Monday, August 22, 2011

As DSK Case Collapses, Will U.S. Media Fess Up To Its Egregious Error?

It's the moment of truth in the sensational case against French politico Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose reputation was decimated by a hooker hotel maid that falsely accused DSK of a litany of heinous offenses, including attempted rape.

Monday afternoon, NYC prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn because the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, repeatedly created a web of lies and fairy tales about her life and actions following an encounter with the French diplomat.

"In virtually every substantive interview with prosecutors, she has not been truthful on matters great and small," the lawyers wrote.

He is scheduled to appear before a judge at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, where all charges are expected to be dropped.

We now know that Diallo and DSK had consensual sex at New York's Sofitel Hotel (mind you, he's no angel, as a married man), after which she called a jailbird pal to discuss how to take advantage of his wealth and prominence; her fantastic story was in place and gleefully shared with the media the next afternoon.

Of course, the real crime here is the U.S. media's egregious treatment of the case. As soon as accusations surfaced, juicy, scandalous headlines convicted DSK before he had a chance to respond.

Already guilty in the court of public opinion, he was forced to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund, while his near shoe-in bid to become France's next president was decimated. Meanwhile, he was forced to post $6 million in cash bail & bond, remaining on house arrest in Manhattan for six weeks.

I am eager to see where rags like the New York Daily News will place the story, after its guilty-before-proven headlines "Walk Of Shame" and "Le Perv" created a firestorm of negative publicity against the official.

Why do I get the feeling that being found innocent will be must less juicy than the breaking story, and it will be buried somewhere deep inside the newspaper?

As I wrote in July, unfortunately, the U.S. media will likely never recognize that it is to blame for fostering an environment where such preposterous stories are taken at face value. This, in turn, diminishes the credibility of actual instances of sexual assault, thanks to dishonest people like our hooker hotel maid, who realized a simple "he disrespected me" engenders sympathy—and headlines—favoring the "victim." I'm standing by to see if justice is served.