In a column for The American Spectator, Former Nixon speechwriter and TV game show host Ben Stein called the U.S. public’s reaction to the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City this weekend “shameful,” and wondered aloud if “[Strauss-Kahn] is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn’t he ever get charged until now?”
“If he’s found guilty, there will be plenty of time to criticize him and imprison him,” Stein wrote. “But nothing has been proved yet except that the way this case has been handled so far is an embarrassment to this country.”
It’s hard to pick which part stands out above the others, but here is a selection of Stein’s thoughts.
On the facts of the case:
The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?
On the accommodations afforded to Strauss-Kahn:
Did he really have to be put in Riker’s Island? Couldn’t he have been given home detention with a guard? This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly. Was Riker’s Island really the place to put him on the allegations of one human being?
On hotel maids, generally:
What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, 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.
On the real motivation behind the coverage:
…this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that’s what it’s all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He’s got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.
Give the whole thing a read here.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com