Let me confess: I was pretty much delighted by the way L'Affaire DSK seemed to be playing out. When the news broke last Thursday that the case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn was falling apart—that his accuser was a serial liar, a prostitute according to the New York Post, with a $100,000 bank account and ambitions (caught on tape) to turn her supposed tragedy into a get-rich-quick scheme—my immediate reaction was: how disappointing.
Not that I ever took any joy in the thought that a presumably vulnerable woman had apparently been raped by a man with a reputation for promiscuous and predatory appetites.
But I did enjoy the thought of this mandarin of the tax-exemptocracy being pulled from the comfort of his first-class Air France seat and dispatched to Riker's Island without regard to status or dignity. And I admired the humble immigrant who would risk so much for the sake of justice. And I smiled at the spectacle of France's Socialists finding their would-be savior exposed by American prosecutors when they had been hypocritically observing a code of silence about his habits. And I liked seeing the IMF red-faced for whitewashing DSK's previous escapades.
I doubt I was alone in feeling this: People generally, and columnists especially, want news that has the qualities of a parable—the surprise that turns out to be no surprise at all. With a story like DSK's, the temptation of a tidy moral tends to overwhelm whatever doubts might be cast upon it by a countervailing point of data.
Still, the fact that I and so many others wanted this story to be true was only half the problem. There are, also, the habits of mind that seem to have prevented prosecutors and journalists alike from quickly following the threads of what ought to have been a common-sense suspicion.
Blame it on old-fashioned discomfort, so out-of-step in our culture of sexual hyper-frankness, when it comes to discussing the nature and details of an alleged rape. Or blame it on political correctness that rarely accords alleged rapists the usual presumption of innocence and had, in a working single-mother African immigrant, a near-perfect caricature of the perfect victim. Or blame it on the idea that, since Mr. Strauss-Kahn is well-known as a philandering rogue, he must perforce also be a brute. Or blame it on the political calculations of a Manhattan district attorney with a less-than-sure touch who might well have been reluctant, when it came to the question of whether to rush DSK's case to a grand jury, to be seen siding with the powerful against the powerless.
Adiós a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalán Analyst
Después de 13 años de escribir en este blog prácticamente sin interrupción, hoy lo doy por clausurado. Esto no quiere decir que me haya jubilado de la red, sino que he pasado el relevo a otro blog que sigue la misma línea de Nihil Obstat. Se trata del blog The Catalán Analyst y de la cuenta de Twitter del mismo nombre: @CatalanAnalyst . Os los recomiendo.
Muchas gracias a todos por haberme seguido con tanta fidelidad durante todos estos años.
martes, 5 de julio de 2011
La lección DSK:
Publicado por NO en 7/05/2011 12:56:00 p. m.