America, France & DSK: Mea Culpa Praecox

Posted by John Rosenthal

Unverified “revelations” from anonymous sources about Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s New York accuser have led to a torrent of self-recriminations from American commentators. Since, among other reasons, the New York Times reported that the accuser invoked Strauss-Kahn’s wealth during a recorded conversation in a Fulani dialect that she had with an African immigrant in a detention facility, the scales have apparently fallen from many Americans’ eyes. The French critics of America’s bad judicial manners had been proven correct, after all: In our “rush to judgment,” we had let our “prejudices” get the best of us and sullied the reputation of an innocent man whose only crime was to be powerful — and French.

But the problem is that it is not prejudice that created — and indeed still creates — the strongest presumption in favor of the Sofitel maid’s accusations against Strauss-Kahn, but rather familiarity.

See my new article on National Review Online here.

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