Last night, CNBC ran a special on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case in an attempt to piece together, parse, and analyze the information we know about the former International Monetary Fund director and the sexual assault charges he faces. Dangerous Liaison: What Happened in Room 2806 mixed straight reporting and analysis--speaking to legal and psychological experts, examining evidence, that kind of thing--with the slow-motion, hand-held camera work that suggestively dramatizes inanimate objects (like the hotel room door). It's the latest in a long string of attempts to recreate what happened in Room 2806 of the Sofitel Hotel on May 14, when a housekeeper there says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her when she came to clean his room. Plenty of outlets, from major news sources to, shall we say, less reputable actors, have tried to recreate the scene. We've rounded up a few notable attempts, ranging from the high-minded to the downright ridiculous.
CNBC's Dangerous Liaison: The trailer goes whole-hog for the dramatization of opening the hotel room door. It also include's footage of Kenneth Thompson, the maid's personal lawyer, who recreated the scene himself outside the courthouse in Manhattan on July 1.
The New York Times graphics: Strauss-Kahn's lawyers actually mentioned The Times' May 22 feature "Recreating an Encounter," which illustrated the alleged attack, in their brief to the court complaining about information leaking out to the press. On July 7, The Times ran a follow-up feature supposing three possible scenarios, using the same graphic representation of the room.
The Chinese animation treatment: There are reasonable efforts at recreating the scene, there's dramatization for the sake of a news story, and then there's this computer animation video from China, which just goes over the top. Admittedly, we don't really know what the narrator is saying, but it's clear from the sequence starting around 0:20 that there's a point of view here, and it's not a neutral one.
A different story from Next Media Animation: This Taiwanese animation came out after the prosecution revealed its key witness had a troubled past, putting its case in jeapordy. It portrays a very different sequence of events:
Absurdist cartoon: Once you're finished dramatizing, recreating, and reanimating the scene, it's time to get silly. This Mexican cartoon does that in a strangely long and action-less video.