Ben Stein: Master Jurist?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as he is known in France, may have acted too hastily in selecting his attorney to defend him against criminal charges of “oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion” as it was stated in the official complaint.

Ben Stein, the pretentious lawyer turned actor turned amateur economist has interjected in this highly publicized ordeal and provided commentary for DSK’s defense that one would surely think originated from late night comics.  Stein allows that it’s possible indeed, maybe even likely, that[DSK] is guilty as the prosecutors charged”, BUT lets look at some likely scenarios by Stein as someone who thinks Darwin’s theories led to the Nazi holocaust.

Stein: If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn’t he ever get charged until now? If he has a long history of sexual abuse, how can it have remained no more than gossip this long? France is a nation of vicious political rivalries. Why didn’t his opponents get him years ago?  

Logical Response: DSK’s a billionaire.  Money often persuades people not to take legal action against powerful people and further jeopardizing their own future careers:  CASE IN POINT – “In Paris this week, a young journalist named Tristane Banon spoke up to say she had been sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn in 2002 when she interviewed him. He attacked her like “a rutting chimp,” she says, describing how he wrestled her to the floor, undoing her bra and trying to pull her blue jeans off before she managed to flee. Her mother dissuaded her from filing suit at the time, because there had not been an actual rape and public opinion would have sided with the great man.”  SOURCE 

Stein: In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.

Logical Response: Right.  Upper income, highly educated types are rarely criminals.  I guess people like Ken Lay and Andy Fastow of ENRON fame, Bernie Madoff,Jack Abramoff, Richard Scrushy, Jeffery Skilling and Bernard Ebbers were just two-bit thugs robbing little old ladies’ purses on the street.

But if you want to get specific and declare that there are no ECONOMISTS who have committed violent crimes you might want to see the list below that Jon Stewart presented on his Daily Show Thursday evening (run timer to 3:00)

Richard Nyamwange – Former ESU Business Professor sentenced to state prison for sexual assault

*Robert Von Der Ohe – Former Rockford College Economics Professor who plead guilty to sexual abuse

*Robert Maubouche – Retired French Economist who worked at the World Bank convicted of sexually assaulting – wait for it – a housekeeper.

Then there are those guilty of crimes that regrettably have connections in high places where they can evade the long arm of the law.  Executives at AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley through this country into an economic tailspin that lost millions there homes and their jobs for elaborate fraud and theft schemes yet not one of them will see a jail cell.  SOURCE

Stein: The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn “forced” the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?

Logical Response: Perhaps the element of surprise is enough to distract a young foreign immigrant who has unintentionally in her duties as house a hotel maid walked in on others not bent upon raping her.  And hey, DSK ain’t that much older than me and when the adrenaline gets flowing in my veins I can wrestle a smaller frightened chicken to the floor, especially if I haven’t eaten in three days.  And do people really pass by luxury suites constantly – at lunch time, when the assault occurred?  And lastly, unlike other women who have been assaulted by DSK, this housekeeper had only her dignity to defend, not a lucrative career in the IMF or politics.  Nothing that a billionaire can use here to intimidate this woman.  And does Stein think all women who may be intimidated are incapable of reporting such crimes against them so quickly?  What law course was that absolute theory under?

Stein: Did the prosecutors really convince a judge that he was a flight risk when he was getting on a flight he had booked long beforehand? What kind of high-pressure escape plan is that? How is it a sudden flight move to get on a flight booked maybe months ago?

Logical Response: Just a sneaking hunch that prosecutors made based on the hotel staff’s testimony that he appeared rushed as he checked out, was caught on a plane bound for France instead of Berlin where he had a scheduled appointment with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the next day and was still unshaven as he appeared in his bail request to the judge here.  

Stein: Mr. Strauss-Kahn had surrendered his passport. He had offered to stay in New York City. He is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. Did he really have to be put in Riker’s Island? Couldn’t he have been given home detention with a guard? This is a man with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level, to put it mildly. Was Riker’s Island really the place to put him on the allegations of one human being? Hadn’t he earned slightly better treatment than that? Any why compare him with a certain pedophile from France long ago? That man had confessed to his crime. Mr. Strauss-Kahn has not confessed to anything.

Logical Response: Yes, why should we treat “recognizable people with a lifetime of public service, on a distinguished level” in such an uncivilized manner?  It was an honest mistake that he has made numerous other times it appears and besides, the victims are always of questionable nature.  Especially young African females who are used to being raped and molested from their earliest days as a child. How could he have possibly known that his “amorous actions” would be misinterpreted by such a woman?  How gauche of us to treat a man this way who thinks his capacity in the IMF helping the impoverished of third world nations entails having his way them in his high dollar hotel suites.

Stein: People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman’s word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail? Putting a man in Riker’s is serious business. Maybe more than a few minutes of investigation is merited before it’s done.

Logical Response: Those “lunatic” hotel maids that you claim steal your airline tickets, money and medications while throwing away “important papers” were merely cleaning up after your overnight orgy with those high dollar prostitutes male and female.  You should really control yourself when your outof town promoting your hackneyed skills as an intelligent human being.  But still, let’s say this woman is guilty of doing these things to DSK, does that automatically follow that charges of rape are part of this deviant behavior too?

Stein: In this country, we have the presumption of innocence for the accused. Yet there’s my old pal from the Ron Ziegler/ Richard Nixon days, Diane Sawyer, anchor of the ABC Nightly News, assuming that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty. Right off the bat she leads the Monday news by saying that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is in Riker’s… “because one woman stood her ground…” That assumes she’s telling the truth and he’s guilty. No such thing has been proved and it’s unfortunate for ABC to simply assume that an accusation is the same as a conviction. Maybe he’s in jail because one person didn’t tell the truth. I don’t know one way or the other, but I sure know that there has been no conviction yet.

Logical Response: Perhaps unlike you, Sawyer did her background check on this guy and found that he has a history of such deviant behavior and was simply implying that this woman was willing to take her charges to the public arena knowing that people like you would attack her personal character.

Stein: In what possible way is the price of the hotel room relevant except in every way: this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that’s what it’s all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He’s got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.

Logical Response:  Of course it is Ben.  The have-nots always exaggerate their claims about the haves, or as one of your fellow “have” types refers to the rest of as – “small people”.  You might want to allow for the possibility that journalist were just pointing out to what many Tea Party, small-minded people like you presume – that wealthy people are above reproach and should be extolled for their virtues and gifts of job-creation they bestow upon us. How wrong it is for any peon to believe that people of wealth use their money and influence to screw as many people as they can.  Oh, by the way, have you seen the latest report detailing how the income disparity between the haves and have-nots is wider than it has ever been?  Coincidence?

To be fair to Stein, he has often made rational statements that many of us can agree on but you have to wonder when he did if they were those times when hotel maids were not stealing his medications.


Creepy Ben Stein Defends Accused Rapist (

4 responses to “Ben Stein: Master Jurist?

  1. I am shocked he can defend this guy. I expected better from him. I don’t now why I did,but I thought he was a bit more fair minded,

  2. I’ve really lost all respect for Ben Stein after this. I agree with his point that we shouldn’t be convicting someone in the court of public opinion before an impartial jury has had a chance to look at the evidence, but the rest of his are sorely are sorely lacking in the logic and reason department. I do like his new approach to profiling though–“assume rich white guys didn’t commit the crime” is slightly less abhorrent than “arrest poor minorities because they probably did.”

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