The Strauss-Kahn media circus begins

Journalists who can fit inside the over-flowing courtroom where the arraignment of IMF managing director Dominque Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to take place Monday, May 16, 2011. CBS

Journalists who can fit inside the over-flowing courtroom where the arraignment of IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to take place Monday, May 16, 2011.
CBS
There's something about the first day of a media circus.

At its core, the memorable ones usually concern sex, politics or money.

But unlike Michael Jackson, Bernie Madoff or Bill Clinton, the case against one of the world's most powerful banking figures involves all three.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is charged with attempted rape for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid in his $3,000-a-night hotel suite in New York City.

A well-known player in international economic circles, he's been called the go-to guy for the world's financial troubles. As head of the International Monetary Fund, Stauss-Kahn was scheduled to meet with European leaders today to discuss the European debt crisis.

Instead, he sits in a Manhattan courtroom facing criminal charges.

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An IMF insider told CBS News that Strauss-Kahn had righted the International Monetary Fund ship after poor performances by the last two managing directors. "He's done an excellent job," she said, in an institution which depends on hierarchical leadership. Now with first deputy managing director John Lipsky filling in, there is familiar leadership at the helm, but, she said, "We're still floored. It just doesn't sound like him."

Whether the sexual assault allegations against him are true, at the very least millions tuning into network news coverage or reading the headlines will associate him as the twice-divorced, self-admitted philanderer nicknamed "the Great Seducer."

That alone wouldn't have dashed the politician's hopes of becoming the next President of France. Nor, apparently had rumors that he allegedly groped a TV journalist several years ago during an interview. According to Le Monde, the center-left Socialist Party member was leading in the polls against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

What has transpired in the last two days since Strauss-Kahm's arrest is a stalling of his arraignment, now going on 24 hours.

Hundreds of international journalists, speaking a myriad of languages, have awaited his bail hearing - every two hours being updated that it will take place in the next two.

All of those journalists who are locked out of the overflowing courtroom are getting their info via TWEETS from reporters who managed to get inside.

For now, the debt crisis will linger on without him, markets are shuddering in the fallout, and the media circus will follow the sexual intrigue surrounding the alleged misdeeds of a 62-year-old man, once responsible for handling the money problems of the world.

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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