Surveying the front pages of New York City’s more colorful tabloids Monday, one could be forgiven for thinking that the arrest of Dominque Strauss-Kahn involved little more than an older Frenchman behaving very badly at an expensive midtown hotel. (Of course, the charges facing Strauss-Kahn are quite serious, and include various counts of sexual assault and rape, which carry up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted.) As editors churned through countless Gallic-inflected puns (e.g., “No Merci,” “French Whine,”“Le Perv,” etc.), much of the initial press coverage was long on the lurid details of the sexual allegations (quelle surprise), and noticeably short on why Strauss-Kahn garnered worldwide headlines, and the economic and political fallout from his arrest.
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