[NB: We’re re-running this recent item in light of late-breaking developments, and because we’re so pleased with ourselves. Perhaps the New York Times will also re-run its lead article on the topic, in which Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s possible innocence was dismissed with the same kind of shrug a mathematician might give an astrologer.]
“La Belle Aurore Escorts. How may I help you?”
“Good evening. This is DSK.”
“Ah, good evening, sir. Welcome back to New York. What can we do for you?”
“I need a little something tomorrow before lunch — say, around eleven? I’m at the Sofitel in Times Square. Suite 2608.”
“Wonderful. We have some new selections since we last saw you . May I tell you about them?
“No, I’ve already decided on the ‘Surprised Guest’ — I’m pressed for time, and I haven’t had that one in awhile.”
“Of course, sir. And how would you like it to proceed?”
“Oh, let’s keep it simple. I leave the door to the suite open. She comes in wearing the maid uniform and goes into the bedroom. I’ll be in the bathroom ‘showering.’ When I come out, she is ‘surprised,’ of course. Tell her to put up a good struggle this time. The last girl giggled the whole time. And don’t send anyone too attractive — maids don’t look like models. And no makeup.”
“We’ll be sure she understands, sir. And shall we bill the Fund, as usual?”
“Yes. The New York office.”
Okay, unlikely. But the media — even usually careful outlets like the New York Times — have thrown caution to the wind on this one and write as though there is no shadow of a doubt that he is guilty of rape. Time magazine, always reliably balanced and fair, created a cover that didn’t quite call him a rapist, but managed to convey a presumption of guilt with the same insouciance as a prosecutor. Yet the fact is: there isn’t, and can’t be, a shred of evidence to support the allegation — because Strauss-Kahn doesn’t dispute that he had sex with the housekeeper. He claims it was consensual.
We do not defend Strauss-Kahn, nor do we impugn the housekeeper. Neither we nor anyone else knows what happened in that suite, save the housekeeper and the banker. Any assertion to the contrary is indefensible, and based purely on wishful thinking. Unless one of them admits to a lie, or some form of evidence is introduced at the trial to remove reasonable doubt, we will never know.
But, some will say — he has a history of this kind of thing. A history of indiscretion and philandering, yes. Rape? I think not. Well, why would the housekeeper lie? We have no idea. But people lie, lie constantly, and not always for any good reason. Why would Lindsay Lohan shoplift?
We have little interest in defending Strauss-Kahn, nor do we do so. His stripe of elitist socialism leaves us unenthusiastic, and his past behavior hardly endears him to us. Still, we have our job to do, and part of it involves, as we recall, defending “those attacked by predatory media organizations that, mindful only of their own profit, deliberately publish unfounded accusations and allegations as fact, with no regard for accuracy, responsibility or the misery they inflict on their victims and their families.” While the allegations against Strauss-Kahn are not “unfounded,” they are as yet unproven, and we watch with some dismay as the media feeds on his flesh with such immodest and unnatural enthusiasm.