What are the odds that Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid in New York is a plot orchestrated by his French political opponents?
That being said, the scandal comes at a very opportune time for DSK’s opponents in France. He was riding high in the polls ahead of the 2012 presidential elections, against a highly unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy, and his candidacy seemed all-but inevitable.
And there is a long history of dirty tricks in French politics to bring down candidates. Some politicians on the French right warned darkly of hidden skeletons in Strauss-Kahn’s closet that would come out should he decide to run.
Plenty of journalists and analysts in France are abuzz on Twitter and the blogs with conspiracy theories.
Some people say it would be unlikely that a maid would come into an occupied room to clean it. (Then again, according to an AP report on the allegations, the maid had been told the room was empty.)
Others point out that Sofitel, where DSK was arrested, is a French hotel chain. (What that proves, we’re not sure.)
The allegation with the most meat comes from tabloid website Le Post, which notes that the first person to tweet the arrest was an activist in the French right-wing UMP party, Jonathan Pinet. He tweeted it before the time of the arrest, Le Post says.
The first person to retweet Pinet, according to Le Post still, was Arnaud Dassier, a spin doctor who had been implicated in previous embarrassing revelations on DSK’s luxurious lifestyle. The first website to mention the news was 24heuresactu, a right-wing blog, way before the New York Post, which was the first US outlet to break the news.
Pinet says he got the news from a friend of his who works at the hotel and told him about the commotion.
Meanwhile Le Monde quotes an unnamed “right-wing heavyweight” as saying “It happened as expected.” The person could only be saying that it was inevitable that DSK would commit a sexual impropriety given his proclivities.
We’ll leave to the reader to assess the likelihood of those conspiracy theories.