My, how things change quickly. Thursday morning, Dominique Strauss-Kahn sat in his multi-million dollar TriBeCa mansion on house arrest. Friday night, he's free without bail and enjoying a $700 dinner with his wife and friends at an upscale Upper East Side Italian restaurant. By Saturday morning, the New York Post splashed the headline across their front page: DSK MAID A HOOKER. Followed by: "'Took Care of Guests on the Side." Guess what? It's an exclusive. From one anonymous source's profanity-laced recollection of DSK's accuser and her salon-going habits.
Let's get this straight. About 24-hours rape accuser's credibility is called into questioned, the newspaper jumped from calling her a victim to calling her a hooker. Based on this account:
"There is information … of her getting extraordinary tips, if you know what I mean. And it's not for bringing extra f---king towels," a source close to the defense investigation said yesterday.
The woman was allegedly purposely assigned to the Midtown hotel by her union because it knew she would bring in big bucks.
"When you're a chambermaid at Local 6, when you first get to the US, you start at the motels at JFK [Airport]. You don't start at the Sofitel," the source said. "There's a whole squad of people who saw her as an earner."
The woman also had "a lot of her expenses--hair braiding, salon expenses--paid for by men not related to her," the source said.
Now, this is the New York Post so we're not surprised with the sensationalism. In general, the New York tabloids have had a field day with the case of the very wealthy, once-maybe future President of France. But the Post is venturing into new territory with their latest revelation. Just for reference, the New York Daily News went with the safer and probably less likely to fly off the newsstand headline, "LE FREED: French big released from house arrest as sex case crumbles."
Saturday's cover and accompanying story also sets a new tone for the New York Post's coverage of the case. The most colorful language to date was the now widely used monicker, "Le Perv." In reverse chronological order, here's how the Post has covered the DSK case so far:
So far, the hooker accusation has been covered around the web with skepticism about the Post's sourcing but little debate. "So, we've got a single, anonymous source, "close to the defense," who implies, without ever saying, that the maid was a prostitute," remarked Gawker's Max Reed. "Yes... we'd say that's more than enough evidence to call someone a hooker on the cover of your paper." And we're just venturing a guess that their sister site Jezebel is going to be very upset about this.
This, by the way, was the Post cover on the day before news of the scandal broke:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.