In a mysterious turn of events, Ben Stein, of all people, wrote an article in The American Spectator, aptly titled "Presumed Innocent, Anyone?" The article defended Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF, who was arrested for sexually assaulting a maid in his hotel room. Pretty dicey move, Ben Stein.

The article, I believe, did less to convince people of Strauss-Kahn's innocence and more to make Ben Stein look like a misogynistic idiot. Here are some of his better arguments:

"If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn't he ever get charged until now?"

To this, all I can say is maybe I should just be a lawyer too. It's so easy!

"In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind."

Besides the total nonsense of Stein's argument here, I enjoy the implication that the maid found him, thus she should be charged with rape! The rape of herself!

"The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn 'forced' the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He's a short fat old man." 

"People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me."

I can't believe they let this guy write speeches for presidents. 


Commentarium (22 Comments)

May 18 11 - 1:08pm

What else would you expect from someone who believes the world is 6,000 years old?

May 18 11 - 1:47pm

Wow, Stein the lawyer; really?REALLY? - a truly powerful argument Mr Stein. And how about "people who commit crimes tend to be criminals!" - stunning for its clarity. Short fat old men never force anybody to do anything of course, and as for the maid, well, people accuse people of things all the time - Q.E.D., case closed, court will recess everybody.
He's right, being a lawyer is easy - of course so is being an astronaut or a fireman if you don't actually have to do it or know shit about it.
Stein needs to be fixed.

May 20 11 - 5:43am

The elegance of his case is, truly, where its brilliance lies.

May 18 11 - 2:59pm

Clearly she commited the crime of belonging to that heinous category of people that are the hotel maids, and thus she deserved to be raped! Thats what you get for throwing away important papers.

May 18 11 - 3:42pm

Remember that rape is about violence, not about sex. It would not shock me if Strauss-Kahn was enraged that the maid had walked in on him and decided to punish her for that "transgression" by humiliating and demeaning her sexually (and made all the more compelling to him if, as reported, she is a practicing Senegalese Muslim who was wearing a headscarf).

May 18 11 - 4:16pm

Rape is about *power*, which sometimes presents as violence, sometimes not. A rapist does not need to be angry to commit sexually violent crimes.

I'm not defending SK -- but I think what he did was about the surge of power he got from forcing himself upon her. I don't think it was out of anger.

May 18 11 - 5:55pm

It could certainly have had a racial/class element. Having lived in France, I've never met a more racist group than the elite/wealthy left. I've truly many, truly vile "jokes" about blacks and muslims coming from that group. The right tended to be more francocentric but not as racist. I think that's why the French adopted the hijab ban; the right supported it because it banned something not traditionally french while the left supported it because it primarily impacted racial minorities.

May 18 11 - 4:08pm

Ben Stein is a great big... anyone? anyone? ... Loser...

May 18 11 - 5:49pm


May 18 11 - 4:26pm

Holy shit. The dumbest selection of Stein quotes I've ever seen, and that's quite a deep pool from which to draw.

May 18 11 - 10:17pm

You ever get the feeling that blogging is the end of society? I do.

May 18 11 - 11:12pm
NWO is here

He must want to climb even further up the Illuminati ranks, to be coming out in public defending an IMFer.

May 19 11 - 4:09am

Without commenting on Stein's wisdom or lack thereof, his article was aptly titled indeed. Under the American system of justice EVERYONE is entitled to the presumption of innocence until and unless a jury is persuaded of their guilt in a properly conducted trial. That's called due process and it's intended to protect YOU (or someone you love) should you ever be wrongly accused. Don't be too quick to abandon a protection that, despite living an exemplary life, you may one day need.


This has been done by the judge (by refusing bail to a man who could clearly be prevented from fleeing by lifting his passport,) abetted by the Department of Corrections (by revealing they'd put him on ''suicide watch'' despite no indication that he might commit such,) by certain European political figures who have asked that he resign as head of the IMF (although such resignation might be regarded by some as an admission of guilt,) and by the popular media (who have largely piled on with stories written with the presumption that he's guilty.)

I think the hotel maid is ALSO entitled to the presumption of innocence. She may NOT have tried to set up Strauss-Kahn for extortion and made the complaint after he refused to pay her. She may NOT be connected to the political foes who want to derail the presumptive front runner to be the next President of France. But just as she's entitled to the presumption of innocence of these despicable possibilities, that they are indeed obvious possibilities needs to be considered.

Some media have referred to her as a devout Muslim. Consider that:
1- France, under current President Sarkozy, has enacted measures - like the banning of headscarves in schools - that are regarded as anti-Muslim and have stirred protests and discontent among France's large Muslim population.
2- Strauss-Kahn, with political leanings significantly to the left of Sarkozy, might well seek to dial back the perceived anti-Muslim measures if he were to defeat Sarkozy at the polls (I've seen no evidence of particularly anti-Muslim sentiments by the French left- DA's comments notwithstanding.)
3- Keeping and expanding those measures - and consequently fanning the flames of Muslim discontent - is in the interest of Muslim extremists who count on the discontent to fill the ranks of Jihadists.
4-Consequently, it could well be in the interests of Muslim extremists to derail the heretofore popular Strauss-Kahn's political career.

The hotel maid in service of Al Queda ? Probably not, but stranger things have occurred in the political history of our species.

Now, consider all the possibilities: a-the maid sought a payday from Strauss-Kahn (and would still seek one in a civil suit if he's convicted) b- the maid might be in the employ of his political opponents with a well concealed payday directed later to her or to untraceable family members. c- the maid might be in the employ of (or ideologically committed to) some Muslim extremist group. d- The powerful head of an international financial organization may have sprung naked upon a hotel maid and attempted to rape her - in his own hotel room where he could easily be identified.

All four seem equally plausible, and equally implausible, to me.

Why don't we just let the prosecutors and defense attorneys present their respective positions to an impartial jury and... oh wait... empaneling an impartial jury will now be impossible because the widespread coverage mentioned above has already poisoned the jury pool by stripping from Strauss-Kahn any presumption of innocence.

So much for justice.

May 19 11 - 6:45am

that's some pretty serious JAQing off right there

May 19 11 - 10:31am

This entry isn't about presumption of innocence. It's about Stein making batshit "arguments."

May 19 11 - 3:38pm

It's just hilarious to me (in a sad way) that a poor Muslim woman was raped by a douchebag and this character "kl" writes a little novel about an international Muslim conspiracy.

Oh, and also, the great (serial rapist) douchebag was just indicted by a Grand Jury. Hurray!

May 19 11 - 11:46am
Peter A

Not saying that I agree, but innocent until proven guilty, right?

May 19 11 - 4:16pm


May 19 11 - 7:31pm
No means rape

This guy is guilty, until confirmed guilty.

May 19 11 - 4:59pm

@thinkywritey If you really thought about what's been written, you'd realize that tarring the whole of Stein's defense of SK as batshit (though some of his specifics are indeed flawed) simply fuels the rush to assume he's guilty that denies him a fair trial.

This consequently undermines American justice by making suspect any guilty verdict even if he were actually guilty.

@AT Remember, as you cheer the indictment, that a Grand Jury works very differently from a trial jury. In such a proceeding, 12 our of 16 Grand Jurors must vote that they believe there is sufficient cause cause that the accused may have committed the crime to have a trial jury hear all the evidence and, in turn, make a determination of guilt or not. Reasonable doubt plays virtually no role in the proceeding and, indeed, defense counsel is not even permitted to address the Grand Jurors. It has been said that any prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich, though the prosecutor in this case got plenty of help from the media.

ALSO, in my ''novel'' the poor Muslim woman is still entitled to the same presumption of innocence as an ALLEGED rapist (you seem to forget that word ''alleged'' a lot.) She probably was just a poor woman from Guinea who just wanted to work hard to support her daughter. I remember a few innocent students from Saudi Arabia who just wanted to learn to fly planes.

Again, why don't we hear all the facts before judging anyone?

May 19 11 - 5:32pm

kl, I'm putting my money on you being a rape-apologist over this being a set-up masterminded by the Big Bad Muslims.
(Were you also cheering when OJ got off?)

Jul 05 11 - 1:49pm

Feeling kind of silly now are you, AT?