December 19, 2011

DSK: "La danse de joie"

Here's Sofitel security camera video from the day of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest last May. It was broadcast on France's BFM-TV. Starting a little after 3:00 minutes into the video, you can see what BFM calls "The Dance of Joy:" after Sofitel management calls the NYPD to have the IMF supremo / French presidential frontrunner arrested, two burly Sofitel employees in suits who had been escorting the complainant maid step into a back room and celebrate. The big black guy wraps the big white guy in a bear hug, lifts him into the air, spins him around, and then does what looks like either an NFL touchdown dance or the Charleston.

The Daily Beast reports:
The two employees said they couldn’t recall the exact reason for their fleeting celebratory behavior but that they believed it may have involved sports, which they frequently talked about, the source said.

Okay, well that clears that up. Glad we won't have to listen to conspiracy nuts yammering on about their crazy conspiracy theories. Amy Davidson at The New Yorker in "A Dance to the Music of Conspiracy" finds the sports talk explanation more plausible than the suspicion that DSK might have been set-up:
Once you’ve accounted for the jerkiness of the video, it doesn’t seem outlandish, given the sorts of things men do in New York, particularly when talking about sports. 

A commenter at The New Yorker adds that Edward Jay Epstein, who brought up the dance of joy in a New York Review of Books article, is a conspiracy theorist:
Many years ago, Mr. Epstein had written about the diamond industry. I knew a top adviser for De Beers,who couldn't believe how Mr. Epstein had invented so many details to support his claims. The adviser decided then that he would never again read anything written by this conspiracy theorist. He called Epstein a "sensationalist". I myself wonder why the NYRB would publish an article that had nothing to do with books.

If you can't trust "a top adviser for De Beers," who can you trust? Certainly not a wacko investigative journalist like Epstein who published some nutty theory in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982 that De Beers was a giant conspiracy to prop up the price of diamonds via a global diamond cartel. After all, the reason De Beers top executives never set foot in America during the second half of the 20th Century is, well,  you know, just one of those things. I can't recall the exact reason for De Beers executives' fleeting behavior of avoiding anywhere they could have been served with a subpoena for Sherman Anti-Trust Act violations, but I believe it may have involved sports.


P.S., a commenter points out that Epstein's website has more videos that allow you to better evaluate the competing theories.

55 comments:

MattW said...

Guys I know don't celebrate a baseball win with that kind of a dance unless they have money riding on it. And even so, why would they step into a back room? They were already in an employees-only part of the hotel, so the back room would shield their conversation from not just guests, but from colleagues as well.

Anonymous said...

iSteve you posted this:

> Some amount of time was edited out of what was broadcast between when they first stepped into the back room and the Dance of Joy. Their body language during the missing interim might explain more.

into the 'someone else picked up the story about India' thread. Feel free to discard this msg.

Mitch said...

No, no, guys, it's not some petty celebration about sports. Didn't you hear Lanny Davis? They were relieved--yes, relieved--that the housekeeper had finally decided to allow them to call 911.


http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000061524

Steve Sailer said...

Right, my comment belongs here, not there. Thanks.

Back, and to the left said...

If they're just excited about the Red Sox or Mets (brilliant hypothesis of Remnick's girl) why'd they scurry off to the vacant back storeroom to do their merry jig? It was probably about something bigger than a sports bet, perhaps not involving the DSK job but I can tell why the French press loves this. I sat through the puketastic Audi commercial a third time to watch it and they seem way too furtively exuberant for a rotisserie baseball triumph. They're literally spinning around each other, albeit not for 3 full minutes as Epstein originally thought. p.s. "I knew someone in the Durham County District Attorneys' Office/Duke English Dept. who couldn't believe how Mr. KC Johnson had invented so many details to support his claims"

jody said...

cover something more important, like kim jong il.

Paul Rain said...

And yet OPEC bigwigs can skate.. funny how the US government manages to go after people selling stuff that isn't actually needed.

morleysafer said...

Really should add/replace the BFMTV link with the NBC link Mitch posted, which is a true holiday treat. Not only does Lanford J. Davis suggest that the dudes were celebrating the opportunity to call 911, then the tort lawyer guy for the refugee-exile maid vehemently denies she had something "to do with any type of dancing"

Charles Frith said...

It takes a particularly virulent form of low conciousness to accept the conspiracy theory epithet. If it's only a theory why does the mainstream media go into overdrive about it? Could they be losing control of the message. The point with DSK however is trivial. Factional infighting between Sarkozy and DSK if that is the case makes no difference.

They are both manipulative reptiles.

Protip for 'habitual liar[s] and dissembler[s]' said...

When it comes to lying third time may not be a charm, but..
They were dancing in juissance because they thought they would be celebrities.
And they would make crap load of money from ghost written books, or TV appearances, or sthg.


If you were guilty and did not cop to it, don't try to look too innocent when you are caught.
Admit to something embarassing but not incriminating; so that you will seem honest and abashed person, a decent guy.
If you come up with a different lie, which whitewashes you more each time, you will appear as a criminal, and a liar, and stupid.

Consider:
We dumped Osama's corpse in the ocean, because we respect his religious beliefs.
Strike that it was someting else. No strike that too. It was something else altogether.

Instead, from the very beginning, say something like:
"We destroyed this despicable man's corpse,
because we could not let his grave would be a shrine for extremism." And stick with it.

Now, we know that there is sthg fishy.

eh said...

Interesting.

Still don't see why just releasing the fact he participated in orgies -- which AFAIK is more or less established/he has not denied it -- would not have been enough. Maybe it wasn't known at the time.

Anonymous said...

You know, I read a lot of magazine articles, and most of them I can't remember the next day. But that article about diamonds in The Atlantic taught me something about the world that I hadn't known, and I never forgot it. Thanks for the link!

(I did not know the thing about De Beers executives not setting foot in America. Interesting!)

691 said...

So, when did they call French management? The video goes straight from her telling the meatheads about the sexual assault to them calling the police

Anonymous said...

The two guys were hugging each other? Maybe they are gay.

Anonymous said...

the purpose of mass media is not to tell us the truth, but rather, what to believe.

Still don't see why just releasing the fact he participated in orgies
the election is france, not america

Matt said...

"Still don't see why just releasing the fact he participated in orgies -- which AFAIK is more or less established/he has not denied it -- would not have been enough. Maybe it wasn't known at the time."

The French don't do sexual scandal the way Americans do. Sarkozy got divorced and remarried during his presidential term, and nobody cared.

An orgy with consenting adults probably wouldn't cost him his career. Sex assault on a black chambermaid, though? That's gotta be a dealbreaker for a man of the left.

Anonymous said...

DSK was known in France to be some sort of Don Juan.

His political entourage apparently did not ignore he participated in pleasure parties.

Therefore some conspiracy to ensnare him might appear somewhat plausible.

But DSK himself was aware his opposants would try to bring him down with women.

Some fortuitous encounter with a gorgeous playmate might have raised his suspicion.

However one guy knew no centerfold was needed to turn DSK on.

Bantam said...

It's quite obvious the 2 American staff celebrate a "Mission Accomplished" of paramount importance, don't they?

On whose behalf?

Why?

Bantam said...

Anyway, the love affair between the MSM and DSK is not going to end anytime soon.

beowulf said...

"Still don't see why just releasing the fact he participated in orgies -- which AFAIK is more or less established/he has not denied it -- would not have been enough."

Ehh, the French have different ideas of what constitutes boorish behavior.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel clashed bitterly with Cameron over his stand at the all-night negotiations Dec. 9 in Brussels. A member of the French delegation remarked that Cameron behaved "like a man at a wife-swapping party who refuses to bring his own wife," although this perhaps tells us more about the after-work activities of the French diplomatic corps than we probably need to know.
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/cameron-331343-britain-european.html

Kylie said...

"cover something more important, like kim jong il."

If you want a blogger to cover something more important, start your own blog.

AllanF said...

ROTFLMAO!

I feel the year-end tin-cup drive coming. ;-)

AllanF said...

"However one guy knew no centerfold was needed to turn DSK on."

Bwahahaha! The hits just keep coming!

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to sound unkind but that maid, the alleged victim, is not an attractive woman by any stretch of the imagination. Would a guy throw away all that on her? I doubt it.

Douglas Knight said...

just the dance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAJH2VBb0pY

Kylie said...

I'd guess the two employees are simply relieved that the alleged sexual assault of a femme de chambre by a hotel guest with its attendent publicity means their consensual sexual congress, culminating in an unwelcome addition to the roux, and caught not on tape but by the chef, will go unrebuked, if not unremarked.

Anonymous said...

I stopped attaching much credibility to anything written by Epstein after he published his nonsensical conspiracy theory regarding the Amerithrax Anthrax Investigation, where he also got most of the key facts wrong.

Paul Mendez said...

That 1982 Atlantic article reminded me that for the past 30 years people have been assuring me that diamonds are as common as goat turds in Africa, and that ANY DAY NOW they will become utterly worthless baubles and Cracker Jack will be giving away half-carat rings in every box.

(How many "Friedman Units" are there in a "De Beers Unit"?)

josh said...

And just the other day Roissy lambasted guys who have sex with unattractive women;theyre not alpha.He said when he was with a very unattractive girl something went soft--and it wasnt his heart. DSK likes em--well,heh heh heh we know how he likes 'em. Somehow Mick Jagger comes to mind:"...hear him with the women just around midnite.."

Mr. Anon said...

It seems pretty likely that DSK was set up. The only sad thing about the whole affair is that it didn't take. DSK is exactly the kind of man who deserves to be pilloried for something he didn't do.

Douglas Knight said...

Edward Jay Epstein himself has a page with hotel videos (on youtube)

Ray Sawhill said...

On the theme of "the French do sex (and sex scandals) differently than we do" ... LINK

Anonymous said...

After all, the reason De Beers top executives never set foot in America during the second half of the 20th Centur,
now that baby boomer 'values' and 'ethics' are fully internalized, they have nothing to fear, especially if they support israel or something. That's all that really matters.

sf said...

That is the first time I've seen a full body picture of the accuser. DSK must like them zaftig.

Whiskey said...

There are conspiracies and non-conspiracies. Watergate, very likely this affair, cartel-ization, obvious ones.

But to engage in decades long, massive efforts, without people falling away, blowing the whistle, because they got screwed over, or passed by (like Mark Felt) beggars the imagination. Its a crutch to avoid real discussion of technology/social/financial changes affecting everyone.

Conspiracies by their nature are fragile, often discovered, and by involving multiple people prone to disclosure. JFK was murdered by a Communist nutcase, not "the right wing" or some conspiracy nonsense involving gay guys in the French Quarter. Dreyfuss was the fall guy, not a center of over-arching conspiracies involving Germany as the center of Jewish power.

Most people most of the time can't really cooperate. They don't get along -- they backstab, betray, drop out, get bored, scared, or other things. The most you'll get is some limited conspiracy that is successful in very limited means (chiefly by limiting the number of people involved).

Is anyone impressed with the cleverness and mastery of the DSK stuff?

Anonymous said...

"conspiracy theorist" is a term that has been infested with perjorative baggage and seems to serve no purpose other than suggest that anyone getting information, or formulating questions, from any source other than MSM is, well...a little unsound. Such "theorists" are
metaphysicians, at best, not "theorists" in the scientific sense of the term. The perjorative term (or another like it) ought to be made clear to pertain to the contemptible artistry of advancing vibrant notions that are not amenable to
confirmation or disconfirmation. Instead the term is creamy with the insinuation that if you see, think, mention something that the herd does not, you maybe need a mental compass reset.

Anonymous said...

"...no centerfold was needed"
Based on the full scope of all relevant facts (known), is a single clear motive established for DSK?? As far as I've been
able to gather (how far?), this case is just a whole lot of "swiss cheese" that successfully invites people to bring closure to what is there rather than give pause regarding the no info cavities???

eh said...

the election is france, not america

Uhh, thanks. I know. And considered that.

The French don't do sexual scandal the way Americans do. Sarkozy got divorced and remarried during his presidential term, and nobody cared.

Oh man. Divorce is NOT the same thing as an orgie. Or orgies. Remember DSK is a married man. And this is the age of HIV. Which could be acquired in an orgy and then passed on to his wife.

It's true that Europeans in general, and the French in particular, have a more permissive attitude about sex, including where politicians are concerned. However I don't think it goes so far that a man who (seemingly regularly) participated in orgies could be elected President of France. Probably he could still have some sort of political career/influence. But not President.

So I still think just leaking the fact he participated in orgies would have been enough to KO him as far as being President is concerned. I guess they were going for the knockout.

Anonymous said...

"And yet OPEC bigwigs can skate.. funny how the US government manages to go after people selling stuff that isn't actually needed."

Foreign Sovereign Immunity.

Anonymous said...

Epstein claimed the 'joyful dance' on tape lasted fifteen minutes. Would you evaluate that as an honest mistake?

Anonymous said...

"And just the other day Roissy lambasted guys who have sex with unattractive women;theyre not alpha."

How's he holding up, anyway? Middle age can be rough on a guy, especially when he has no kids or wife to help him through it.

Mel Torme said...

(How many "Friedman Units" are there in a "De Beers Unit"?)

Same at the ratio of leprechauns to unicorns.

/Stanley

for reference:

This is a Schrute Buck

+

What is the ratio of Schrute Bucks to Stanley Nickles?

Yes, the diamond business is one hell of a scam. Read Joel Epstein's entire on-line book.

Anonymous said...

Dreyfuss was the fall guy, not a center of over-arching conspiracies involving Germany as the center of Jewish power.

It never ceases to amaze me how this incident is still brought up in discussion over 100 years after it happened. It is treated as a major incident in world history that must be recorded and remembered like some pivotal event like the Battle of Gettysburg.

But then again, if you perform a worldwide headcount on your people that is so detailed it includes 100 people living in Syria, I guess anything that ever happened to anyone of your group is to be recorded in stone.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Don't really care if a pig like DSK was framed. He was asking for it. The end.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Another, more plausible theory: DSK was a regular guest, and routinely behaved like an asshole. I can very well imagine dancing for joy at the thought of an asshole going to jail. For more likely than the claim that it was part of a setup.

Charles Frith said...

The anti conspiracy comment by Whisky is for saps.

When it matters things can be kept quiet. Look at Project Mahnatten. So secret a conspiracy Truman was CLUELESS.

Most conspiracies are just the truth with lots of disinformation seeded by the alphabet agencies to muddy the waters. Meanwhile the rest of the world watches reality TV, sucks on corn syrup sodas, inhales plasma screen programming and thinks weapons of mass delusion aren't a conspiracy.

I'll have a Glenfiddich.

It's not to ostentatious yet not so nasty it wont be swallowed whole by the discerning palate unused to pedestrian Whisky.

beowulf said...

"But to engage in decades long, massive efforts, without people falling away, blowing the whistle, because they got screwed over, or passed by (like Mark Felt) beggars the imagination."

You seriously believe that? Just as not every criminal is caught, not every conspiracy is detected for decades (if ever).

Documents Reveal Secret Plot to Form Post-WWII Nazi Army
December 15, 2011 |theTrumpet.com

The Vatican, ex-Nazis and Spanish leaders secretly plotted in the 1950s to build a post-World War ii military force to counter Russia’s feared encroachment into West Germany, according to recently disclosed documents that went up for auction last week... The explosive documents are the first ever to emerge detailing postwar plans by the Catholic Church, ex-Nazis and members of Franco’s Spain to form a secret army of ex-Nazis and Spanish soldiers that would be stationed in Spain and North Africa.

http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=8924.7694.0.0

NOTA said...

There are indeed conspiracies, but the thing that gives conspiracy theories a bad name is the way many of their adherents build evidence-proof shells around their minds, so that absolutely everything is evidence of their pet conspiracy theory.

One feature of that is ignoring the organizational problems that plague all organizations. If you have a hundred people in your conspiracy, you're effectively running a medium sized business, complete with payroll, a management structure, accounting to make sure your conspirators don't featherbed too much but can still get the stuff they need, etc.

Often, when people talk about conspriacies, they're probably thinking too literally. If DSK was set up, that was probably a genuine conspiracy. But a lot of conspiracy-like behavior is surely much less like some formal organized secret operation than it is like a bunch of people who all know each other, see the world the same way, have some shared beliefs and ideas, and have interlocking obligations in the big favor bank. (For example, my guess is that more media blind spots are explained by that than by any overt spiking of stories, though there are cases where it's pretty clear that stories are explicitly spiked.)

Avoiding the conspiracy theory label may be hard, depending on your beliefs and how much you want to talk about them. But everyone should go out of their way to avoid the conspiracy theory class of screwed-up thinking, where all possible evidence somehow supports your theory, or where you tune out evidence that contradicts it.

Steve Sailer said...

Capt. Jack says:

"Another, more plausible theory: DSK was a regular guest, and routinely behaved like an asshole. I can very well imagine dancing for joy at the thought of an asshole going to jail. For more likely than the claim that it was part of a setup."

That makes a fair amount of sense: that the whole thing might have been a post-conspiracy rather than a pre-conspiracy. Say the maid's boss was wondering what happened to her lipstick and was going to fire her for turning tricks again, and then she came up with the rape charge against DSK, and the two beefy employees, who hated DSK for previous things he'd done in the hotel, egged her on to tell the police.

I don't know if that fits the timeline, but a post-conspiracy sounds more plausible than some Mission Impossible-style carefully designed pre-conspiracy where everything turns upon some semi-literate maid-hooker executing her part of the plot perfectly.

Charles Frith said...

The use of the word plausible here is not cogent. Context is everything, indeed everything is contextual.

Douglas Knight said...

The theory that the conspiracy is 100% post hoc fails to explain the claim that one of the celebrants entered the room at the same time the phone was stolen. It could have been opportunistic looting, but looting a crime scene seems to me like a bad idea. And maybe we should not trust EJE on the importance of the phone, or even the evidence that it was stolen.

I think the simplest theory is that there was a conspiracy to bug his phone, which may have played a post hoc role with Diallo.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they had bet on Anne-Élise Schwartz being voted france's Woman of the Year and knew that this would gurantee her victory?

Reg Cæsar said...

Somehow Mick Jagger comes to mind: "...hear him with the women just around midnite.." --Josh

For 40 years, I've thought he was saying "hear him whip the women just around midnight".

Wow... even as a tween, I was too cynical for the Stones!

However, now "just" makes some sense. In my mondegreen version, it was "just" filler. (John Lennon hated the word, for that reason.)

Anonymous said...

Ref. Steve Sailer "another more
plausible theory..."
I don't think it is highly presumptuous to speculate that he might have been routinely electronically monitored while in the US?. If so, obviously a lot of quick and effective improvisation would have been easy. It still seems hazy as to what DKS's motive was for the alleged offense/s.

Anonymous said...

"motive for the offense"
It is quite far sidebar perhpas ( in terms of the known facts ) but
it appears the NYCPD has had interfaces directly with the CIA for quite some time now. This affords some ambience for contemplation of whether DSK was
under pervasive, covert, hi-tech,
constant surveillance from which circumstance a lot of improvisational possibilities would have been open to those in charge of the surveillance.