Mon dieu(chebag)


Bernard-Henri Lévy starts off well enough in defense of his pal, IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of sexually assaulting a worker at the Hotel Sofitel in New York:

I do not know what actually happened Saturday, the day before yesterday, in the room of the now famous Hotel Sofitel in New York.

Lévy should have stopped there. But he went on:

I do not know—but, on the other hand, it would be nice to know, and without delay—how a chambermaid could have walked in alone, contrary to the habitual practice of most of New York’s grand hotels of sending a “cleaning brigade” of two people, into the room of one of the most closely watched figures on the planet.

Oh, so now the “chambermaid” is under suspicion for going about her duties without an escort? Lévy again:

This morning, I hold it against the American judge who, by delivering him to the crowd of photo hounds, pretended to take him for a subject of justice like any other.

Well, he is “a subject of justice like any other.” At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Jesus, what an asshole.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 05/17/11 at 07:23 AM • Permalink

Categories: New York CityManhattanNewsPoliticsOur Stupid Media

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Hey, these chambermaids ain’t gonna rape themselves!

“chambermaid” ?! Really? Isn’t that a little too 18th century for this modern age? Apparently not, (answering my own question) if a smug egoist can still grope a woman who is going about her business of cleaning up after his lazy ass.

When will this world stop blaming the victim??? It is just mind-boggling to me that people can still fault victims for being raped, robbed, attacked, killed. Why not grab that fat bastard and stuff his head into the freshly scrubbed bidet? That’s what he deserves, not preferential treatment from the courts. gah!

There’s just something about the Housekeeping staff that powerful men can’t resist.

It’s not hard to come up with conspiracy theories that would see a reforming head of the IMF framed on a charge like this by powerful behind-the-scenes actors he’s crossed, and I’m sure there’s a lot of that going on in certain quarters.

Only two people know exactly what went on, and if the corroborating or alibi evidence either side claims to have pan out, then there shouldn’t be much doubt left if and when it comes to court.

That doesn’t mean I’m automatically doubting the word of a woman who alleges rape, but that I can’t know for sure what went on. There’s certainly enough allegations about Strauss-Kahn’s conduct toward women in the past to give cause for suspicion about the version of events his lawyers are putting out.

And obviously, faced with allegations like this, Strauss-Kahn must be treated like any other suspect. I can’t imagine anyone arguing differently in good faith.

I hear you, Brit: From what I’ve read, it would be convenient for many powerful people for Strauss-Kahn to be discredited, and I certainly wouldn’t put it past The Powers That Be to frame someone.

But like you noted, this isn’t the first time S-K has been accused of coercion, and it pissed me off that Lévy—by his own admission without the facts—implied that there was something untoward about a hotel worker entering a room alone. Not to mention the “subject to justice like any other” line, which reeked of privilege.

IIRC, Lévy made an ass of himself (or at least I thought so) during the Roman Polanski flap as well. In that case, one could credibly argue that the US should not have attempted to extradite Polanski—it was a old case, Polanski is an old man, the victim didn’t wish to be dragged through it again, there may have been grandstanding and improprieties in the original case, etc.

But Lévy’s defense of Polanski had something approaching a “boys will be boys” tone that set my teeth on edge, as did his current essay.

Well, without wishing to reopen old debates, I never thought Polanski should be treated differently than any other convict, so if that was Lévy’s line in that case, I don’t think it helps him to be taken seriously in this one.

how a chambermaid could have walked in alone, contrary to the habitual practice of most of New York’s grand hotels of sending a “cleaning brigade” of two people

Les layoffs, peut-etre?  Or, how you say— l’enhancement du productivité?

Jesus, BHL, I’m sure not even our unionized hotel workers have real Euro-style job security, or any way of sustaining staffing levels after les banksters take all our argent and plunge us into une crise majeure economique every few years.

Perhaps his buddy M. Botul can investigate.

I wish the French Philosophes would get it straight: is DSK above suspicion and above arrest because he’s the sole remaining man of the people, or because he’s of a class of people who shouldn’t ever have to do a perp walk?

Fuck BHL.  Its legitimate to say “This man is a personal friend of mine and I am too deeply involved, and too deeply emotionally invested in my friends and their power to comment” but its really, really, really fucked to take the attitude that BHL’s own attitude is any different from that of the french woman journalist who *because of her close connection to DSK,* political considerations, fear of shunning and anxiety about family connections with DSK *also failed to reprimand DSK.* 

Aside from the rape apologetics, the attack on American Justice, the failure to understand “presumption of innocence,”  failure to grasp the difference between a civil and a criminal complaint, and the made up story about “teams” of cleaners this is actually what pisses me off the most.

BHL wants to argue that important people who have important family and friends should get different treatment from “chambermaids” and “young female reporters.”  Yet when the young female reporter responds to this kind of patent social pressure by giving DSK a wide berth and not charging him officially in a criminal way that’s offered as proof that nothing happened.  The french reporter was the *goddaughter of DSK’s wife* and the daughter of an important female socialist politician. To argue that such a person had any interest in falsley accusing DSK, or that the suppression of her complaint (which she admits to) could have some ulterior motive other than its obvious benefit to DSK and his entire social circle, is to be more than inordinatly stupid.  I guess what I’m saying is that the sideswipe at DSK’s french accuser is almost the most disgusting thing of all, to me.  Because she actually sacrificed herself and other potential victims at the behest of the socialist party, her mother, and BHL and DSK and their world.  BHL is, in essence, using her class solidarity and socialist omerta against her as proof that the original accusation was false. But his very accusation springs from the same world that made her original charge impossible to sustain.

No one knows if the IMF director is guilty of sexual assault—and by dragging him through the mud, politicians and the press are committing gross acts of injustice, says French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Well, he and the maid know if he’s guilty of sexual assault.

I think it’s reasonable to presume that the district attorney’s office is aware that this is a politically important guy so if they are filing charges they have to be reasonably confident that their evidence will result in a conviction.  I read that the maid underwent a complete rape examination at the hospital so clearly there is forensic evidence that shows an assault.  The DNA evidence will show whether or not it was Strauss-Kahn.  So then maybe his pal Lévy will try to argue that it was consensual?  Asshole.

How odd. I’ve stayed in some high end hotels and have yet to see a Cleaning Brigade. Or even a Cleaning Platoon.

Just a note to the women here: When you start the revolution, please remember that I never believed you should have to go about in armed groups lest some creep jump you.

And yes, I would like a last cigarette while I’m standing against the bullet pocked wall. Thanks.

..and BTW, what kind of “socialist” stays in a $3000/night hotel?

Is Strauss-Kahn French for John Ensign?

How odd. I’ve stayed in some high end hotels and have yet to see a Cleaning Brigade. Or even a Cleaning Platoon.

From now on, it’ll be cleaning SWAT teams.

Is Strauss-Kahn French for John Ensign?

Not sure. Sounds like it’s French for Berlus-coni, though.

From now on, it’ll be cleaning SWAT teams.

Instead of Merry Maids, we’ll send in Navy SEALS Team 6. (Oh noes—I think I just gave Glennzilla and Davey Sirota a sadz!)

..and BTW, what kind of “socialist” stays in a $3000/night hotel?

French Socialists.

He needs to STFU.  Seriously.  Or just write the first part and say, “Hopefully, justice will be served” or some crap like that.  The last bit really rankles.  No one should be above the law (and yes, there’s a bit of the optimist in me no matter how hard I try to shut her up).

Ben Stein is also an asshole.

Even Jonah Goldberg won’t defend him.

Comment by Steve M. on 05/17/11 at 05:22 PM


1.) If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn’t he ever get charged until now? If he has a long history of sexual abuse, how can it have remained no more than gossip this long? France is a nation of vicious political rivalries. Why didn’t his opponents get him years ago?

A. First charges are questionable, because why weren’t the suspects charged before?

B. The French, so famous for punishing sexual misdeeds committed by powerful individuals!

2.) In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes?

And people who spout idiocies tend to be idiots. I see how this works!

And an economist would never commit assault, because, well, ipso facto QED, economist!

I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me.

Interesting repetition of “from me,” Mr. Economist Stein. Taking it all rather personally, aren’t you? Esp. for someone who professes “love and admiration” for hotel maids?

Others of us have, from time to time, found perhaps that something was missing from our hotel rooms, but this litany of thefts seems to demonstrate some kind of marked resentment on your maids’ part. How odd and entirely not to do with your behavior I am sure!

Yes, I found Stein’s long list of *hotel maid crimes against his person and belongings* to be a little, uh, suspect?  I’m not a constant traveler but have traveled a fair amount and, surprisingly, have not experienced this level of larceny-by-hotel-maid - in fact no larceny whatsoever!!  Wonder why that could be?

I AM a constant traveler, averaging 100 hotel nights every year.
I’ve heard stories like Stein’s, but I’ve never had an issue myself.

Of course, I try not to leave my room a wreck, and if I’m going to be in one hotel for more than two nights then I’ve probably taken the time to learn the name of the person cleaning my room.

Calling someone by name, and saying “Hi” and “Thank you” goes a long way.

You know… basic human being stuff.

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