Tuesday 23 August 2011

How the New York tabloids showed their contempt for 'French fat cat' Dominique Strauss-Khan

Prosecutors in New York last night formally asked a judge for permission to drop the sex assault charge against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Khan.

So it might be the right time to look back at how some of the New York papers covered the case.

Just imagine the amount of money British lawyers would have made suing the papers for defamation and the actions they could have faced for contempt of court.

The New York Observer website says the city's tabloid papers seized upon the opportunity to characterise DSK "through colorful adjectives and verbs as decidedly French. Also, rich, horny, and fat."

The Observer collected some of the adjectives and French puns used by the tabloids to describe DSK:

New York Daily Post: Front page headline: “FRENCH WHINE!”; Story headline: “WHAT GAUL!”; First word of story: “Pompous”; Also: “Pompous arrogance”; “NYPD Sacre Bleu!”; “Un Animal”; “Sniffs”; “Scowls”; “Scowling”; “Red-faced”; “Whining”; “Whiny”; “Fat cat”; “Haughty”; “Hissy Fit”“A presse-ing affair”; “Creepy”; “Perv politician”; “In a snit”.

NY Daily News - Headline: “Le Perv”; “Sex-crazed”; “Noted-lothario”; “A Socialist party heavyweight”; “Naked pervert”; “Randy”.

And that was only on the first day that the news broke that DSK was accused of assaulting a hotel maid.

  • I've always thought the NYC tabloids adopted the persona of the abrasive New York detective 'Popeye' Doyle, as portrayed by Gene Hackman, and his hatred of haughty French criminal Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey) in the film The French Connection, in their attitude to Strauss-Kahn.

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