Each observer seems to have been annoyed by a different Strauss-Kahn turn of phrase in the 24-minute interview.
The phrase means, “the nail that sticks out always gets hit by a hammer.”
The Daily Beast has removed the paragraph and attributed the phrase, and regrets the error.
1520s, "manner or style of expression," also "group of words with some unity," from Late Latin phrasis "diction," from Greek phrasis "speech, way of speaking, enunciation, phraseology," from phrazein "to express, tell," from phrazesthai "to consider," from PIE *gwhren- "to think" (see frenetic). The musical sense of "short passage" is from 1789.
"to put into a phrase," 1560s; see phrase (n.). Related: Phrased; phrasing.