Monday, May 16, 2011
Law & Order, Live
As you might imagine, the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, in New York for attempted rape among other charges is the major, not to say only, subject on the lips of the French at the moment. The television shows have brought out all the talking heads, the newspapers are all over it, and the bail hearing is being televised live as we speak. The French will be getting a quick lesson in the American judicial system, very different from their own, and the experts are all over the TV news shows, explaining it all.
The general response seems to be that although Strauss-Kahn has a history of sexual escapades that is well-known to the journalists who cover politics as well as to the public that interests itself in the private lives of politicians, it has remained just that, his private life, not so different from Chirac, Mitterand, and many others.
The notion that a man who looked, until yesterday, to be the likely next president of France could possibly be so out of control as to sexually attack a hotel chambermaid makes at least the French left talk about set-ups, about mental illness, about anything other than crime.
The news program I'm watching has just announced that the judge has denied bail until he can be brought before a grand jury. He'll be in jail until at least Friday. He was scheduled to be in Germany at a meeting of the Eurozone finance ministers, discussing the Greek economic crisis. Not this week.