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July 5, 2011

Strauss-Kahn Perp Pix: A Second Look

Strauss Kahn waiting arraignment hearing

At his arraignment hearing slipped into history, I felt sorry I didn’t post this wonderful portrait of Dominique Strauss-Kahn sitting ruefully on that bench.

Strauss Kahn arraignment bench longer view

(Actually, it’s this second version that stuck in my mind, but a cropped version removing the policeman.) When I first saw it, it seemed to be speaking as much to extreme wealth, privilege, the international financial meltdown and the public’s intense resentment over same as it also purported to capture a first class scumbag finally nailed for sexual assault.

Today, with the case coming completely unglued, the occasion providing ammunition to culturally call out the U.S. and politically reconstitute a man with profound issues involving women, sex and power, it’s interesting going back to that photo story and thinking about the other images.

Strauss Kahn perp shot car

Strauss Kahn arraignment lens

Strauss Kahn arraignment cameras

Perhaps the larger edit of courtroom photos raises the question, how many ways can you capture a perp … as well as capture the visual media capturing the perp.

Strauss Kahn court 2

For a more complex photo of what’s turning out to be a more complex situation, however, I like this shot quite a bit. On the one hand, I can imagine the photographer thinking he caught something ironic: the perp cleverly juxtaposed with a female in the background, the expression perhaps a facsimile of the bon vivant in action.

On the other hand, maybe what we’re seeing here — if Strauss-Kahn and the Sofitel maid were more interested, in their own perverse ways, in doing each other — is truly a winning smile.

Arraignment slideshow.

(photo: Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images. caption: International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears for his arraignment in federal court May 16, 2011 in New York City. International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arraigned today and is being held without bail on charges of sexually attacking a maid at a Manhattan hotel.)

  • Jane Johnson

    I disagree — The 1st picture isn’t a crop of the 2nd — the cop’s elbow and light blue stripe is the give away.

    • Michael Shaw

      Maybe I phrased that wrong. I meant that I had seen cropped versions
      of the second pic (which captured and amplified the empty vertical
      space by leaving out the officer).

  • omen

    i didn’t know anything about this guy, so my ears perked up when someone mentioned in passing that strauss-kahn tried to reform the IMF. stumbled across this whilst searching for support for this claim:

    “An effective and fair IMF is essential – an institution that looks not just after creditors in the lending countries but after the well-being of all. And whatever the result of the case against Strauss-Kahn, this much is clear – he was an impressive leader of the IMF and he re-established the credibility of the institution.

    He breathed fresh air into the IMF as he re-examined old doctrines such as those concerning capital controls. He raised new issues as he emphasized the critical role of employment and inequality for stability. He reasserted the role of economic science, including Keynesian economics, over the mishmash of long-discredited Wall Street doctrines, which had been central to the IMF’s failures in East Asia, Latin America, and Russia. 

    He also listened to the increasingly vocal and informed voices of those in emerging markets. He supported the movement for reforms in the institution, including voting rights and governance.

    As the IMF transitions, it is important to maintain the reforms, and carry them forward. But the hard-fought gains of the institution could easily be lost. That’s why the choice of the head – and the process by which the choice is made – is so important.”  ~ joseph stiglitz

    an endorsement by stiglitz? is high praise indeed. perhaps DKS is guilty of what he’s accused of. i wouldn’t know. but i do i know this: entrenched interests invested in continued corruption despise reformers. and will go to great lengths to remove them.

  • omen

    re the top photo : because of the angle, makes him look like a dwarf. setting up the metaphor “he had his legs cut out from under him.”

  • omen

    re the top photo : because of the angle, makes him look like a dwarf. setting up the metaphor “he had his legs cut out from under him.”

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