NBC report on what the French think about the IMF head arrest. What is missing from this report is the question: why didn’t the scandal occur earlier and why not in France? The fact that the scandal took place in the US shows that Americans pursue these matters not because of prudishness, but because of their heightened sensibility to sexual harassment.
Even LA Times weighs in on the side of American “virtue”:
We’ve long thought that attitudes in Europe toward political sex scandals were healthier than those in the U.S. But the French may have taken it too far. Restrictive libel laws aimed at guarding the privacy of celebrities have thoroughly cowed the media there, making American-style investigations into a politician’s personal background nearly unheard of. Many consider this system superior — after all, a prominent figure’s extramarital affair should be between him and his wife, the theory goes, not fodder for public discussion — but it can also give the powerful the impression that no behavior is off-limits. There was ample evidence before this week that the thrice-married Strauss-Kahn was a serial womanizer if not a sexual predator, yet his multiple affairs and the allegations of sexual harassment against him were seldom mentioned by the French media.