polanski’s defenders expose dirty little secret
Huffington Post-er Joan Shore is fed up with the Swiss.
When I learned, years ago, that they had blithely allowed German military trains to transit their country during the Second World War, while claiming Swiss “neutrality,” I was shocked, but tried to excuse them on grounds that they were protecting their country from invasion and armed warfare.
Aiding the Nazis she forgives, but detaining an admitted child molester is inexcusable. Seriously.
Arresting Roman Polanski the other day in Zurich, where he was to receive an honorary award at a film festival, was disgraceful and unjustifiable. … The 13-year old model “seduced” by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies.
Shore’s moral compass boggles the mind, though she’s not the only Polanski apologist with a warped sense of justice.
Here’s the facts:
*Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor. Those blaming the 13-year-old victim for his predicament are, by and large, soulless elitists who apparently believe talented people deserve a pass, regardless of the infraction. “What, because he won an Oscar? Would they speak up for a sex offender who hadn’t?” wrote LA Times columnist Steve Lopez. The “so-called victim,” as slug-like producer Harvey Weinstein called the 13-year-old girl, testified that Polanski got her drunk, sodomized her and, after she told him she wasn’t on the pill, anally raped her. “I was afraid of him,” she said. To repeat: Polanski pleaded guilty.
*As detailed in “Wanted and Desired,” a fascinating HBO documentary about the case, Polanski fled the country after the judge broke the plea deal. Judge Laurence Rittenbrand’s verdict was to have been based on a “diagnostic evaluation” at a state prison. After 42 days, officials released Polanski and advised the judge that no more jail time was warranted. Responding to (understandable) public outrage, Rittenbrand went rogue and sent the famed director back to jail for 90 days. Polanski would also have to agree to deportation.
While I agree that Polanski deserved to spend more than 42 days behind bars, judges can’t be breaking plea deals because they fear public backlash. Likewise, there are legal remedies to judicial misconduct — fleeing the country isn’t one of them.
It’s hard to envision justice ever being served in this case, though the subsequent publicity has crystallized public opinion against Hollywood elitists.
The Nation’s Katha Pollitt summarized it best, calling them “the white culture-class counterpart of hip-hop fans who stood by R. Kelly and Chris Brown and of sports fans who automatically support their favorite athletes when they’re accused of beating their wives and raping hotel workers.
“No wonder Middle America hates them.”