Friday, July 1, 2011

Strauss-Kahn case collapses along with the values of those certain he was guilty.

A month ago I wrote a piece about the outrageous double standard the media applies to sexual assault cases when a media circus erupted over an accusation by a hotel maid that she was sexually assualted by Dominque Strauss -Kahn, head of the IMF and leading candidate to be the next president of France.

At the time any fair reading of the "facts" as told by the maid and as presented in the media showed that the accusations were preposterous and most likely a fabrication and while I said so, my main point was that the media should show the same restraint with those accused of sexual assault until there is hard proof otherwise, as they do to accusers in giving anonymity.

Now its being reported by news outlets including a right hand column front page story in the New York Times, that the case has collapsed because prosecutors now say the hotel maid was lying. A law enforcement official has told The Associated Press that the accuser in the sex assault case against Strauss Kahn lied about circumstances surrounding the alleged attack and prosecutors are going into court today to ask for a greatly reduced bail in advance of dropping all felony charges.

This comes as no surprise to anyone with a shred of common sense, logic or even a minimum sense of real justice, something that, as we saw recently with Anthony Weiner, is totally absent in the news media.

When Strauss Kahn was first arrested and paraded in front of the media, I wrote about the insane double standard in the media when it comes to sex crimes, allowing an accuser to remain anonymous while plastering the name and picture of the accused all over the news media.

I made the point that based on the "facts" alleged by the maid and released by prosecutors, it was virtually impossible to believe anything could have taken place as the maid described. Not just based on logic and common sense but physically what she described could not have happened.

Now that the case again Strauss -Kahn has collapsed because prosecutors have concluded the maid lied about her alleged rape, ( which is not to say they wont try and charge Strauss-Kahn with something to save face) I thought it might be telling to reprint the comments received here at the time, if for no other reason than to prove the original point of why the media should show the same restraint and safeguards they do with an accuser (it doesnt take Einstein to figure out that "accuser" does not = "victim") and give anonymity to an accused at least until there is some kind of evidence of guilt.

The comments reprinted below shows the wisdom of the Founders of this country in creating a justice system based on two principles -- that it is better for ten guilty men to go free than one innocent man to go to jail and that a defendant is to be presumed innocent. Unfortunately as the sampling below shows, there are many people, both liberal and conservsative who dont really believe in either.

Anonymous said:

."...Gender equality? ( referring to my point that the accused deserve the same treatment as an accuser --defining an accuser as something different from a "victim" until there is proof that a crime took place). What rock are you living under?

I would rather you address the thousands of women who are raped every year than get bent out of shape over the minuscule number of males who have been falsely accused."

James Ala wrote:

"...Rape is a crime Sir. Police booking of a reported crime are a matter of public record. Matters of public record are fodder for news organizations. The man was remanded to Riker's Island, don't you think the general public has a right to know why the head of the IMF traded a $3k a night five star hotel suite for the accommodations provided by "The Tombs?

Yes this is scandal, and scandal is Mana from heaven for the Corporate Media. Welcome to the twenty-four hour news cycle, welcome to one of less attractive features of the post-modern world. Buck up Mr Rubin, the man is swimming in cash and will be well defended if this goes to trial. I'm certainly not going to loose much sleep over his present predicament. He is rich, powerful, male and Caucasian. His accuser is working class, female and African. He really does not need either your help or sympathy Mr. Rubin."

Obviously Ala did what many others do -- he refused to think or look at facts or even worse, he, like too many, let the media do their thinking for them. He even jumped to the erroneous conclusion that a crime had even been committed when there was no evidence that it had.And the class and race prejudice displayed is also shared by others -- mostly white by the way trying to show how "unprejudiced" they are -- black working mother has to be telling the truth -- prominent white guy must be guilty)

Anonymous said:

"Oh Boo F**KING Hoo. If the media hadn't been complicit in keeping this scumbag's secrets for all these years, he wouldn't be at Rikers now. This POS has been assaulting women for years - and getting away with it because of the delicate sensibilities of enablers like you. Your contention that men are the victims in cases like this is ridiculous. EDUCATE YOURSELF."

My guess is that even the prosecutors saying the maid was lying and that Strauss-Kahn is innocent wont change this person's mind. My contention that Strauss Kahn, because he was innocent was a victim, both of this woman's lies and the media's treatment of him, was right. But there will always be people like this who when it comes to being educated believe its always others that need the education.

Dan said...

"It seems that he's guilty. He knew that he was a powerful figure and thought he's untouchable".

Anonymous said:

"If you are going to seriously propose that this is a false accusation, you need to identify some motive...There are a lot of practical questions that don't make much sense if you assume this is a false accusation."

At the time I actually provided rock solid motivations for a false accusation and the opposite of what this reader said was true -- there were a lot of practical questions that made no sense if you believed the accusation was true. In fact all the logic and practical questions pointed to a false accusation.

James Ala had more to say in another comment:

"...Moving right along, I find it beyond disturbing that at no time do you consider the power dynamics of the situation. Strauss-Kahn is a man who possess wealth and power. His accuser has neither. His accuser is already being smeared, by the likes of you and others."

More class prejudice as opposed to facts. And again, not a shred of logic and not a shred of proof. That everything the accuser had to say defied logic and common sense meant nothing to this commentor. Just if you're rich and successful you're wrong and guilty and if your not your word comes from on high.

It is precisely the kind of thinking of people like this, so self righteous in their belief that they know whats true and know whats best even when the facts prove them wrong, that is why we have and need the safeguards in our justice system created by the Founders.

Hopefully the news media will finally learn something and institute some voluntary safeguards of their own. They don't have to wait until a jury finds someone guilty but they could wait until actual facts have been developed that point to a likelihood of guilt in a sexual assault before irrevocably smearing someone and turning their life upside down without a shred of proof.


Anonymous said...

It was a set up from day one. Lagarde is now the head of the IMF and there's no more need to keep him in jail.

Anonymous said...

Reuters: "Strauss-Kahn accuser cleaned another room after the incident, contrary to what she told grand jury. - NY prosecutors.

Those who believed the story need to step back and admit their gullibility, but won't. Instead they will adhere to their position with bogus arguments. All those who didn't look at the cold facts, and Strauss-Kahn's policies at the IMF (he was at odds with bankers), will again be played in the next phony accusation. Rape is a real crime, but unfortunately it is being used for political reasons.

TheRock said...

Kudos to you Mr. Rubin!! I am an eternal lurker on this site and I enjoy your insight. I had no idea whether DSK was guilty or innocent, but at the time of your post, I wholeheartedly agreed with your position that the accused should be treated with the same deferrece as the accuser. I am glad that we were vindicated. Continue writing! I'll be reading :)

tamerlane said...

Wow, Mr. Paine! -- you dared speak some common sense on a subject that the radfems had declared verboten. Good for you, and shame on them for crapping all over you.

Oh, you missed this gem from Mr. Ala, obviously a member of the radfem's castrati chorus:

" hows that whole being a poster boy for Rape Culture working out? Are you a professional misogynist or is this just a hobby?"

Step away from the Andrea Dworkin, Jimmy! There is no "rape culture", there is no "patriarchy." Are you trying to impress chicks at latte liberal cocktail parties, or is spouting bullshit just a hobby of yours?

False accusations of rape run at about 2% -- the same rate as false reports of other crimes. So why should "innocent until proven guilty" be scrapped for this charge only?

Anonymous said...

Why is it all or nothing with you? It is possible for the accusation to be true while the accuser lied about details unrelated to the attack, such as whether she completed her shift that day. You do not seem to be able to put yourself into the position of a low income immigrant hotel service employee, much less a woman, and understand what it would mean to her to lose her job. The evidence in this situation will be presented during a trial, not in a NY Times report (remember the bias of the report on the gang-rape a while back in which the lives of the "boys" were protected while the victim was vilified in a major newspaper).

You don't know whether he is guilty or not. That he has been complained about before does not support the likelihood of his innocence. Your prior claim that he should be treated as someone framed still makes little sense to me and sounds like the paranoia that fuels the men's rights movement.

If you think thisk this guy deserves the benefit of the doubt, so does the woman accusing him.

tamerlane said...

Did anon. even read the original article?

Marc Rubin said...

.."Why is it all or nothing with you? It is possible for the accusation to be true while the accuser lied about details unrelated to the attack, such as whether she completed her shift that day"

you obviously are not well informed about what prosecutors and law enforcement has already told the press, such as the fact that she lied about everything related to her alleged rape,(reported by the NY Times and AP), she lied about what she did after the alleged rape,which was she went and cleaned TWO rooms before deciding to tell management she was raped, she lied under penality of perjury fabricating a story of being gang raped when she was in New Guinea and according to the BBC called a friend who was in prison in Arizona and not knowing prisons phone calls are monitered is quotd as saying, " the man has a lot of money. I know what Im doing". Is that enough? And even without that, no fair minded person with a shred of logic or common sense could have read her account of what happened and not known it was preposterous and never could have happened and there is not a shred of physical evidence to support it. So yes I was relatively certain from the beginning that she was lying and Im fairly certain I know what happened, the sex was consensual and he probably paid for it or he promised he would and stiffed her, and this was either revenge on her part or a way to make a financial score and he is totally innocent.

But my larger point was that without conclusive proof the press had no business dragging his name through the mud and they should treat anyone accused of a sex crime with the same anonymity they give an accuser of all there is nothing but an accusation.

She deserves to go to prison for what she did and I hope she does.At the very least they should deport her.

James Ala said...

""She deserves to go to prison for what she did and I hope she does.At the very least they should deport her."

And you have the gall to whine about hypocrisy. So a rich white famous French man is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty, but a poor black maid is obviously has no rights in your warped perspective. You seem to have no problem with believing the media narrative, from a unidentified leaked source no less, when the maid is concerned. Sentence first trial later?

So lets flip the argument, how do you know what she has or has not done? How did you achieve clairvoyance? Where YOU there in the hotel room to observe everything? Why the sudden rush to judgement, oh defender of the falsely accused?

"I made the point that based on the "facts" alleged by the maid and released by prosecutors, it was virtually impossible to believe anything could have taken place as the maid described. Not just based on logic and common sense but physically what she described could not have happened."

Really? You have now become an expert interviewer, able to make better judgements than trained law enforcement officers working under enormous time constraints? Interesting. Obviously you should schedule time with the NYC Police and Prosecutor's office so they can gain your valuable insights. Not only that, you have become an expert in physics, anatomy, physiology, and the interactions of two people you have never met; impressive.

Or maybe, the authorities looked at the physical evidence and thought they had enough to arrest our poor French dear. It was a snap decision made under horrendous time constraints. The man was about to fly away from the jurisdiction; what to do if the accusation from the maid was true? You Mr. Rubin have the luxury of hindsight, law enforcement had no such luxury. Something happened in that hotel room, something possibly illegal.

But coming back to the original point; I'm still not going to lose sleep over Strauss-Kahn. He got himself into this mess. All he had to do was thank that maid for the good job she had done, and offered a generous tip. The maid is there to clean the room, period, end of discussion, have a nice day.

Don't fret, the IMF will still be a tool of Corporatist hegemony, run by big business for big business. It matters not a whit who is on top of that particular shit pile, that position will alway be held by the biggest, nastiest, most disease-ridden fly around. The IMF will continue to roll along, crushing the lives of hundreds of millions of people the world over.

As for the media, it is going to keep on keeping on. As long as we reward its bad behavior, it will continue to act like a ill-behaved five year old. My question is why of all the examples of egregious media behavior, the treatment of Strauss-Kahn was the one that got highlighted? Why the sympathy for a man who needed no such succor? I'm supposed to care that this man lost his IMF position when millions of US Citizens have exhausted all their benefits and still can't find a job? The hell I am. I'm supposed to weep because he no longer qualifies for the sinecure of being the President of France?

Not happening; innocent women and children in Pakistan, Libya and Afghanistan are being pink-misted by drones sent by our idiot-savant President--that is the real outrage. That same man is overseeing a massive violation of our 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. He declaimed himself judge, jury and executioner of an U.S. Citizen via the “war on terror.” That is much more important than the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that Mr Strauss-Kahn had to endure. Weep if you must for the man, I’m having none of it.