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Political scandals refer to actions by those holding public office that violate social norms and are accompanied by a public reaction of indignation. Political power's basis in social trust is key to understanding political scandal. In a representative democracy, power is ceded on the basis of trust and accountability, and it is precisely these areas that scandal affects. In addition, for scandal to be possible, there must be mechanisms allowing its expression, means for public opinion to be formed and expressed. In 20th-century democracies these have been the mass media. In the 21st century, Internet technology has permitted the development of alternative means for publicizing political scandal, including publications such as the Drudge Report, which first reported on Bill Clinton's liaison with Monica Lewinsky, and ...

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