Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Another Day of Media Obsession

The media attacks on Dominique Strauss-Kahn continue with headlines that gleefully declare he is being detained for questioning in an investigation of corporate, hotel and police involvement in organized prostitution. Others under investigation are a police commissioner, a lawyer, hotel bosses and two local businessmen.

The investigation includes whether the two businessmen used corporate funds to pay the prostitutes who worked the hotel parties that DSK attended. This has zero to do with the issues in his dismissed New York case, or the claims of the French writer over which he was not charged, and it's ridiculous that the media keeps tying the two together. This investigation is not pursuing allegations he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct or made unwanted advances against anyone.

Shocker (not): DSK had sex with some of the prostitutes. He's no longer running for office in France. The public dissection of his preference for multiple partners should end -- especially by our media. It's none of our business.

Prostitution is legal in France. Profiting from prostitution (supplying them to others) is not. The police want to know whether he was "complicit" in the acts of the businessmen who supplied the prostitutes or knew the businessmen were using corporate funds to pay the prostitutes. He has denied both. The businessmen, David Roquet and Fabrice Paszkowski, back him up. One told the police:

“It is not the done thing at these kinds of sex parties to tell everyone that some of the women were being paid.”

Their lawyers deny any deals were made. The moralistic U.S. media is grabbing onto a quote by DSK's lawyer to a radio station:

DSK claims he had no idea the women were prostitutes. In an interview with a French radio station, his lawyer, Henri Leclerc maintained that his client, “could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you’re not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”

I wonder why the media doesn't pick up the quote of one of the businessmen's lawyers:

Eric Dupont-Moretti, lawyer for David Roquet, the former Eiffage executive, said that the affair was a symptom of the “Clintonisation” of a once sexually tolerant nation. France he said, was becoming a country where a “heavy consumer of women was now regarded as a sex addict who should seek treatment and ask repentance”.

This is a financial investigation into whether DSK knew the women were part of an organized solicitation effort by businessmen and hotels using unlawful corporate funds. And on the alleged unlawful conduct of police in the matter.

Why isn't the bigger story the alleged involvement of police, like Divisional Commander Jean-Christophe Lagarde, now suspended from duty? He's alleged to have played a role in organizing the parties, and is under investigation for "aggravated procuring in an organized gang", money laundering and the misuse of corporate assets. It's been reported police are examining his prior ties to DSK, to see whether any corruption was involved. That should be a bigger focus than DSK's sex life.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been asking for months to be interviewed by police in the case. His appearance today was by appointment. He hasn't been accused of anything. That he's being kept overnight means they have more questions to ask him. It signifies nothing about the outcome.

On a lighter note, I wonder how long the AP will leave this photo of DSK up with the caption "Eds. Note: Alternate Crop of Spin 101." (Added: They've swapped it out with a different photo and caption now, but but you can see how it first appeared here.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    I am sure (none / 0) (#1)
    by eric on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:25:53 AM EST
    this has nothing at all to do with politics...

    Somebody sure seems to be trying to smear him.

    "a heavy consumer of women" (none / 0) (#2)
    by kmblue on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 01:41:17 AM EST
    what a nice way to put it (snark)