By Art Harris, The Bald Truth, (c) artharris.com, all rights reserved
Check out my interview with Poynter Institute media writer extraordinaire Al Tompkins (link below) about French outrage over subjecting their powerful IMF bigshot and possible candidate for President to a public perp walk, showing him unkempt and displeased in cuffs, after allegedly trying to rape a New York hotel maid in his $3,000/night suite.
Remember, as the New York prosecutor argued in winning bond denial, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, nicknamed “the great seducer” of French politics, was all comfy on the tarmac in first class, likely toasting devilish good luck in rushing from an alleged crime scene to make the flight, perhaps delicately sipping a nice Chateau Lafitte, even gloating , â€˜Yo, Roman (Polanski, or Baby Doc!), here we come.
Polanski managed to rape a 13 year old girl in LA, then hide behind French skirts and extradition loopholes to escape U.S. justice, and much has been made of his shadow hanging over the case.
Had France signed that treaty, old Dom might have had a shot at going home on that million dollar cash bond his forgiving wife managed to scrape together, only no French media I’ve read has broached the subject of judicial treaty reform, or taken any national blame for his predicament, and their main man remains behind bars and under suicide watch at Riker’s Island, just a stone’s throw from where the alleged near rape happened.
In fact, the French culture minister mocked the sacred First Amendment, calling the U.S. photograph of the one time candidate for French President looking unkempt and smarmy in cuffs, well, inhumane, and reminded his media it was against the law to show anyone in cuffs prior to conviction under their Napoleonic codes.
Even if it involves a powerful public figure accused of raping a helpless hotel maid? You bet! But to us uncouth and uncultured American observers, who love Big Macs French culture officials once derided, that smells worse than an over-ripe Pont l’Eveque.
Might good Frenchmen use the occasion to reflect on rewriting their extradition treaty so future scoundrels don’t see the land of wine and cheese as their get out of jail free card?
Seems to us plenty of blame can be spread around, and reminds us how French officials once defended the slow-moving ambulance they used to take Princess Diana from the accident scene, a national policy of not shaking up victims enroute to hospitals, even after learning she likely bled to death internally because the dilly-dallying kept her from emergency equipment that might have saved her life had she gotten to an ER faster.
We refer you to the excellent piece by respected media ombudsman/trainer Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but The Bald Truth.