica Lewinsky at the Pentagon’s public affairs office about a year and a half before she brutally sold her young pal out to the mass media and the world at large. A relic of the Bush 41 administration, 46-year-old Tripp was one of a handful of people in whom then 22-year-old Lewinsky confided about her relationship with President Bill Clinton.

Beginning in Sept. 1997, Tripp began surreptitiously (and illegally) taping her phone conversations with Lewinsky, all the while encouraging her — as one friend to another — to graphically elaborate on the sexual details of her dalliance with the president. She also convinced Lewinsky not to dry clean the infamous blue dress on which the commander in chief deposited his, uh, military forces.

The White House/AP/CNN

Tripp outfitted then-independent counsel (now disgraced rape-enabler) Kenneth Starr with 20+ hours of conversation in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The tapes became the keynote of Clinton’s impeachment trials.

Young Lewinsky’s frightened affection during the trial, coupled with the final statement she gave at the end of her grand jury testimony, cemented Tripp’s public persona as the Brutus to Lewinsky’s Caesar: “I hate Linda Tripp,” Lewinsky declared. She was not alone.

The ensuing media whirlwind flung Tripp into the public consciousness, at no small cost to her private life. Americans watched John Goodman dress in drag on SNL, portraying Tripp as a binge-eating, bumbling villain determined to pry all the juicy details of the affair from her pal. Tripp denounced the hilarious bits as attempts to “discredit and to vilify” her — but really, they were a total ego burn.

YouTube

So she got plastic surgery. “I was so shattered for my children,” she said in a 2003 interview with Larry King. “Kids are so sensitive about their parents, anyway. And my kids always thought I was pretty…I just felt so badly for them. I just wanted to fix it.” Getting dragged for your appearance by an entire nation is inarguably a drag. But maybe injecting your face with silicon isn’t the best way to teach your kids a lesson about “sticks and stones”?

Before and after. | Getty/Breitbart

Basically, Tripp done fucked up in more ways than we can count.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t try. Herewith, just a few of the reasons why Ms. Tripp is The Worst Best Friend Ever, and maybe also just generally…The Worst.

She broke Girl Code.

Linda Tripp divulged her buddy’s deepest and darkest secret. To the entire world. Objectively speaking, this is a very shitty thing to do.

She’s a hypocrite of the worst kind.

You put yourself in the spotlight by betraying your friend, you better be damn ready to get torn TF apart. Tripp’s appearance would be subject to dissection even if she wasn’t such a perfidious worm — but alas, she is exactly that. Further, it is decidedly hypocritical to denounce the public mocking of one’s appearance and then turn around and fervently support the presidential bid of a misogynistic ex-reality star who openly mocks women’s appearances.

She owns a year-round Christmas store.

A. Year. Round. Christmas. Store.

The German-themed trinket shoppe Tripp owns with her husband. | Destination Main Streets

Oh, and it’s called “The Christmas Sleigh.”????

She married the first dude she ever kissed.

Say what you will, but marrying a “childhood boyfriend” who also happened to be your first kiss is not cute; it’s creepy.

She believes she saved Monica Lewinsky from assassination.

Nearly two decades after That Whole Thing, Tripp crawled out of her hole to assure those listening that her “intervention” is the only reason Monica Lewinsky is still with us today:

“I say today, and I will continue to say, that I believe Monica Lewinsky is alive today because of choices I made and action I took,” she said. “That may sound melodramatic to your listeners. I can only say that from my perspective, I believe that she and I at the time were in danger, because nothing stands in the way of these people achieving their political ends.”

Yeah, ok. And 9/11 was an inside job, the moon landing was faked, yadda yadda yadda.

She doth protest too much.

For someone who claims to have rejected invitations to Very Important Events like the Oscars in order to maintain a sense of privacy, Tripp has a hard time keeping her own name off the internet. Her feeble attempts to maintain privacy are undercut by the fact of Tripp’s own name appearing in bylines for white nationalist safe haven Breitbart.

Tripp’s most recent opinion piece is a scathing takedown of Hillary Clinton in which she suggests Clinton is so ambitious to reach the Oval House in 2020, she has partnered with the “eager mainstream media” to “villainize” President Trump. As though a man who publicly mocked a disabled reporter needs any more help looking like an asshole!

Getty

Tripp goes so far as to compare Washington’s “embedded Obama careerists,” who are presumably hiding in Trump’s cabinet, to the KGB. “The political opponent,” she writes, has been using “the Mother of all Fake news, their massive propaganda machine” to orchestrate a campaign seeking to silence Trump. The fact that his own administration has been unsuccessful in this effort — even on a scale as minute as Twitter — does not seem to factor into her logic.

It’s like reading the rantings of a crazy person. But I digress! To this day, Tripp claims she threw Lewinsky to the dogs out of “patriotic duty.” But behind this overblown (ha ha) rhetoric lies fixed truth: Linda Tripp is a backstabbing grouch who betrayed the trust of a friend. And that makes her The Worst.