How Soon Is Now: Rushing to Judgement on DSK

1152829641 e1314114047253 How Soon Is Now: Rushing to Judgement on DSK

Via Getty.

Je te l’avais dit.

It’s French for “I told you so.” The French do not have a phrase, however, for “jumping the gun”—at least nothing catchy.

As a result, some may find themselves ill-equipped to discuss recent events concerning the potential trial (and recent release) of former I.M.F. chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose public criminal prosecution took a nosedive last week.

Previous displays of aggressive gun-jumping (D.S.K. is guilty!) have now been superseded by other, equally strident displays of aggressive gun-jumping (D.S.K. is innocent!).

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy crowed in victory for The Daily Beast that “Dominique Strauss-Kahn humiliated in chains … was not just cruel, it was pornographic.” This followed his having written in May, at the time of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, that “nothing in the world can justify a man being thus thrown to the dogs.” Mr. Lévy also wrote that “nothing, no earthly law, should also allow another woman … to be exposed to the slime of a public opinion drunk on salacious gossip and driven by who knows what obscure vengeance.” What’s missing in the ellipsis, of course, are the words “[Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s] wife, admirable in her love and courage.”

International monetary doomsayer Nouriel Roubini took to Twitter to express his feelings of validation. “I wrote the day after D.S.K.’s arrest that most likely he was set-up,” he announced. “The latest news now proves that.” He continued: “The lame-media didn’t do its homework.”

(At least one vocal defender was a little more reticent: Ben Stein—he of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Win Ben Stein’s Money fame—mounted a loud defense for Mr. Strauss-Kahn in May that included the line “Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes?” Mr. Stein was roundly criticized for his defense. Since Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s release, Mr. Stein has been silent.)

After the D.A. released Mr. Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance Friday morning, the New York Post—which only weeks ago described Mr. Strauss-Kahn as everything from a “frog” to a “moneyed French perv”—followed with two claims this weekend: one, that accusations against Mr. Strauss-Kahn came from a prostitute aggrieved that he had refused to pay her, and the other, that the accuser was turning tricks in the custody of the D.A.

This may have been unwarranted gun-jumping too: As of Tuesday morning, the unnamed accuser was suing the New York Post for slander.

The same day, attorneys for Mr. Strauss-Kahn announced that they were initiating a slander suit of their own—this one against Tristane Banon, the striking French writer and friend of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s daughter, who filed a criminal complaint for a 2002 sexual assault perpetrated, she alleges, by Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Ms. Banon’s fate is still unclear and the jury’s out, so to speak, on whether her allegations have any merit. For once, it might be too soon to tell.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek