Ever since Tina Brown took the helm at Newsweek she has been courting controversy. The magazine, acquired for a dollar last year, has been shrinking in physical size, circulation and relevance since Brown took over. If there’s one thing she knows how to do it’s run a publication into the ground (Remember Talk magazine?) In recent months Brown’s desperation for attention has grown and manifested itself in Photoshopped and sensationalized cover stories hoping to boost circulation. Her Princess Diana and Mitt Romney covers were the most blatant examples … until now.
Newsweek has hit a new low with this week’s cover story on the crumbling sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Under the headline “The Maid’s Tale,” they interview the accuser, 32 year old Nafissatou Diallo and present her in a very sympathetic light.
Newsweek makes passing reference to the fact that the case against DSK has obviously has catastrophic flaws and the ever-growing suspicious background of Diallo, but the bulk of the story friendly to Diallo. How a news magazine can so casually gloss over shady characters in Diallo’s life and the implausible aspects of her story can only be ascribed to the tabloid culture that has become all too prevalent in today’s media.
The fact that DSK is not going to win any awards for being a good husband is clear, he’s admitted affairs in the past, but that does not make him a rapist. Newsweek knows full-well the case is falling apart and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is on the verge of dropping the charges, so this piece, and the piece on The Daily Beast, are essentially another in the chorus of left-wing voices advancing the idea that this case should go forward without regard to evidence. They believe a “victim’s right to confront the accused” is more important than the facts is common among the Left, and a dangerous trend.
You can read Diallo’s account of what happened in that hotel suite for yourself, but there are a few questions any fair-minded individual will come away with after you do.
- How would a man who, according to the article, spent the previous night with a woman in a consensual manner, all of the sudden attack a maid without saying a word? Why would he do so almost immediately upon her entering the suite?
- How would a man, without a weapon, force someone to perform oral sex on him? To completion? That is a very dangerous prospect.
- Why would Diallo, who has made false accusations of gang rape in the past, something she admitted to the DA herself and he acknowledged in a letter to DSK’s lawyers, mention DSK’s wealth in a taped phone call with a shady friend with problems ranging from drug trafficking to dealing in counterfeit merchandise? What did she mean when she said to him the day after the alleged assault, “Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing.“
- Why does Diallo have an attorney, and why did she contact one the day of the alleged assault?
There’s a lot going on here that simply doesn’t jive with common sense and inconsistencies that are either not addressed in the Newsweek piece, or are glossed over. No one here is a saint, but that doesn’t make either or both of them criminals.
DA Vance, to this point, has been acting in a way you’d want and expect a prosecutor to – cautiously in accordance with where the evidence takes him. According to press accounts, with the exception of the Newsweek interview, it seems to be leading to a dismissal. For a news organization to engage in what amounts to attempting to stir up and apply public pressure for a prosecution is unconscionable. Given what constitutes “journalism” of late at Newsweek, this should come as little surprise. Given the desperation of Tina Brown not to have another failure on her hands, expect more of this tabloidism in the future. At least until Newsweek is finally put out of its, and our, misery.