|Dominique Strauss-Kahn may get his smile back; wonder what will happen to his lying accuser? (Wiki Commons)|
On May 14, charges were lodged against Dominique Strauss-Kahn that both forced him to step down as head of the International Monetary Fund, and derailed his putative run for the French presidency.
I smelled a rat. And I said so on, among other blogs, Smirking Chimp. I was roundly trashed as being anti-feminist and anti-poor people and lord knows what else.
No, I'm simply an experienced journalist whose nose begins to quiver when the stench of corruption or outright lying or both begin to waft from the pens of knee-jerk reporters who engage in the reprehensible activity of verbally penalizing the rich simply because they are rich, and championing the poor simply because they are poor. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is rich; his accuser is a poor immigrant from Guinea.
She is also a liar.
It was, according to a New York Times (NYT) report, the prosecution that uncovered the facts about the accuser's possible motives, including the king of all motives, money. She had been bribed before. Did she have sex with Mr. Strauss-Kahn? Probably. Was it consensual? Almost without question. A quick slide between the sheets with a wealthy, powerful man meant enormous amounts of income for the "poor" housekeeper. We should all be so poor. As the NYT reported:
According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.Whether it was about ruining Mr. Strauss-Kahn politically, as he suggested when he was arrested, or something a little more New York gangland in its style--perhaps a multiple-layered gambit by various organized crime factions to put acquire some negotiable legal favors--one thing is so virtually certain that the prosecutors have come forward before the next court date to admit that their case has fallen apart. It didn't happen at all the way the housekeeper claimed.
Good for the NY prosecutors. It takes guts to make a complete u-turn after all the posturing they did at the beginning of this debacle. I give them, I might add, the benefit of the doubt here. There is no guarantee, none at all, that someone in that office was not paid off when the arrest was made, and has now slunk back into his or her hole. I wouldn't like to think that, but it wouldn't be the first time a prosecutor had been suborned. Good on NYC for making mincemeat of whatever arrangement, if any, might have been made, or, if no arrangement, for coming clean in public as soon as practicable.
I'm not going to say more about the charges themselves or the conduct of any particular person or organization in this case, except one: the press.
The press inexcusably rushed to judgment on this. That unleashed the dunderheads of knee-jerk feminism and the addlepated anti-wealth activists all over the planet. The unconscionable biased and titillating early reporting of the incident caused upheaval in French society. It caused enormous grief to the Strauss-Kahns. It further divided an already divided global population.
I am no big fan of the International Monetary Fund. I certainly believe there are a lot of rich people out there with ill-gotten gains; just look at Wall Street. And I certainly believe there are poor, hard-working immigrants who are abused, one way or another, by those with real or imagined power over them.
What I don't believe is that journalists should convict rich people of crimes based on their wealth, and elevate poor people to sainthood based on their lack of funds. While there are plenty of scoundrels in this situation yet to be totally sorted out*, the so-called journalists--particularly those in New York City who should not be that wet behind the ears--are deserving of a good deal of wrist-slapping, and, if they had any decency at all, would be publicly eating a large serving of humble pie, and slinking off with tail between legs until they actually learn their trade.
*It may well be that the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn is dropped; one wonders how prominently that will be reported by the increasingly gormless New York Times. One also wonders whether any case brought against the housekeeper for, among other things, filing a false police report--and whatever may attach to what look like bribes to her--will be reported with gusto equal to that of the initial reporting of the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn.