ay have been operating out of its beloved Hotel Carlton, the once-discreet destination now synonymous with the case that saw Dominique Strauss-Kahn accused of aggravated pimping. In a Lille Journal dispatch, The New York Times' Maïa de la Baume canvassed local merchants who said they had no clue an alleged prostitution ring might have been operating there. "But of course the police say there were, and the hotel, in its brochure, boasted of its 'charm and discretion' and its 'soundproof apartments,'" de la Baume writes.

The whole reason the so-called Carlton Affair has gained such prominence is that it involves Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund director and one-time French presidential hopeful. But, the weird thing is, Strauss-Kahn never actually went to the Hotel Carlton, As de la Baume reports: " 'Mr. Strauss-Kahn never went to the Carlton,' said a person close to the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the case. 'But he played a prominent role in the ring.' " So, DSK doesn't even have to show up to stink up a joint. Just his name is enough to spoil the lovely hotel's image.