In addition to Richard Cohen saying that there should be no consequences for people of consequence in the case of Roman Polanski, we have Anne Applebaum suggesting that the 8th grader was really asking for it (link to Paul Campos at LGM, I will not generate hits to Applebaum):
Of course, there were some very legitimate disagreements, including two excellent ones from my colleagues Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen, and I take some of their points. But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim’s testimony (here in two parts) — including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski’s house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson’s jacuzzi — and not just the salacious bits.
So, how is this repulsive?
Because she is implying that the girl asked permission from her mom to have sex with Roman Polanski, and because the grand jury transcript does not show her asking about the Jacuzzi, it shows her asking to stay late for the photo shoot, and neither her nor Polanski ever talking about the Jacuzzi.
But Apple Applebaum, as Mr. Campos so ably notes, thinks that the slut was asking for it, which is a hell of a thing to say about a 13 year old rape victim, and it’s even worse, because Applebaum is also lying to smear said 13 year old rape victim:
Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:
Q. What happened out there after he indicated he wished to take pictures of you in the jacuzzi?
A. We went inside and called my mother.
Q. When you say “we called,” did you call or did Mr. Polanski call?
A. He told me to and I talked and then he talked and then I talked again.
Q. What did you tell your mother?
A. She goes, “Are you all right?
I went, “Uh-huh.”
And she says, “Do you want me to come pick you up?”
And I went, “No.”
And he said that we’d be home kind of late because it had already gotten dark out.
Q. When you said “he said,” did he tell you or did you hear him tell your mother on the phone?
A. He told my mother.
Q, Did he tell your mother any other things?
A. Not that I was listening to.
Q. After talking to your mother on the telephone, what happened?
A. We went out and I got in the jacuzzi.
Applebaum can’t even read 20 lines of a trial transcript accurately (the victim never asked her mother for permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi). But that idiocy pales to insignificance in comparison to the moral blindness involved in suggesting, as Applebaum clearly does, that if the 13-year-old victim had in fact asked her mother’s permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi by a 44-year-old man that would somehow transform the man’s subsequent drugging and raping of the girl into something other than a “simple and straightforward criminal case.”
We can add to this that her husband is Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, and as such, he is aggressively working toward Polanski’s release,* because they consider him a national treasure (even if he does not live there), and she thinks that she had no need to disclose this, because she, “Mentioned my husband’s job in a column as recently as last week”
No, it does not work that way. You are married to a high government official for a foreign government. When you are writing about issues that are part of the direct and explicit policy of that government, you disclose that you share a bed with the foreign minister, each and every time.
I will say that not all Postie pundits are Sociopaths, though Applebaum and Cohen clearly are, as is, of course, Krauthammer, though he may simply be insane .
For example, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson nails it when he says, “That is grotesque. In general, I agree with the European view that Americans tend to be prudish and hypocritical about sex. But a grown man drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl? That’s not remotely a close call. It’s wrong in any moral universe — and deserves harsher punishment than three decades of gilded exile.”
Your mouth to God’s ear. I cannot speak to the finer points of the trial, and there are likely issues there, but the enthusiasm with which the people who seek to excuse this away on the feeling that somehow Polanski is “people like them”, is truly revolting.
*I do not blame Sikorski for doing his job here. It is his job to execute the policy, however immoral and venal (it’s about playing to the Polish electorate† by embracing a rapist). Pity your wife is a sociopath though.
†As to what this says about the Polish electorate, it either means that their leaders underestimate them, or that they are not underestimating them. One hopes for the former.