It’s not just the French writers who can be accused of demonstrating a chilling lack of sympathy to the accuser in the Dominique Struass-Kahn sexual assault case. New York Post, which we generally appreciate for its lovably outrageous reporting, can cross the line every now and then. Tom McGeveran at Capital New York looks at today’s headline: “HOTEL MAID IN HIV SHOCK”.
This is the gist of the story, summarized by McGeveran:
[I]t reveals that she was living in an apartment organized for her by the charity Harlem United, which places people with H.I.V. and AIDS in rent-assisted housing. The sum of the importance of this fact, which does not establish that the alleged victim is H.I.V.-positive, is the suggestion that the accused sex criminal “may have more to worry about than a possible prison sentence” because, “[according] to the federal Centers for Disease Control: ‘It is possible for either partner to become infected with HIV through performing or receiving oral sex.'” This, in the mind of the Post, qualifies as a “shock.”
This seems monstrous. As Alex Balk at The Awl writes: “I am filled with ineffable rage over the whole thing.” But McGeveran, more cynical than we are, warns us not to get too outraged just yet:
Perhaps worse is yet to come: They do not yet ask the police whether rubber gloves were used by officers attending to the alleged victim. There’s always tomorrow!