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We Can’t Look Weak in Front of the French…

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DSK case collapses, apparently. See Jeralyn and Emptywheel.

Some thoughts:

  1. When the news broke last night there was a brief spasm of NYT blaming, comparing the linked article to a similar article about William Kennedy Smith’s accuser. However, the NYT article in this case relies mostly on leaks from the NYC DA office, rather than independent investigation. This is not an anti-victim hit piece, but rather a report on how the DA office now views the case.
  2. Just because a woman lies about her connections with convicted felons doesn’t mean that she can’t be raped. However, when the only evidence of rape (as opposed to consensual sex) is the testimony of an unreliable victim, it does mean that a) it’s difficult to convict in a court of law, and b) we should be extremely careful about phrasing descriptors of the accused; innocent until proven guilty also applies to vaguely unpleasant Frenchmen. If the defendant is poor and black, of course, feel free to dispense with the former.
  3. In the United States, this case really hit a sweet spot; lefties willing to believe the worst of a powerful man with a history of sexual harassment, and righties willing to believe the worst of a Frenchman.  Turns out we all should have been more skeptical of the procedural competence of the NYPD.
  4. As is best practice in such events, I went back and searched for stupid things that I’d written about the case. Fortunately, not too bad; there was still plenty of unsavory victim-blaming, although Ben Stein and BHL will have some justification for being insufferable. There are obvious parallels with Julian Assange. ┬áThat said, there is also an important distinction between rape apologia and “I know him, and don’t believe he could have done it,” and in this case we had both.
  5. Nothing, NOTHING, that has happened in this case changes anything about my belief that it will be a fantastic season-opener for Law and Order SVU, which is a show that I don’t actually watch.
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