L’Affaire DSK: Marine Le Pen Shows Some Love … for American Justice
1:26 PM, May 19, 2011 • By JOHN ROSENTHAL
One of the most typical reactions of French commentators to the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York has been a kind of knee jerk disparagement of the American criminal justice system – or the “atrocious” American criminal justice system, as one “expert” put it on the French news channel BFM. The first images of a hand-cuffed Strauss-Kahn being led out of a Harlem police station served as a lightening rod for such sentiments, with news reports vaguely suggesting that photographing or filming a restrained suspect is somehow or another incompatible with the presumption of innocence.
But at least one prominent French commentator has not joined the chorus of condemnations: namely, Marine Le Pen, who recently succeeded her father Jean-Marie as head of France’s National Front. Le Pen’s dissent is particularly interesting, given that a certain anti-Americanism is a traditional part of the National Front’s political repertoire. Interviewed this morning on BFM by the journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, Le Pen had this to say:
I place the last words in brackets since, as is his custom when interviewing her, Bourdin did not let Ms. Le Pen complete her sentence.
Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie had a more spontaneous, less elaborate reaction to Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. “It’s always good news to see a scoundrel in handcuffs,” he told journalists outside a Parisian restaurant.