What Atrios Said

Sorry for stepping on the open thread, but I agree 100%:

I think our society has become a bit hysterical about teen sexuality, and that age limits and punishments for statutory rape have, in some states, started to get a bit exteme even if such relationships are inappropriate.

But the undisputed facts of this case are that she was given booze and drugs and raped. There may be other procedural legal issues as I said, but I really can’t believe people are minimizing what happened. What is wrong with these people?

I was talking to my mom and dad this morning, and we don’t agree on damned near anything regarding politics anymore (mom seems to think that Bob Dole is still what most Republicans are like), and told them I can not believe everyone apologizing for Polanski. They couldn’t either, and it really is kind of insane.

One of you all remarked in the comments the other day that Polanski is the upper-class OJ Simpson. I think that makes sense.

270 replies
  1. 1
    Tokyokie says:

    Except O.J. Simpson is universally scorned and the film industry is embracing Roman Polanski.

  2. 2
    Comrade Jake says:

    Applebaum’s descent into depravity has certainly been interesting to watch.

  3. 3
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Yeah, I agree. We should kill Polanski and then try him.

  4. 4
    RedKitten says:

    Kate Harding’s article on it was really the perfect rebuttal. Everybody’s focusing on the statutory aspect of it, and ignoring the fact that she had been drugged and she repeatedly said no.

    It doesn’t matter if she was 13 or 33 — he drugged her and then raped her, both vaginally and anally. He’s a scumbag and deserves to rot in jail. The fact that she was 13 makes him an extraordinarily scummy scumbag, but her age was not the sole thing making him deserving of punishment.

  5. 5

    Is OJ really the best analogy though? It was admittedly a bit before my time, but by and large weren’t the majority of people irrationally defending OJ also irrationally convincing themselves he was innocent at least? It seems to me that pretty much no one is trying to allege Polanski didn’t do what he did, just that he should be able to get away with it. It strikes me as quite a bit worse.

  6. 6
    Ash says:

    It was amusing to see the French backpedal on all of this when they realized that the French film industry types who pray at the shrine of Roman don’t exactly make up the majority of France.

  7. 7
    inkadu says:

    What’s George Bush’s excuse for his crimes? Did the Manson family kill Barbara?

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Agreed. We lock up all kinds of low level drug offenders with nary an outcry, but it is somehow permissible for the wealthy and powerful to rape seventh graders. Apparently, we are not all that far removed from the days when the lord of the manor was allowed to do as he pleased with his serfs.

  9. 9
    JK says:

    I’m a huge fan of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, and was deeply disappointed to learn that they and about 70 other Hollywood luminaries signed a petition calling for Polanski’s release from custody.

    I’m also very disappointed with Jeralyn Merritt who wrote:

    Roman Polanski went for a ride on the elevator of justice, but all he got was the shaft. Free Roman.

    in a blog post she titled The Fleecing of Roman Polanski

    h/t http://www.talkleft.com/story/2009/9/30/121049/790

    Shame on all these Polanski defenders crawling out of the woodwork.

  10. 10
    Comrade Jake says:

    @JK:

    Woody Allen defended Roman here, huh? You don’t say…

  11. 11
    Cat Lady says:

    Polanski admitted guilt to rape, then ran away before sentencing. OJ Simpson was acquitted of a double murder. One of these things is not like the other.

    The OJ apologists had some kind of justification – albeit misguided, but there was a formal legal declaration of innocence. The Polanski apologists got nothin’, except some justification based on some kind of artiste thin blue line crap they’re pulling out of their ass. And Anne Applebaum can DIAF.

  12. 12
    mistermix says:

    @RedKitten: True. The “documentary” Harding was critiquing was completely slanted in Polanski’s favor. It seemed to want to excuse his behavior in part because of the pain he felt over Sharon Tate.

    I have no idea why so many people are excusing his behavior, but the reason they’re talking about it is that it has so many baby boomer elements (Tate connection, he raped her in Jack Nicholson’s house, etc). The trials and tribulations of one boomer during the hallowed 60’s are always worth weeks of discussion, no matter whether that boomer is a pedophile rapist.

  13. 13
    ellaesther says:

    I can’t really speak to the “upper class OJ Simpson” idea, as I am neither upper class, nor African American, and I think there may be a difference between the “upper class” (strictly speaking) and the power class of the entertainment industry.

    HOWEVER, I am a woman, a former girl, and a former rape crisis counselor, and I think that there is something else going on here as well, to wit: As much as many of us (most of us? Please God?) recognize that forced sexual contact is rape, and that when a woman says “no,” but you do it anyway, that’s rape, and that when the “woman” is actually a 13 year old girl and you’ve doped her up to be able to get what you want regardless of her “no,” well, that’s an even worse form of rape — some of us have not yet made that cognitive leap.

    Many people — particularly men of Woody Allen’s and Bernard-Henri Levi’s and Roman Polanski’s generation (THOUGH BY NO MEANS ALL OR EVEN MOST MEN OF THAT GENERATION) — continue to not understand that female people are not meant to be readily available for whatever use a man may want to make of them. That a 13 year old girl who is deemed hot is somehow fair game, and that indeed, sexual “conquest,” of any sort, is just that: Conquest. That men who have succeeded in sticking their dick into a female have won some sort of game, and that the game is just the nature of things.

    Or, at the very least, many people continue to misunderstand (willfully, I believe) the level of trauma that rape holds for women, because the rape is, in their minds, nothing but rambunctious sex, and women who are assaulted need to lighten up and get over it.

    Hence the whole air of “when will you people get over it, already?”

  14. 14
    Ash says:

    @JK: What’s gross is that most of the people who signed that stupid petition have young children of their own. I wonder how they would feel if some low-rent schmuck off the street raped their daughter (or son). Unless he turns out to be a brilliant painter or musician or something, then I’m sure it would fine.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    Except Polanski was convicted and the keystone kops of the LA DA office couldn’t get enough decent evidence to convict OJ.

  16. 16
    JK says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    OK, Woody Allen shouldn’t be a shock, but Martin Scorsese, Debra Winger, Wim Wenders, Harvey Weinstein…

    WTF is wrong with these people? Roman Polanksi is a scumbag. Yes, he’s a great film director, but his actions were despicable and depraved, which make him a scumbag.

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    We’ve been discussing this story over at Oliver’s this afternoon. It makes an interesting counterpoint to this post.

    Conservatives are gunning for Kevin Jennings, director of the Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. In a 1994 book, he wrote about how he counseled a gay high school student who met older men for sex in public restrooms.

    Jake Tapper reports:

    That Jennings knew of a sexually active 15-year-old, of any gender, involved with “an older man” and didn’t take steps to report that relationship to the student’s parents or to authorities has made him a target for criticism — long before he was put in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

  18. 18
    raff says:

    I’m thinking Woody Allen is, perhaps, not the best character witness for Polanski.

    Ditto for Whoopi “I don’t think it was RAPE rape” Goldberg. Ah, the old “it wasn’t RAPE rape” defense… the 13 year-old was ‘asking for it’. A perrenial classic.

  19. 19
    Michael Gass says:

    What I find wrong here isn’t that Polanski was picked up on a warrant that is 31 years old, it is that journalists of the caliber of Eugene Robinson are commenting on it.

    Yes, it happened. Yes, Polanski was scum for doing it. But, (yeah, it’s a `but`) when the victim doesn’t want it brought up anymore and the crime is 31 years in the past, journalists of higher caliber should be focusing on more pressing issues.

    Let Polanski face whatever justice is left… that isn’t going to rescue our country from the disasters we are facing.

  20. 20
    JK says:

    @Ash:

    The reaction of the Hollywood celebrities takes my breath away.

    @MikeJ:

    Somewhere, I can’t remember which website it was, I read an overview of Roman Polanski’s case and it was stated that Polanski was actually arrested by Det. Philip Vanatter who was one of the detectives involved in O.J. Simpson’s case.

  21. 21
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    Okay…

    1) Not really that important. We should be freaking out about famine, global warming, the erosion of democracy in the Americas…

    2) guilty? should go to prison. talented? should get awards and artistic recognition. No one should get an Oscar for not breaking the law, no one should get a get-out-of-jail free card for being talented.

    3) I think the blown-uppedness of this has to do with media people taking advantage of an excuse to talk about rape, drugs and the 70s. We need new media people.

    4) Jail sentences are skewed and crazy. White collar criminals who harm millions of people get a slap in the wrist or a presidential medal of freedom, dudes who steal a purse or smoke a joint get years. It’s sick and need to be changed. We need new laws.

  22. 22
    ironranger says:

    I’m stunned at the defense of Polanski. Smells like that old blame the victim thing & the victim was a 13 yr old child. Polanski is no different than an old nasty guy in my neighborhood that got caught diddling some young girls & he had said they shouldn’t have dressed “that way”.

  23. 23
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Ash: True. Woody even managed to marry the “young child of his own” and still cannot seem to see his way clear to sympathy for the 13 year old girl. Odd.

  24. 24
    Ron Beasley says:

    I think the fact that he is getting so much attention when there is real news that needs to be discussed is reason enough to hang him by his balls along with all the media types who are pushing this story.

  25. 25
    Makewi says:

    I think the defense of Roman Polanski boils down to the fact that they would gladly trade one raped 13 year old girl for the body of Polanski’s work. Whether the reasoning is based on art, or money or some misguided sense of morality doesn’t really matter in the end, because they are ok with the rape.

    I suggest a highly punitive tax on Hollywood, let if help to offset health care needs.

  26. 26
    Aaron says:

    one of “you all”????????????????????????????
    Excuse us for not being elitist limousine liberals with your lattes, and your sushi….

  27. 27
    JK says:

    A retired L.A. prosecutor—the man at the center of the Polanski judicial misconduct allegations—now tells Marcia Clark that he lied to documentarians, undercutting the director’s defense

    h/t http://www.thedailybeast.com/b.....alibi/full

  28. 28
    Flugelhorn says:

    Honestly… I cannot see how you folks are surprised by the nut-natured actions of the denizens of “Hollywood”. Their entire reality is a well insulated echo chamber. The particular ones who signed the petition in support of Roman Polanski probably do not even realize that the vast majority of the people in this country think they are crazed loons worthy of a nut-hatch. They spend far too much time looking in the mirror and on congratulating themselves within the community circle-jerk.

  29. 29
    kth says:

    Not precisely equivalent; OJ’s misguided support was ultimately rooted in the extreme marginalization of his supporters, signaled unmistakably in the across-the-board acquittals in the Rodney King case in the same community about a year previous. The arts and croissants crowd (I’ll freely embrace Limbaugh’s derisive designation for this purpose) circling the wagons around Polanski has no such excuse.

    But fucking close enough: Polanski is OJ for urban affluent white people.

  30. 30
    Comrade Jake says:

    @JK:

    WTF is wrong with these people?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest Hollywood has a way of, ahem, adjusting people’s sense of right and wrong. I think people tend to rationalize a lot of behavior in order to land a part, get a picture green lit, etc. Combine that with a fairly insular community, and voila – drugging a 13 year old and raping her doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

  31. 31
    Demo Woman says:

    @Cat Lady: True. I personally hate comparisons because facts tend to be different.

    My concern happens to be the real victim of Polanski rape. She was initially raped twice, once by Polanski and then by the media. Is she ready for the media to rape her again? I am no way defending him, if the CIA were to hire hit men to target Polanski, that would be fine.

  32. 32
    r€nato says:

    @Comrade Jake: It’s been said before that Hollywood is the ultimate company town.

    I’m disgusted but not surprised by the Hollywood types defending Polanski. Please tell me Alec Baldwin didn’t sign that stupid petition. I don’t want to have to lump him in with the other, “Hollywood liberals that the right is probably right about”.

  33. 33
    Zifnab25 says:

    “Upper class” OJ? We are talking about multi millionare professional running back B-list movie star OJ Simpson, right? The one that dropped seven or eight digits of cash on lawyers? Not quite trailer trash.

    And whatever may be said about OJ’s guilt (yeah, he did it, so long as we’re not in a criminal court), the LA police force did absolutely attrocious work in investigating. OJ got off because Mark Furman was too busy Heiling Hitler to do his damn job.

    By contrast, Polanski is squarely in the crosshairs of a legal process that has him dead to rights. This isn’t a race bait or a murder mystery. All the cards are on the table. Polanski just won’t pay his debt to society.

  34. 34
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Makewi: For once, I thought I was agreeing with you, but if you are taking the first lines of your statement as a premise for your last line, then you lost me completely…

    @Aaron: I think Sushi is no longer elitist. You can buy it at a supermarket for about the prize of frozen fishsticks…

    @Flugelhorn: I think an anthropological study of Hollywood tribes would be very interesting… mating habits, religion, food, etc.

    @Demo Woman: I’m for Polanski getting the treatment that the law ought to give all people in similar situations…

  35. 35
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @The Bearded Blogger: I wonder what set of the moderation? Fishsticks?

  36. 36
    JK says:

    Obama has been asked for his reaction to Michael Jackson’s death and his reaction to Kanye West’s behavior at the MTV Video Awards show.

    Does anyone know if Robert Gibbs has been asked for Obama’s position on Roman Polanski’s case?

  37. 37
    Ben says:

    I don’t think the point is that Polanski is upper class whereas OJ is not, but that Polanski derives much of his popular support from the upper class.

    And yes, it’s a good thing that they caught him.

  38. 38
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Maybe Dateline: To Catch a Predator could do a sting with the intention of netting Polanski. Because we all know showing up stoned with a box of condoms and a case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade to the fake residence of an adult pretending to be a minor is a LOT worse than drugging and ass-raping a 13 year old girl.

  39. 39
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @beltane: The problem with Polanski was he couldn’t contain himself and so ceased to be the lord of the manor. Or master of his domain.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I think it’s even simpler than that: most of these people have known Polanski for 30 or 40 years, and it’s a completely natural human instinct to not want to believe that your friend committed horrible crimes. Because he’s always been a nice guy around you — okay, maybe a little grabby with your wife/girlfriend when he’s had a couple — and you just can’t picture him doing anything as bad as they say he did. I guarantee you that if you asked Scorsese or Allen, they would tell you what Polanski told them happened (bitch set me up and I thought she was 18 anyway) and insist that it must be true because their good friend Roman wouldn’t lie to them.

    The only difference is that Polanski’s friends are a group of people who can take out ads in the newspaper.

  41. 41
    kay says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I can’t imagine why she posted the child’s transcript, to defend Polanski. The transcript is much worse than what I pictured. I thought it was this mayhem scene of drugs and alcohol and confusion, and she somehow ends up alone in the Jacuzzi with this pig, who went crazy, or whatever.
    It’s not. He planned it. He was conscious and deliberate through each step. She didn’t know where all this careful preparation was leading, but an adult reading the transcript does, and Polanski sure as hell did.

  42. 42
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    If Polanski had been brought to justice in 1989 instead of 2009, I don’t think there would so many defenders in the film industry. But after 30+ years of studying his work, of being around him at social gatherings, of seeing him try to rehabilitate his image, I suspect his Hollywood brethren have fallen into the “he’s really a nice guy who made a mistake” trap. For an example in the political arena, see Kennedy, Edward.

  43. 43
    lawguy says:

    I would look around, the defense of Polanski isn’t so different from the defense of Bush and Chaney and their minions and their (and our) very own torture/rape rooms.

    They are after all, all pleasant people who make the most charming dinner companions either in D.C. or Paris.

  44. 44
    Desert Rat says:

    @JK:

    Why? She fell off the wagon last year during the great Lanny Davis-Hillary Clinton primary flameout flame wars, and clearly hasn’t dried out since.

  45. 45
    kay says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    It’s hard to portray it as a “mistake”, unless he plans his “mistakes” for several days in what reads as a very deliberate and cold manner.

  46. 46
    Sasha says:

    Best analogy?

    Think of the Village who, when faced with nigh-incontrovertible evidence of the guilt of certain members of the previous administration, simply cannot conceive of any said member actually being held accountable for crimes committed. It’s pretty much the same kind of mindset.

  47. 47
    Sasha says:

    Best analogy?

    Think of the Village who, when faced with nigh-incontrovertible evidence of the complicity and/or guilt of certain members of the previous administration of war crimes, simply cannot conceive of any said member actually being held accountable. It’s pretty much the same kind of mindset.

    A deeply cynical part of me is certain that, if his lawyers could somehow get their client’s past actions reclassified as “Enhanced Seduction Techniques”, Roman Polanski would have a better-than-even chance of getting off scot-free.

  48. 48
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: I think you might be wrong. This guy got an Oscar for Best Director in 2002 and a HUGE standing ovation by those in attendance at the time. EVERYONE knew of his crimes and they lamented that he could not be there in person to accept the reward. He has had defenders in Hollywood from the minute he admitted his guilt.

    Those self-congratulatory people in Hollywood never had a problem lauding him at all even knowing what we all know to be true.

  49. 49
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    …. I can not believe everyone apologizing for Polanski.

    Interesting, intriguing and illusory.

    It’s really a function of the Polanski’s milieu and that milieu’s position in the larger society. Out of 310 million Americans, there could be only a couple of thousand apologizing for Polanski, but because those few are HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES, or have access to the media coverage given HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES, what they say is amplified and echoed far beyond what it would be otherwise.

    To give a perhaps strange analogy, it’s like when Tim Russert died. Not to speak ill of the dead, but Russert wasn’t that important. He was a TV NEWS guy. The longtime host of a show that got maybe a 2.0 rating on a great day. But because his milieu was TV NEWS and it was in a sense the death of a friend for people in TV NEWS, his friends talked about his death for a week. Which anyone would do. Which lefty bloggers would do if a lefty blogger died. It was almost beside the point that everyone who watches TV NEWS had to deal with everyone on TV NEWS talking about the death of a guy who did TV NEWS.

    In the same way, this is in a sense personal for many of these jabbering ignorant HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES, but if this happened in another social milieu, like liberal blogging, there’d be the same percentage of “everyone” apologizing–but we just wouldn’t know. Entertainment Tonight wouldn’t be there asking and some anonymous liberal blogger’s rationale for the bad act of a fellow blogger wouldn’t capture the public imagination.

    And allow me add on a personal note. I happened to be in SW Louisiana as a grad student in the early 1990s when the very, very first inklings of Catholic Church’s priestly abuse scandal began to emerge, and had in my freshmen classes at the at least a couple of dozen students who were exact peers of some of the victims–went to the same church even, knew the perp, etc. I heard then many of the same apologies you’ve heard this week for Polanski. It’s just that nobody knew because they were a bunch nobody poor people that no one else wanted to listen to.

  50. 50
    Walker says:

    All of these people arguing about the circumstances of the rape do not understand police. He fled, after pleading guilty. The circumstances of the crime do not matter to the police. Fleeing makes them very, very mad.

  51. 51
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Sasha:

    Think of the Village who, when faced with nigh-incontrovertible evidence of the guilt of certain members of the previous administration, simply cannot conceive of any said member actually being held accountable for crimes committed. It’s pretty much the same kind of mindset.

    You mean people like Scooter Libby?

    The young samurai’s mother had the child sold to a brothel, where she swept the floors and oiled the men and watched the secret ways. At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest. Groups of men paid to watch. Like other girls who have been trained this way, she learned to handle many men in a single night and her skin turned a milky-white.

  52. 52
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    I think you might be wrong. This guy got an Oscar for Best Director in 2002 and a HUGE standing ovation by those in attendance at the time.

    And that was also 25 years after the crime. Twenty-five years in memories of memories of human beings is a long fricking time.

  53. 53
    Aaron says:

    #26- I meant that as satire…

  54. 54
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @lawguy: hammer, meet nail’s head… People like US shouldn’t go to jail!

    @Sasha: exactly, jail is for scruffier types, and something that appears in tv shows. btw, “enhanced seduction techinques” is brilliant

  55. 55
    Janet Strange says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Thank you. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought of Scooter.

  56. 56
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: For who is it a long time? For you? For me? Have we forgiven him? I think not. Yet Hollywood types might be expected to forgive him after 25 years but not in 1989?

    Don’t think so.

  57. 57
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    In the same way, this is in a sense personal for many of these jabbering ignorant HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES, but if this happened in another social milieu, like liberal blogging, there’d be the same percentage of “everyone” apologizing—but we just wouldn’t know

    Exactly. This is a filter problem, not a volume problem.

  58. 58
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    For who is it a long time? For you? For me? Have we forgiven him? I think not.

    I can only speak from my experience. My attitude toward Ted Kennedy’s involvement in Chappaquiddick, for example, changed dramatically over the course of 25 years. Had the details of the incident changed? No.

  59. 59
    Olly McPherson says:

    Well, I’ll play devil’s advocate. If you posit that the purpose of jail is to protect society from a person who has shown that they can’t obey the law, then Polanski’s 30+ years of obeying the law (since fleeing it, obviously) makes it hard to argue that he needs to be put in jail to protect society or other 13-year-old girls.

    Throw in the fact that this happened 30 years ago, the rumblings of misconduct and grandstanding by the judge, the fact that, yes, he is a highly respected artist, and outrage is lessened further.

    What he did is predatory and reprehensible. But he’s 76, and throwing an old man in jail for the rest of his life doesn’t seem like it will help anyone.

    Flame away.

  60. 60
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @JK:

    Why would they do that? Roman Polanski isn’t black. Therefore no politician is required to comment on the case.

  61. 61
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    But he’s 76, and throwing an old man in jail for the rest of his life doesn’t seem like it will help anyone.

    Why does it have to help anyone? Why can’t it just be punishment, finally administered?

  62. 62
    Bnad says:

    I sense a royalist feeling among Roman apologists that it is right that some people (the “best”) should be above the law. Those people being whomever currently constitutes the cream of our society.
    Great directors, near the top of some social scale in terms of receiving others’ homage and being answerable to nothing except their art, can be compared to feudal lords in the freedom they have in the world and the esteem in which they’re held. Like rock stars but with a higher class audience.
    So a great director paying the price for his crimes is a profoundly democratic thing.

  63. 63
    JK says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Man, that’s some truly awful fucking prose.

    Screw the Valerie Plame case. Scooter Libby should have done prison time for writing criminally atrocious fiction.

  64. 64
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Olly McPherson: that is one of the purposes of jail… another is to deterr future offenders. Will jailing Polanski serve this purpose? It might show that being famous, talented or rich is not a get out of jail free card… of course, Dick Cheney should be in jail, like a thousand more times than polanski

  65. 65
    Sasha says:

    What he did is predatory and reprehensible. But he’s 76, and throwing an old man in jail for the rest of his life doesn’t seem like it will help anyone.

    I don’t think he should necessarily be locked up for the rest of his life, but I do believe he should face the possibility of real, non-BS punishment.

    Since the original plea was offered in good faith and since the victim doesn’t want Polanski to be prosecuted, my suggestion is wrap the original conviction with “Flight from Prosecution” for a 1-year sentence. Also, fine Polanski for however much money it cost to keep this damn case open and all other related costs (a couple of million I’d imagine).

  66. 66
    Elizabelle says:

    I think I might have brought up the OJ parallel first, in a clumsy way.

    Trying to point out 2 people who never paid their debt to society, and so never got the crimes behind them. OJ’s Las Vegas sentence was justice delayed, to many.

    Polanski does not deserve a separate set of rules, it’s true. And I was more sympathetic before reading the trial testimony. No means no.

    However: there is room for some mercy, too. The initial sentence was probably too light, and yes, he will get it for fleeing. He is not finished with the US justice system.

    I’m not in the “lock him up and throw away the key” crowd, though.

    There has to be room in our society for mercy, and for forgiveness. Deal justice, but take into account the many years that have passed and the change that might have occurred in the assailant, over time.

    Can’t be all Nancy Grace-land all the time.

    The 30 years of watching where you travel, and curtailing some of your opportunities: I wish every minute of them upon Donald Rumsfeld, David Addington, Dick Cheney and their “colleagues”.

    They should be in Polanski limbo world now, and then at the Hague.

  67. 67
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Well, the idea that the primary purpose of the justice system is to punish people isn’t one that everyone shares.

    He certainly deserves sanction, but the “throw away the key” approach many here seem to be espousing might not be “just” under these circumstances either. When he fled (something that deserves sanction as well), it looked like he might just be receiving probation.

    I don’t defend his behavior, and I think some prison time is warranted. But I think many people see the circumstances listed in my list post as mitigating factors (plus the “I know him,” etc. rationalizations others have listed).

  68. 68
    JK says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Let’s just lock up Roman Polanski along with Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, David Addington, and John Yoo.

  69. 69
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Sasha:

    I agree. That seems fair. I just think people are overreacting to Polanski’s defenders in an understandably inflammatory case.

    I also think, on the whole, our society would be better off if we sent fewer people to jail. Similarly, I wish our jails weren’t primarily bleak places of punishment and deprivation.

  70. 70
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @RedKitten:

    The reasons everyone is focused on the “statutory aspect” of it are: (1) he admitted under oath having sex with a 13-year-old, eliminating any possibility of him trying to sue anyone for defamation for quoting his sworn statement, and (2) he admitted having sex with a 13-year-old when he was 44. That means he raped her. Full stop. Everything else is irrelevant. Thought she was older? Doesn’t matter. Statutory rape is strict liability. (He also admitted under oath that he knew she was 13, and it’s not hard to believe him when she had to call her mother for permission to stay over, but it’s irrelevant. It’s rape no matter what.) Even if she was stone cold sober, her mother authorized it, and the victim signed a waiver, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Forty-four-year old men who have sex with eighth graders are rapists. Forty-four-year-old men who rape young girls, plead guilty, and then flee justice despite being convicted rapists are not heroes. They aren’t even protagonists in Greek tragedies. They’re just sick fucks.

    Of course, when you add on the victim’s sworn testimony to the grand jury, and the fact that Polanski wasn’t willing to roll the dice even in the absence of rape shield lies, it just makes the situation even worse for him. But even if you’re a decades-long acquaintance of Polanski who believes the truth of his defenses, it doesn’t matter. (“Dude, you have sex with children.”) He’s a sick fuck, and I curse every signer of this petition for playing into every sterotype about Hollywood.

  71. 71
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    He’s a sick fuck, and I curse every signer of this petition for playing into every sterotype about Hollywood.

    Isn’t there the possibility that he was a sick fuck 30 years ago and heartily regrets and repents for his behavior? Would that mean anything?

  72. 72
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Olly McPherson:

    Oh, please. When he fled, he was a convicted rapist. Who gives a shit whether he was going to get a slap on the wrist or not? He deserved time then. He deserves even more time now, after flouting the laws of California. He doesn’t deserve sympathy, and his defenders deserve a swift kick in the seat of the pants.

    Wanna go double or nothing and make apologies for Deukmejian now?

  73. 73
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Olly McPherson:
    Oh, yeah, he’s SO sorry that he’s never expressed remorse, he let people put out a “documentary” that further savaged his victim, he hasn’t turned himself in, and he’s gotten his PR machine to take out full page ads. Look, if he wants to argue for mercy, that is an argument he could have made to the court. He could still make it now. He’s not sorry, though. He just wants to save his ass.

    But even if he were sorry, tough shit.

  74. 74
    Ash says:

    Well, I’ll play devil’s advocate. If you posit that the purpose of jail is to protect society from a person who has shown that they can’t obey the law, then Polanski’s 30+ years of obeying the law (since fleeing it, obviously) makes it hard to argue that he needs to be put in jail to protect society or other 13-year-old girls.

    It’s really got nothing to do with if he’s obeyed the law or not (which no one knows for sure, he did have relationships with other young girls before and after). What kind of precedent would it set if this guy, who PLEADED GUILTY, was set free just because it’s been 30 years? So anyone who commits a crime and then runs away and manages to be on the lam for decades should have the same luxury afforded them?

  75. 75
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Who gives a shit whether he was going to get a slap on the wrist or not?

    Uh, the criminal justice system? Our framework of law? Granted, he broke that contract by fleeing, but his behavior in the intervening years would argue more for leniency than a harsher punishment.

    I don’t know who Deukmejian is.

  76. 76
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Who gives a shit whether he was going to get a slap on the wrist or not?

    Uh, the criminal justice system? Our framework of law? A larger concept of justice?

    Granted, he broke that contract by fleeing, but his behavior in the intervening years would argue more for leniency than a harsher punishment.

    I don’t know who Deukmejian is.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Anne Laurie says:

    @beltane:

    Apparently, we are not all that far removed from the days when the lord of the manor was allowed to do as he pleased with his serfs.

    Legally, in America, not quite 150 years. I’ve just started reading Annette Gorden-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello, about Thomas Jefferson’s other family. The book deserves all the awards it’s gotten, and Gordon-Reed’s method of presenting a history written “from below” should be taught in all our high schools.

  79. 79
    RedKitten says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I agree with you completely. A 44-year-old man who desires sex with a seventh-grader is seriously sick.

    My point, however, was this: I could be reading the situation wrong, but it really does seem to me that if Polanski had drugged and raped a 25-year-old, the public (and law enforcement) reaction would have amounted to one big yawn — that the only reason there’s any action being taken is because of the age of the victim. And that’s just not right.

  80. 80
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: If you are saying that you hated Ted Kennedy after Chappaquiddick and gradually rationalized and forgave him after 25 years then perhaps you should examine your own hypocrisy. Ted Kennedy was never even CHARGED and he killed a woman in a drunk driving accident. At the very LEAST he should have been prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter, yet he remained the duly elected Senator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until his death 40 years later.

    How can you rationalize Ted Kennedy and then not rationalize Polanski? How do you reconcile those two events in your head?

  81. 81
    RedKitten says:

    What kind of precedent would it set if this guy, who PLEADED GUILTY, was set free just because it’s been 30 years? So anyone who commits a crime and then runs away and manages to be on the lam for decades should have the same luxury afforded them?

    This.

  82. 82
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Ash:

    What kind of precedent would it set if this guy, who PLEADED GUILTY, was set free just because it’s been 30 years?

    I haven’t argued he should be set free.

    So anyone who commits a crime and then runs away and manages to be on the lam for decades should have the same luxury afforded them?

    I never said that either. But I think any such decision would depend on the nature of the crime and the character of the person in the intervening years. Statutes of limitations (which don’t apply to all crimes, obviously) embody this very principle.

  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    Redkitten: first, your baby is a charmer! Cannot believe how big he’s gotten! Wonderful little guy.

    Back to discussing a noncharmer:

    Would guess Polanski will end up with some prison time for fleeing, and probably some added time for the rape.

    But need the sentence be draconian, or imposed as though the crime occurred last year?

    I am not saying this just because he’s a gifted artist. You could make a similar case for anyone who fled justice years ago, and has walked a better path since. And maybe even become a better person.

    Justice delayed is often different from justice meted out at the time.

    FWIW, Polanski’s got a 10 year old son and teenaged daughter himself.

    And Polanski’s issue is very, very different from Rumsfeld, Yoo, etc. Has he devastated a society and taken thousands of lives before their time?

    The issue of living with a sword over one’s head is similar, though …

  84. 84
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Ira Einhorn called and asked how he could apply for a celebrity petition.

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    Olly: you say what I think, but better and more concisely!

  86. 86
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Well, thank you!

  87. 87
    Cerberus says:

    It’s a combination of a couple of things as best I can tell.

    1) Failure to separate the man from his art. His art is brilliant, sometimes feminist even, but the man committed a heinous act. And the thought goes: “But if he committed this heinous act then he’s a bad person and then am I a bad person for liking his art. Fuck it I love his art, he should be exonerated so I can still enjoy his art with a clean conscience”

    2) The kicked puppy defense. Roman Polanski in the other aspects of his life has had a pretty traumatic life, including being the victim of the heinous Manson murders where his pregnant wife was brutally slaughtered. Thus people feel almost bad to give him the same justice we all should get, because people want some karma get out of free card. Note this only applies to famous personalities who are attacked by equally famous monsters. If Polanski’s rape victim was to rob a bank, the same people wouldn’t blink twice about demanding jail for her.

    3) Sexism. Yeah, shock of shocks, Hollywood is sexist. Lord, no, say it isn’t so. If anything Hollywood has lagged behind the rest of the country in recognizing female agency in sex and sexuality. In fact, Polanski’s rape was just the standard of the time and even to a degree today. Manipulation by power and drugs into sex has a long and storied history in Hollywood, even bragged about and memorialized as the “casting couch”. A women’s right to enthusiastic consent. No power games, no manipulations of female agency, no promotion of those with questionable casting ethics? Say it isn’t so. To Hollywood, Polanski’s crimes are minor because to them, rape is just the game of hollywood. Note of course that dismissiveness of rape is hardly a hollywood only phenomenon, given that in most states even if you manage to get convicted of rape (which is by no means a sure thing by any stretch), the sentence is generally shorter than minimum sentencing for possession charges.

    4) Rich and famous equals laws don’t apply. Hollywood stars may have the most flamboyant expressions of this belief, but just look at the Bush-Cheney defenders or the defenders against prosecuting the predatory banks. There’s an idea in this country that if you are wealthy, not only should you dominate the system through good lawyers, but the system shouldn’t bother you at all and should just focus on poor ruffians. There is a feudal mentality to the rich that literally expects police to be their private knights to harass the serfs and never never trouble the nobles. If Polanski can go to jail, can Nicholson for his conspiracy, Cheney for torture and war crimes, the head of AiG for nearly bankrupting the world?

  88. 88
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    What is coming out of Hollywood right now looks just like Noooner’s “walk on by”. The argument that you can’t prosecute crimes because the offender was too patriotic, or too talented, or too anything to be guilty doesn’t wash any more on the left than it does on the right. You do the crime you do the time.

    That said, the political motivation behind the arrest is kind of interesting. Considering that Polanski was a well known resident and householder in Gstaad, why did the Swiss authorities pick on now to arrest him? Could it be some sort of quid pro quo in connection with the recent banking secrecy scandal?

  89. 89
    gopher2b says:

    I think the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and and the belief that Polanksi should be brought to justice in the United States are the only two times in my lifetime I’ve seen this country united around a single issue. Sad.

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And Polanski’s issue is very, very different from Rumsfeld, Yoo, etc. Has he devastated a society and taken thousands of lives before their time?

    Huh? That’s a pretty low bar. By that measure, Charles Manson’s issue is very, very different from …

  91. 91
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Olly McPherson:
    Statute of limitations? He was convicted! The statute of limitations doesn’t protect you after you’ve already been convicted. And when you run, that’s a crime that continues until you are caught or turn yourself in. There’s no injustice in prosecuting him for that crime, or in finally sentencing him for something for which he was convicted 30 YEARS AGO.

    My sincerest apologies to George Deukmejian, who is NOT John Demjanjuk. Although a bad governor, he does not deserve any comparison to a fugitive Nazi war criminal.

  92. 92
    gopher2b says:

    @Makewi:

    It’s based on money. No one (in Hollywood) really cares about anything else.

  93. 93
    Cerberus says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    Except he was charged. He entered a plea verdict of guilty, the judge gave him two months jail time, which the prosecutors with deliberation with the defense agreed to suspend.

    Now, whether or not such a sentencing was bullshit, buoyed by his immense privilege as a white rich male with a famous name, that’s something up to debate, but he did face his sentence and reckoning rather than running his ass away to another country.

    There is also on the intention scale a vast difference. Yes, he SHOULD have gotten vehicular manslaughter due to the alcohol, but it was a fuck up, an accident. An accident, that his privilege allowed him to avoid time for, but an accident nonetheless, Polanski’s crime was pre-meditated.

  94. 94
    Olly McPherson says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    We seem to be talking about two different things. I’m not using the statute of limitations as an argument for setting Polanski free. I’m using it to show that our justice system does recognize the principle that, in some cases, past crimes shouldn’t be prosecuted as if they just occurred.

    There’s no injustice in prosecuting Polanski, true. But I think it’s plausible that injustice could result from that prosecution, particularly given how punitive our criminal justice system is.

  95. 95
    RedKitten says:

    @Elizabelle:

    But need the sentence be draconian, or imposed as though the crime occurred last year? I am not saying this just because he’s a gifted artist. You could make a similar case for anyone who fled justice years ago, and has walked a better path since. And maybe even become a better person.

    That would be up to the judge and jury to decide, would it not? But that’s the entire point — he’s obviously not that good of a person, or he would have turned himself in long ago. Instead, he’s been living the life of luxury. And let’s not forget: this was not the case of someone making a mistake, panicking and fleeing, and conducting himself in a manner that indicates true remorse. He knowingly preyed on a 13-year old girl, pleaded guilty, and then ran to save his skin (a luxury that his victim did not have, obviously.) There are a lot of people in jail who do not deserve to be — people whose crimes hurt nobody. I’m not going to give a pink-pantied damn about someone who viciously raped a child and then partied it up like a king for the rest of his life.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    Weird question here: the victim’s mother was in the news herself a year or two ago; she’s prominent in some respect, and mentioned in passing that it was her daughter in the Polanski case. That aside had nothing to do with the story, which was about something else …

    Does anyone remember who the mom is? It’s someone who was vaguely familiar to me, but not even a B or C lister …

  97. 97
    Makewi says:

    @The Bearded Blogger:

    The last line was a larf. No one should be punished just because they have stupid opinions.

  98. 98
    Michael Gass says:

    ok… to end SOME arguments here… California does NOT have a statute of limitations on rape when it is a minor. PERIOD!

    So, quit arguing it!

    And… why aren’t we focusing on BIGGER problems than whether a child rapist finally gets his justice 31 years later????

  99. 99
    tammanycall says:

    The film community isn’t a monolith. Bill Maher, Kevin Smith, and several major film critics like David Poland have made public statements against Polanski. And more interesting than the names that are on the “support Polanski” list are the ones that aren’t, i.e., Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, de Palma, Zemeckis, Tarantino, Godard (fr), Besson(fr), Kassovitz(fr).

    It’s been reported that French director Luc Besson refused to sign. And looking at the list, most of his countrymen followed suit.

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @Olly McPherson:

    Well, I’ll play devil’s advocate. If you posit that the purpose of jail is to protect society from a person who has shown that they can’t obey the law, then Polanski’s 30+ years of obeying the law (since fleeing it, obviously) makes it hard to argue that he needs to be put in jail to protect society or other 13-year-old girls.

    Wrong. First, there’s the point that if he’s let off, it encourages others who think they’ll be let off if they flee.

    Second, another purpose of jail is punishment—plain and simple. Retribution shouldn’t be the only point of criminal penalties, but that doesn’t make it invalid.

  101. 101
    RedKitten says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Redkitten: first, your baby is a charmer! Cannot believe how big he’s gotten! Wonderful little guy.

    And thank you, by the way. :) He IS getting rather ridiculously cute, I must say.

  102. 102
    MattM says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    …he let people put out a “documentary” that further savaged his victim…

    Yeah, she was so savaged by the documentary that she participated in the film and attended the premiere.

  103. 103
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I can not believe everyone apologizing for Polanski

    Christ, you and Atrios are just getting ridiculous.

    “Everyone” is not apologizing for Polanski. A few of his friends and admirers are. Why is this surprising or even distressing? You think that in a population of almost 7 billion this might happen every once in a while? So Debra Winger says he’s a swell guy. That’s neat. Plenty of people apologize for Obama remorselessly slaughtering wedding parties with drone aircraft, that’s not especially surprising either. I’m just trying to wrap my head around an explanation for why Americans, even those of you in the DFHosphere, get so goddamned hysterical regarding anything involving genitalia.

  104. 104
    Makewi says:

    …get so goddamned hysterical regarding anything involving genitalia.

    Oh, isn’t that cute. Minimizing the drugging and raping of a 13 year old girl into being hysterical regarding anything involving genitalia. Perhaps the problem isn’t American’s obsession with sex, but your apparent moral void.

  105. 105
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Minimizing the drugging and raping of a 13 year old girl

    Fuck you, liar. Never did any such thing, liar. Document it or apologize, liar.

  106. 106
    DougJ says:

    I love movies. But I don’t see why anyone would take anything a movie star or director (or producer or whatever) had to say about anything very seriously.

    It goes for Kutcher, it goes for Heston.

  107. 107
    Anne Laurie says:

    I happened to be in SW Louisiana as a grad student in the early 1990s when the very, very first inklings of Catholic Church’s priestly abuse scandal began to emerge, and had in my freshmen classes at the at least a couple of dozen students who were exact peers of some of the victims—went to the same church even, knew the perp, etc. I heard then many of the same apologies you’ve heard this week for Polanski. It’s just that nobody knew because they were a bunch nobody poor people that no one else wanted to listen to.

    This is, IMO, the biggest argument in favor of the state’s continued prosecution of Polanski. As many people have pointed out, rape — physical violation — has been treated as a non-crime as long as it was “only” a powerful person using a less-powerful person for his own pleasure. It’s still very, very difficult to successfully prosecute rape cases, and part of that difficulty is that too often rape victims look at the hoops they’ll have to jump through and decide, quite logically, that it’s better to shut up & “go away” rather than adding the insult of he-said, she-said, the-little-slut-was-probably-asking-for-it, show-us-where-the-bad-man-touched-you publicity to the original injury. The hundreds of Catholic priests who assaulted children, sometimes for decades, got away with it because they (and the entire church hierarchy) succeeded in convincing those children (and their parents, and any other adults who tried to speak up) that “a few bad apples” might’ve made “tragic mistakes”, but really it was no worse for the kids than breaking a wrist falling off the monkeybars during recess, or getting a concussion while on the football team, so GET OVER IT ALREADY and let’s all be reasonable adults, already.

    The woman Polanski raped when she was a child has said that she doesn’t care whether or not he’s punished. But there are many, many other rape victims (and future rape victims) who will to some degree weigh the public response to Polanski’s “defense” as they decide how to put their lives together after being assaulted. If “we” let Polanski skate, we’re telling all these other people that the crimes committed against them don’t matter if their attacker is rich or powerful enough. And that’s not the message any democracy can afford to send. Because the real parallel crime to Polanski isn’t OJ Simpson — it’s John Yoo, and Dick Cheney, and all the other serial killers and mass torturers looking to ride the “that was in another country, and besides the wench victims are dead” exoneration.

  108. 108
    Penfold says:

    I’m totally late to the party, but someone should say this:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Everything else is irrelevant. Thought she was older? Doesn’t matter. Statutory rape is strict liability.

    Great…but totally fucking meaningless. This is kind of OT from the discussion of Polanksi, but the transitory state of statutory law is completely irrelevant to any sort of ethical analysis of the situation. After all, slavery and segregation were once enshrined not only statutory law but in the constitution, and we seem to be in the process of legalizing torture. Does that mean any of those things are “moral”? Should we be putting people away for longer periods than violent offenders for smoking dope? I mean, the list of things that have been enshrined in law that are now commonly seen as absurd or immoral is long as hell.

    I specifically mention this because of how unbelievable inhumane and draconian certain statutory rape laws are in this country, mostly because we’re totally afraid of sex. This has little bearing on Polanski because 1) he was 44 and she was 13, not even really pubescent and 2) he actually RAPED someone.

    So, while I appreciate your rage at Polanski for raping a 13 year old, this kind of shit really makes me angry, because it’s nonsense.

  109. 109
    Michael Gass says:

    Anne Laurie,

    Whether OTHER victims care only matter in THERE cases of prosecution. THIS victim no longer cares after 31 years.

    This isn’t about whether or not he SHOULD be tried or not… or whether his extradition should go forward or not… it’s about whether people should be obsessed over it!

    Why are people here debating this?

    Why did balloon-juice even give this story a place?

    It’s not like there aren’t bigger stories out there…

  110. 110
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Penfold:
    Sorry, moral relativism is not a valid foundation for criminal justice. And we’re not talking about a Romeo law or anything even close to the line.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @RedKitten: Sadly, you’re right, and no, it isn’t.

  112. 112
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @DougJ: I don’t think people are “taking it seriously” in the sense of being persuaded by it. It’s just shocking that anyone, let alone dozens of people who should know better, would willingly come to the public defense of an admitted child rapist, not at a sentencing hearing, but as part of a PR campaign to prevent him from even having to show up in court.

  113. 113
    Penfold says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    1) I’m aware of what we’re talking about. And I’m not defending Polanski. I think he should serve at least his plea sentence plus whatever they want to hit him for for flight.

    2) I am however attacking you for the fact that you are confusing details of statutory law with what we usually call morality, or more accurately an ethical system. What I am arguing is the opposite of relativism. I would argue that there are (relatively) absolute ethical standards that have nothing to do with whatever a given nation state decides to codify in its laws at any given moment history.

    I am not suggesting this is germane to Polanksi’s case. But it’s still an important distinction.

  114. 114
    Prof. K&G says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): If you don’t want to be accused of minimizing child rape, you probably shouldn’t tell people that their reaction to child rape is part of some societal hangup about sex. Just sayin’.

  115. 115
    Penfold says:

    @Michael Gass:

    This is actually a pretty good question. I’m not sure how I got sucked into this. I suppose the prevalence of this case is for all the usual reasons though; mostly the rather base reason that the defendant is famous.

  116. 116
    DougJ says:

    I don’t think people are “taking it seriously” in the sense of being persuaded by it. It’s just shocking that anyone, let alone dozens of people who should know better, would willingly come to the public defense of an admitted child rapist, not at a sentencing hearing, but as part of a PR campaign to prevent him from even having to show up in court.

    Sure, but, in terms of effect, it’s not as bad a Jenny McCarthy et al. trying to convince people not to get their kids vaccinated, you know?

  117. 117
    Michael Gass says:

    Penfold,

    Truly… which is more pressing?

    That America is mired in two wars… one of which we were lied into… or… whether a child rapist gets extradited 31 years later?

    That the Democratic Party cannot, with 60 votes, do the right thing… or… whether a child rapist is extradited for a case 31 years later that even the victim wishes would just go away?

    Why are we even giving this time??????

  118. 118
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    If you don’t want to be accused of minimizing child rape, .

    Don’t do it? No, that can’t be it, since I never did such a thing.

    Fuck you. Document I ever did such a thing or apologize, LIAR.

  119. 119
    Penfold says:

    @Michael Gass:

    Well, I think the one bit of relevance it does have is that, as others have pointed out, this does highlight some important class issues in our society and the fact that we do have a two-tiered justice system.

    That being said, what gets it attention in the first place is clearly the celebrity aspect. Ditto OJ.

    There’s also the powerful emotional component it has, since the story is pretty horrifying. I think that sucks people in who might otherwise not be much into the celebrity news culture.

    I think it’s clear, though, that there are obviously more important things to be attending to. I wouldn’t remotely argue with you there.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Michael Gass says:

    Good Gods…

    I’LL minimize it!

    In the 1800’s in the United States… the age of consent was 10.

    10.

    It is as the health issues, and longer life spans began, that the age of consent increased… but geez… not too long ago… it was 14 in Nevada.

    So, when Polanski did it, the law stated he was wrong… fine… he was wrong…

    NOW… can we go back to more pressing issues?????

  122. 122
    Penfold says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    I think he’s confusing your commentary on the media coverage and the fact that it should be unsurprising that even the most reprehensible behavior finds some defenders, especially when those defenders happen to be friends of the perpetrator.

    Considering the amount of horrendous shit that is enshrined in our culture (e.g. “enhanced interrogation”), I kind of agree that this shouldn’t be surprising, but I don’t think Atrios and Cole are wrong for calling it out. Though, as per Michael Gass, et al, we’ve all probably spent too much time talking about, myself included.

  123. 123
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Why are we even giving this time??????

    Michael, don’t you understand? By even raising this question you are apologizing for child rape!

    Oh, by the way Makewi and Prof. K & G, your apologies will be accepted.

  124. 124
    Penfold says:

    @Penfold:

    Sorry, that should have clearly stated “confusing [X] with your position on child rape” or some such

  125. 125
    Michael Gass says:

    Bruce,

    No. I am NOT “apologizing” for child rape. I have NOT apologized for it.

    I have stated what the age of consent laws WERE… and ARE… and that the statute of limitation laws in California don’t apply to the rape of a minor.

    What I HAVE done is wonder why in the FUCK people are so obsessed over this when it is a crime that happened 31 years ago… the victim no longer cares and has explicitly stated she wants it to die… and there are bigger problems to discuss.

    If you think that discussing whether or not Polanski should FACE justice or not… when the process is ALREADY IN MOTION… over and above the disaster that is country NOW… then you simply need therapy.

  126. 126
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    we’ve all probably spent too much time talking about, myself included.

    Hey, Makewi and K&G, look, another apologist for child rape! I think maybe he’s a sock for Debra Winger!

  127. 127
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    No. I am NOT “apologizing” for child rape.

    Yes, I know, I was being sarcastic. I was accused by a couple of vile liars in this thread of doing that after I made similar points to yours, though in different words. I await their apologies.

  128. 128
    Penfold says:

    @Michael Gass:

    I think Bruce was using your post to snark at the more sanctimonious ones on this thread. I’m pretty certain he was not actually accusing you of anything.

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Well, great. You just had to go and let the cat out of the bag didn’t you? I can never show my face here again. Back to Southern California I go, to apologize for more misbehaving “Hollywood liberals”…

  129. 129
    Michael Gass says:

    Good (God, Gods, idol, Buddha, Cross, Sheep, or Cabbage in a mud hut that you pray to),

    We are mired in two wars… with thousands of our service members dead… tens of thousands maimed and wounded…

    We are fighting an insurance lobby for health care…

    We have everyone in the world, including OUR country, trying to attack Iran for doing something that we haven’t even PROVEN… trying to get “the bomb”… OOOOOOOOO….

    Oil production is reaching its world peak, pushing China to back Iran with Russia on the fence… because hey… we simply couldn’t get a new energy resource 30 years ago when OUR country hit OUR peak oil…

    But… we are going to sit here debating a child rapist…

    Way to go everyone…

  130. 130
    Dusty says:

    No one’s making anybody sit around debating Roman Polanski, just as no one’s making anybody discuss cats or the Steelers. If you’d rather talk about foreign affairs, go to a thread for foreign affairs.

    And, look, if you want to argue that there are more important crimes in Los Angeles than a decades-old rape, sure. That this is maybe not the best use of LA’s limited law enforcement capacity, okay. But it’s not like the guys working on the Polanski case are taking time away from healthcare reform or prosecuting the war in Iraq. So it’s sort of irrelevant that climate change is a more important issue than getting some closure on this thing.

    Personally, if Los Angeles County had just decided not to throw any resources at bringing in Roman Polanski, I honestly wouldn’t have cared. Living in (admittedly cushy) exile with the threat of prosecution forever hanging over his head is his punishment, fine, whatever. It’s not like it’s all that much more lenient than the time served plus probation he cut a deal for. For whatever reason (and I assume it’ll be clear sooner rather than later exactly what that reason was), they finally decided to move or were able to move and he’s in custody now and he needs to work his way through the legal system. Just letting him walk away isn’t really an option at this point.

  131. 131
    Michael Gass says:

    Dusty,

    You know what I’ve been blogging on? How our wars were based on oil. How we, as a country, have tried to dominate every country with oil reserves since Bush got office. How China is FORCED to back Iran because that is where they are going to get their oil in the future. How every study out there puts world peak oil hitting hitting around the year 2020.

    And I’ve been watching all the worlds events… sifting through all the data… all the statements… trying to find the point where the world goes over the edge.

    No, I don’t sit here and defend a child rapist because I am a former cop. I’m also a veteran that’s been to Iraq twice.

    Polanski’s justice, or lack of, or whether he finds it finally, is far down on my list of what is important.

    When Iran is the only country with the largest oil reserves NOT under US control, that China NEEDS, when China and Russia have held joint military exercises, and we continually hear the drumbeat to attack Iran for `regime change`, on lies, just as we did in Iraq…

    Do you think I give a shit whether Polanski, 31 years later, gets his justice or not?

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cerberus:

    There’s an idea in this country that if you are wealthy, not only should you dominate the system through good lawyers, but the system shouldn’t bother you at all and should just focus on poor ruffians. There is a feudal mentality to the rich that literally expects police to be their private knights to harass the serfs and never never trouble the nobles. If Polanski can go to jail, can Nicholson for his conspiracy, Cheney for torture and war crimes, the head of AiG for nearly bankrupting the world?

    QFT.

  133. 133
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Michael Gass:

    But… we are going to sit here debating a child rapist…

    Yes. And it’s because some people don’t seem to get that it’s not an “age of consent” thing. He drugged her and assaulted her orally, vaginally and anally as she begged him to stop. If she was 13 or 30, it would still be rape.

    And yet we still have people in this very thread who are trying to minimize the fact that he drugged, raped and sodomized her by handwaving about the age of consent. I really don’t understand why, to be frank. What does the age of consent have to do with the fact that he forced her to have sex she didn’t want over her protests?

    ETA: Ah, I see you’re using one of the classic dodges. “Why can’t we talk about something important and not all of this crap about women being actual people?”

  134. 134

    Michael Gass:

    What I HAVE done is wonder why in the FUCK people are so obsessed over this when it is a crime that happened 31 years ago… the victim no longer cares and has explicitly stated she wants it to die… and there are bigger problems to discuss.

    There are problems in this world as big as rape culture, but IMHO there aren’t any fundamentally *bigger*. I’m only putting in one link for fear of the mod queue, but start with Getting over it by Lauren at feministe.

    This is not about one guy and one incident. It is about a whole culture — *our* culture, the culture we live and feel in — that thinks rape is “edgy” and “complex”, that the past doesn’t matter, that women don’t matter, that children don’t matter. Great movie directors are special and rare, 13-year-old girls (and boys) can be bought in any large city on earth.

    It’s also about power, about class distinctions, about the Roman Catholic Church (you don’t think it resonates? oh yes it does), about the fact that our media and our culture and thus the contents of our *minds* are controlled by people who are not fundamentally different from French aristocrats c. 1788. It’s about the bitter bitter disappointment of having giving money and time and thought to people who will side with a rapist, because he’s their friend, because he’s powerful, because his friends are powerful, because it can’t happen to *them*.

    Dreyfuss was only one person, too.

  135. 135
    pattonbt says:

    I dont understand why this is so hard for so many people. There are several aspects to this case that can have separate views in favor of and against Polanski.

    First, the original case. He’s a scum and like all people with power, money and connections was about to buy his way out of real justice. I hate it, but that is never going to change for those who have that.

    Second, it looked like he might get screwed in sentencing. Dubious, but plausible. But irrelevant. Polanski rolled the dice and knew there were risks. He admitted guilt. There are no guarantees. He got cold feet when he thought his privilege wasnt going to win the day.

    Third, he fled. Thats where most people now are saying “throw the book at him”. Its a new crime. He chose to run. He commited a new crime for which he is liable for. When I was a young kid, I tried to run on a DUI between states once (two decades ago) thinking I could get away with it. Five after fleeing reality kicked me in the ass. And I learned that had I dealt with it in the past, it would have been ten times easier and been over in a flash. Polanski took the same chance I did and got caught like I did. I bet if you ask him now he would wish upon every star in the nights sky that he could go back 31 years and do it all over and finish the process then.

    My opinion on the totality, he ran on a rape case of a 13 year old girl. I dont care the motivations of the girl or her mother. The girl was 13. 13 year olds can not make adult decisions. 44 year old men know this. I hope Polanski serves tons of jail time for fleeing. He was conscious in his decisions and actions over the past 31 years and never, as far as I can tell, ever attempted to make things right. He tried to have everything his way – the best of both worlds. Well, he gambled and now lost. I hope they sentence him to the max for fleeing.

    As for the rape case, I hope for ironic justice – give him the plea bargain that they agreed to all those years ago. That would doubly curse him negating in hindsight his original need to flee. So he can suck on that while he rots in jail for fleeing.

    P.S. – I love his films. He is amazing. Yet he deserves to be in jail. And I hope when he is done serving his time for fleeing justice he goes back to making great films.

  136. 136
    Dusty says:

    @Michael Gass

    If Polanski’s justice isn’t important to you, then why are you here discussing it? Go discuss something that is important to you and leave the Polanski discussion to people who do think it’s important.

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    There has to be room in our society for mercy, and for forgiveness. Deal justice, but take into account the many years that have passed and the change that might have occurred in the assailant, over time.

    Oh, please. Here is Roman Polanski in a 1979 interview, having recently escaped justice, showing how much he is interested in mercy:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....girls-too/

    “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

    And by contrast, here is Polanski’s 13 year old victim:

    Q: Did you resist at that time?

    A: A little bit, but not really because . . .

    Q: Because what?

    A: Because I was afraid of him.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/lo.....ull.column

    I have no problem with forgiveness or mercy. But it has to be sought, asked for by someone who recognizes the injury and who is seeking to atone, it is not just a freebie to be doled out like Halloween candy.

    Here is Polanski again:

    This [after testifying how Polanski anally raped her] was when the victim was asked by the prosecutor if she resisted and she said, “Not really,” because “I was afraid of him.” She testified that when the ordeal had ended, Polanski told her, “Oh, don’t tell your mother about this.”

    He added: “This is our secret.”

  138. 138
    Michael Gass says:

    Mnemosyne,

    He did it 31 years ago. He fled our country. Nobody… even the VICTIM doesn’t care anymore… it’s an outstanding warrant that is being served. Fine. It has been served. He may or may NOT be extradited. It is a process that will go on whether people here bitch or not.

    You want to bitch about a crime over 30 years old… let’s bitch about Tiger Force.. the Army’s killer team in Vietnam that slaughtered hundreds in Vietnam.

    If you don’t care about the past and prefer to focus on the NOW… lets do it. At least the Vietnamese victims STILL CARE what was done to them.

  139. 139
    Michael Gass says:

    Dusty,

    Whether or not Polanski’s warrant is served or not isn’t something I’m concerned about. The PROCESS will happen.

    That people want to sit and DEBATE this DOES concern me.

    John started this thread.

    Why?

    Eugene Robinson, a pulitzer prize winner, thought to write on this. Why?

    There are more important stories… problems… happening NOW.

    And, why am I here? Because I want people to understand this fact.

  140. 140
    Dusty says:

    Eugene Robinson wrote on it because it’s news. John started this thread because it’s news. It’s not like either were penning diatribes about Roman Polanski a week ago and it’s not like it’s the only thing either are writing about now. The national dialogue isn’t always going to line up with what you or I think is important, but, given that this particular news story is launching a fair amount of dialogue around the issue of rape and the prosecution of rape, it’s a far less frivolous news story than, say, Kanye West acting like a jackass in public. Again.

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Michael Gass:

    You want to bitch about a crime over 30 years old… let’s bitch about Tiger Force.. the Army’s killer team in Vietnam that slaughtered hundreds in Vietnam.

    “Why are you women always whining about being raped? Don’t you know that there are people with real problems in the world?”

  142. 142
    Michael Gass says:

    It’s “news”…

    In America, at the moment, if Britany Spears farts its “news”…

    Should you sit here and debate it all night just because John or Dougj says so?

    They blogged it… so it’s “news”!!! Bullshit!

    The process will work itself out, one way or the other… and there are more pressing problems in our country, much less the world.

  143. 143
    Mark S. says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, I see you’re using one of the classic dodges. “Why can’t we talk about something important and not all of this crap about women being actual people?”

    Exactly.

  144. 144
    Dusty says:

    People should sit here and debate it all night if they want to. They shouldn’t not debate it because you’d rather they debate something else.

    And the supporters of Roman Polanski are trying to influence that process. That’s their right, but, if other individuals want to try to influence that process in a different direction, that’s their right, too. Maybe if Polanski’s defenders had STFU in the first place and let the process work itself out without trying to cobble together a bunch of half-baked excuses for why he shouldn’t have to face the same system of justice that everybody else does, there wouldn’t be such a big debate right now.

  145. 145
    Mr Furious says:

    @RedKitten: Krista, when I saw that pic John put up the other day, I was like, “Is that ‘little man’ Krista’s newborn? Isn’t he only like a month old?”

    Wow, time flies… He’s adorable. They change so fast—enjoy every moment along the way.

  146. 146
    Michael Gass says:

    Let’s see what John and dougj blogged on…

    Polanski…

    Cat food…

    Death penalty in Florida…

    The right-wingers call for a coup of Obama…

    Neo-conservatives making a comeback…

    That Georgia (Republic of) started the war with Russia…

    Fiscal conservatives…

    Yeah… ummmm… when I’m blogging about resource wars… about our country fabricating a new war with Iran while China is backing Iran… and Russia held military exercises with China… peak oil…

    Yeah… ummmm…

  147. 147
    Dusty says:

    It’s their blog. They can write about whatever they like.

  148. 148
    Michael Gass says:

    Sure it is…

    They can blog on whether Tweety or Sylvester the Cat or right… and you can sit here and debate it.

    You might even be passionate if they blog on whether Bugs Bunny should have been a cross dresser 40 years ago.

    If I can’t show you just how stupid it is… so be it.

  149. 149
    Mr Furious says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Fuck you. Document I ever did such a thing or apologize, LIAR. [blah, blah, blah…]

    I’m with Makewi and K&G…your crack about genitalia hysteria reads pretty clearly to me as minimizing the offense or, at best, issuing a big “all of you get over it.”

    If that’s not what you meant, you fucking “document” what you did mean. Don’t expect the rest of us to prove the negative in your douchebag mind.

  150. 150
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Michael Gass: For someone not interested in this case, you sure are spending a lot of time talking about it. Go talk about Iran somewhere.

  151. 151
    Michael Gass says:

    Bobby Thomson,

    Actually… I’m NOT spending a “lot of time here” talking about Polanski.

    I’m talking about how stupid it is that people HERE are spending so much time debating it…

    Get it right… ok?

  152. 152
    Mr Furious says:

    @Michael Gass:

    The process will work itself out, one way or the other… and there are more pressing problems in our country, much less the world.

    And if us blog commenters would stop fretting about Roman Polanki’s penis, we could solve them—tonight!

    Is anything that happens in the blogosphere actually addressing problems? Or is it pretty much a place for people to shoot the shit of the day. Roman Polanski stepping into handcuffs happens to be one of many “shits of the day.” Get over it.

  153. 153
    Mr Furious says:

    I think the only person here involved in a pure waste of time is Michael Gass

  154. 154
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Michael Gass: Same difference. If you were that worried about the situation with Iran you wouldn’t be wasting your time concern trolling threads in somebody else’s blog. I don’t know if you have a lack of focus, a misogynist itch that just has to be scratched, or a public relations contract to be fulfilled. But the “Why don’t you blog about MY PET ISSUE” whine is always one of the lamest.

  155. 155
    Sean in NoVA says:

    When I was 17, I went to a party and a 14 year old girl who was half-drunk hit on me and we ended up making out. I felt very weird about it because she was too young and clearly buzzed. Comparing my experience to Polanski’s, it absolutely sickens me that anyone could apologize for him.

    As a teenager, I knew I would be taking advantage of a young girl who didn’t know better and wasn’t in control of herself. And she looked like the girls in my class and wanted to hook up. I kissed her but then I said goodnight.

    Polanski was an old bastard who arranged to get himself alone with a 13 year old, and then he just set the girl up, got her half in the bag, and did every nasty thing he could think of to her. He is a predator who needs to go to jail.

    And at the moment he is in jail. Hooray for Switzerland…

  156. 156
    gwangung says:

    If I can’t show you just how stupid it is… so be it.

    Well, you’re pretty much showing the opposite, but I disgress…

  157. 157
    Michael Gass says:

    Mr. Furious,

    You may be right…

    I may BE wasting my time.

    If the people here are so damn worried about a 31 year old case, while worse happens around them… which I am not…

    I MAY be the waste of time… but… that doesn’t say much for the rest here… now does it.

  158. 158
    Michael Gass says:

    Ah… but others way in…

    gwangung…

    No… what I am showing is that this is a non-story… period.

    Bobby Thomson…

    I’ve blogged about more important issues elsewhere… that balloon-juice felt THIS was a worthy story, and people here got into debates on it, prompted me to say “WTF!”

    Truly…. if you are going to chase the carrot dangled… don’t get offended when you are called on it.

  159. 159
    gwangung says:

    gwangung…
    No… what I am showing is that this is a non-story… period.

    I think I’ll stick with my assessment. What you think you’re doing isn’t the same as what you’re actually doing.

  160. 160
    ds says:

    Penfold: completely agreed.

    Using this case as some sort of justification for our despicable statutory rape laws is outrageous, and devoid of any sense of morality.

    The vast majority of statutory rape cases are not middle-aged men offering drugs and then forcing sex on barely pubescent children.

    Anyone with the slightest moral compass can figure out that an 18 year old boy having sex with a 16 year old classmate is a completely different situation. Why should he be charged under the same law as a Polanski?

    It’s like if parking in an illegal zone bore the same punishment as driving your car through a school playground and mowing down several children.

  161. 161
    Mr Furious says:

    @Michael Gass: Give it up dude. Anybody reading your “deadly serious, all-current” blog? If they were, you’d be tied up with a riveting debate over there.

    It’s the irreverent or sometimes flat-out bone-headed post around here that keeps things loose and worth hanging around. It’s an interesting topic because the guy got arrested and a whole hos of people have made asses of themselves as a result.

    I, for one, welcome our new diversionary blog topic that’s not health care reform overlords…

  162. 162
    Michael Gass says:

    gwangung,

    Stick with “your assessment”…

    That sitting here pissing over whether a case 31 years old, when the warrant was served, and justice will or won’t be served based on our system…

    Yes.. stick with “your assessment”…

    I’ll stick to what I am doing… which, IS what I think I am doing… showing people just how stupid it is to sit here debating a process already started, that will carry itself out despite the argument here…

    And… I’ll stick to my premise that this is wasted time… there are bigger issues…

  163. 163
    Michael Gass says:

    Mr. Furious,

    Oh yes… “if you were SOMEONE you wouldn’t be here”… ummm… so, if YOUR here, then YOU aren’t someone either… in fact, merely BEING here means John isn’t someone… nor is dougj… because they own this place… and if people had a place to be OTHER than here, they wouldn’t be here.

    Congrats… you’ve slammed you… John… Dougj… oh yeah, me and every other commenter…

    Do you have an IQ over room temperature?????

  164. 164
    Mr Furious says:

    @Michael Gass: No, jackass. I’m “here” because I was interested in the topic at hand—and discussing it with others of like (or opposing) mind.

    You’re here for reasons clear only to yourself. Have fun playing by your lonesome now.

  165. 165
    Mr Furious says:

    Oh, and when you’re the last man standing in the thread at 1:05 a.m., it’s not because you “won” and made your point and we all went on to debate nuclear proliferation.

    It’s because you jacked the thread, and we got bored of your shit and went to sleep.

  166. 166
    Michael Gass says:

    Mr. Furious,

    I am guessing you are an ex-Republican, or, merely stupid.

    Give it up dude. Anybody reading your “deadly serious, all-current” blog? If they were, you’d be tied up with a riveting debate over there.

    It’s called ENGLISH…

    Since I am here, you are saying nobody reads my blog (which, isn’t mine). You are insinuating that this IS a deadly-serious, all-current blog people read. Because you are here.

    Except… it isn’t…

    I don’t see balloon-juice mentioned in the Washington Post… New York Times… in fact, pick a paper…

    So, guess what… this is just another blog… sometimes John hits a good one… sometimes not. Sometimes dougj hits a good one… sometimes not.

    And, I know it’s beyond you… I can watch more than one blog… don’t strain yourself thinking about that.

  167. 167
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I think he’s scum but I wonder…

    He plead guilty and served his time. The judge reneged on the deal and, feeling he was going to get jobbed, fled.

    Sounds like double jeopardy to me.

    Are people angry that the 42 days wasn’t enough (it wasn’t). That doesn’t change the fact that they sentenced him to that.

  168. 168
    gwangung says:

    @Michael Gass: Snicker, snicker.

  169. 169
    Michael Gass says:

    Oh, and when you’re the last man standing in the thread at 1:05 a.m., it’s not because you “won” and made your point and we all went on to debate nuclear proliferation.

    It’s because you jacked the thread, and we got bored of your shit and went to sleep.

    LMAO

    I jacked a thread by people bitching about whether or not Polanski SHOULD be prosecuted???? HARDLY!

    Gods… I’m now not even wondering if your IQ is at room temperature… but… are you simply under the influence of drugs or stupidity.

  170. 170
    DougJ says:

    But… we are going to sit here debating a child rapist…

    I see where you’re coming from, but I think the bizarre media reaction to the case is worth discussing because of the way it illustrates its inability to discuss other serious issues. I’m not going to defend my own posts or John’s posts on the subject, but I think you’re off-base to attack the other commenters here.

  171. 171
    The Other Steve says:

    I actually think the whole issue is about Polanski fleeing the country and avoiding the law for 30 years.

    It really has little to do with the actual crime. They have to set an example. Don’t flee the law.

  172. 172
    The Other Steve says:

    RULE OF LAW!

    Is that in the dictionary?

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Michael Gass:

    I’ll stick to what I am doing… which, IS what I think I am doing… showing people just how stupid it is to sit here debating a process already started, that will carry itself out despite the argument here…

    Actually, all you’ve managed to do is show all of us that you’re a self-important jackass. But, hey, now you can slink off to your blog and post about how mean we all are and how we don’t appreciate your genius and you’re totally going to show all of us one of these days, just like every other perpetual adolescent does.

  174. 174
    Mr Furious says:

    I’ve never been happier to see Brick Oven Bob…

    He wasn’t “sentenced” to 42 days, his plea called for a 90-day psych-evaluation. He was released early, and was supposed to return to court for sentencing.

    So in that sense, he never served a sentence for his conviction, and there’s no double-jeopardy because his sentencing was for the original conviction—not a new trial.

    He extradition isn’t for the rape either. It’s for skipping out on the court.

    That’s the way I understand it, anyway. Any one who knows differently can feel free to correct me.

    And Michael Gass can point out how much time I’m wasting, while he sits glued to his screen hoping someone else comments…

  175. 175
    Michael Gass says:

    dougj,

    I’m sure you do…

    I ask this… is a 31 year old child rapist case on par with 5,000 killed servicemembers in Iraq… that those troops are now going to be transferred right to Afhanistan?

    And hey… if you won’t defend you own posts… who will????

    I’m not ‘attacking them”… merely defending myself after making general statements.

    Face it dougj… a 31 year old case isn’t really news…

    We are fighting for a public option for health care.

    We are about to shift Iraq troops, that have served 4 or 5 tours… to Afghanistan… so they can serve how many more tours?

    And, hey, do you know what peak oil is? when it is supposed to hit? Why China is backing Iran now? Where China is getting most of their oil? Why Dick Cheney made the comment about Bush being seen “better” in 20-30 years?

    Truly… let’s do journalism… not this “britany spears farted” stories

  176. 176
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    When did the jailers let Phil Garrido have a computer?

  177. 177
    Mr Furious says:

    @DougJ:

    I think the bizarre media reaction to the case is worth discussing because of the way it illustrates its inability to discuss other serious issues.

    Exactly. That and the fact that so many high-profile people made it newsworthy(ish) by casting their lot with this guy.

    I’ll also add this: your comment on the media latching to it has made me reconsider Bruce’s comment about genitalia and I and others accusing him of minimizing Polanski’s crime. If that’s what he meant—a lurid fascination with sex-related stories—I can see his point.

  178. 178
    Michael Gass says:

    Mnemosyne.

    Actually, all you’ve managed to do is show all of us that you’re a self-important jackass. But, hey, now you can slink off to your blog and post about how mean we all are and how we don’t appreciate your genius and you’re totally going to show all of us one of these days, just like every other perpetual adolescent does.

    Self-important jackass. Well.. you got it half wrong. I can be a jackass when pursuing a story.

    Slink off… to my blog… blah blah… blah blah… yeah, whatever…

    let me tell you what you are…

    Irrelevant.

    I’ll be out fighting… blogging… and you will sit here trying to defend what Polanski knew when…

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’ll be out fighting… blogging… and you will sit here trying to defend what Polanski knew when…

    Wow. I think “self-important” was too mild. You go do that, you reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow, you.

  180. 180
    Mr Furious says:

    Yeah, Gass…I can’t get enough public option reading material…

    And your comments were pretty heavily loaded with insults—which doesn’t particularly bother me—but, I think DougJ’s fair to call that shit “attacking.”

    Combine that with your negative contribution to the thread, I’d uninvite ya, if I was him.

  181. 181
    Michael Gass says:

    Mnemosyne,

    Sorry… I thought of myself as Adrain Cronower.

  182. 182
    Jen R says:

    Jesus Christ, this thread is going to triple my pie-filter list.

    Michael, even if the victim really didn’t care (which I don’t think we’re in a position to know), even if she were deceased and beyond caring, this case would still be relevant today. Because *today*, prominent people are airily dismissing Polanski’s offense as “a case of morals”, as if drugging and raping a 13-year-old were a victimless crime on a par with two adults having oral sex. It matters to women *today* that this mindset still exists.

  183. 183
    Mr Furious says:

    @Michael Gass:

    I’ll be out fighting… blogging… and you will sit here trying to defend what Polanski knew when…

    Hmm. Somehow I think you’ll still be here pissing in the wind.

  184. 184
    Mr Furious says:

    @Jen R:

    Jesus Christ, this thread is going to triple my pie-filter list.

    LMAO. On that up-note, I’ll say good night.

    And “Keep Fighting, Michael Gass!!”

  185. 185
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Michael Gass:

    Sorry… I thought of myself as Adrain Cronower.

    Perhaps you should learn to spell his name before you decide you’re his reincarnation. Just a hint.

  186. 186
    William says:

    @Jen R:

    Amen. I can completely understand the victim’s desire not to endure another media circus. But her opinion about whether or not to prosecute is nearly irrelevant. We’re not doing it for her; we’re doing it for the sake of justice, to support the rule of law, and to prevent harm to tomorrow’s 13-year-old girls.

  187. 187
    Darkrose says:

    @Michael Gass:

    Um, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but John, Doug, Tim and Anne sometimes post about food. And their pets. And sports. And TV. Hell, there was a thread about RedKitten’s adorable kidlet yesterday. This isn’t a symposium, where there’s one topic under discussion–it’s a coffeeklatch, and we’re hanging out chatting. If that’s not your thing, then why are you here?

  188. 188
    Brachiator says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    He plead guilty and served his time. The judge reneged on the deal and, feeling he was going to get jobbed, fled.

    And once again, you demonstrate an absolute lack of knowledge of the facts at hand.

    Sniffle. I missed you. Welcome back.

    Polanski was never formally sentenced, and like many others, you are confusing a psychiatric evaluation with an actual sentence.

    The supposed reason for his flight is based on self-serving comments made by Polanski and Polanski partisans.

    This is doubly odd since Polanski declared in a 1979 interview that he believed that both judges and juries wanted to have sex with young girls. So, by his own statements, he should have just withdrawn his guilty plea, gone to trial and tested his belief that he would have won an acquittal.

    The other irony is how this case impacts on the present. Has Bill O’Reilly, a known harasser of women, chastised Hollywood for rallying behind Polanski?

  189. 189
    Makewi says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Sure, sure dick. This …

    I’m just trying to wrap my head around an explanation for why Americans, even those of you in the DFHosphere, get so goddamned hysterical regarding anything involving genitalia.

    … in a thread discussing Polanski the rapist and his apologists, can easily be taken for minimizing the said rape. So, you know, fuck you too.

  190. 190
    Ranger 3 says:

    I think our society has become a bit hysterical about teen sexuality, and that age limits and punishments for statutory rape have, in some states, started to get a bit exteme even if such relationships are inappropriate.

    OK, here goes…

    Basic age of consent should be 16, with some special considerations. The age limit for participation in adult entertainment activities (brothels, porn, et cetera) should be 18. Marriage and cohabitation should also be limited to persons over 18. I think that’s pretty much the law in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and a bunch of other places in the EU.

    I don’t think it’s correct to assume that teenagers are children, even if they aren’t yet adults. I wouldn’t characterize someone over the age of 14 as a child, and I think there should be a legal distinction made. This distinction should come into play in determining appropriate penalties for persons convicted of sex crimes where a minor is the victim.

    If an adult has sex with a minor, less than 16, but at least 14… and it’s a first offense, then it would be a misdemeanor. If the victim is less than 14, then it would be a felony regardless of the circumstances. Which of course doesn’t affect Polanski’s case in any way, he would still be guilty of raping a child. And that’s not even remotely relevant to a rational discussion of teen sexuality, which based on reading through this thread, we desperately need to have.

    It blows my mind when people say that it doesn’t matter whether the victim was raped or not, because of her age. While that may be true in a strictly legal sense, it’s crazy to think that way. Of course it matters that the girl was raped. Some teens do engage in consensual sex with adults, and in many cases they don’t suffer any real trauma at all. Compare this with kids who are in fact raped, who invariably suffer severe trauma, and it should be clear why we should be very careful exactly how we try to regulate this sort of thing. I understand that teen sex is icky, especially for those of you who have kids that age, but lets not lose our heads over it.

    Polanski didn’t have consensual sex with a teenager in this case. He raped a child. He should be sent to Federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison. Talking about our reactionary laws regarding teen sex in the context of a child rape case is beyond bizarre to me. It’s just not the same thing at all. I will never understand why people can’t figure that out.

  191. 191
    Brighidg says:

    The amount of derailing happening here is incredible.

    If you don’t want to talk about Polanski, no one is forcing you to do so. So shut the fuck up about how “there are more important things”. Sure there are but that’s not the topic right now, is it?

  192. 192
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: Ah, I see you’re using one of the classic dodges. “Why can’t we talk about something important and not all of this crap about women being actual people?”

    John’s mistake, “obviously”, was not using the Vagina Outrage tag. Which I invented especially so that people could avoid soiling their beautiful minds with stuff that might be important to women but not, y’know, real people.

  193. 193
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Cerberus: He only pled guilty to “leaving the scene of an accident after causing bodily injury”. Laughable at best.

    He was never charged with Vehicular Manslaughter. This was my point.

  194. 194
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Michael Gass: See… your arguement is just silly.

    What is the implication? That these things are mutually exclusive and we can only talk about the most horrendous of them?

    Thats just silly. We can talk about all of them. How does it affect the world if we all put everything on the back burner but THE most pressing of issues? Does it change things? Can 9 women make a baby in a month?

    Your arguement and others’ arguement that we should stop talking about this because we do not yet have “world peace” is just ridiculous.

  195. 195
    Zzyzx says:

    I can’t believe you people are talking about interesting questions about how women are treated in this society and how certain crimes are excusable if the perpetrator makes good enough movies when we could be reading endless rants about peak oil. I, personally, am going to get rid of all of my other interests and just read peak oil blogs because the best way of dealing with a crisis that is largely out of our control is to obsessively focus on it to the exclusion of everything else until we’ve reached the point where we can’t communicate with anyone outside of our little circle. That’ll help us to convince people to work with us!

  196. 196
    RedKitten says:

    OT, but it does have to do with sex:

    It looks like Texas is finally getting a clue.

  197. 197
    Shinobi says:

    I actually think that there IS a lot of discussion to be had about the media treatment of things like rape. Especially as it regards the victim. When the victim in the Polanksi case says she doesn’t want them to press charges, this decision is not made in a vacuum. It is made in a world where she will face a ridiculous amount of media scrutiny and celebrity backlash for reporting what she suffered and trying to bring the perpetrator to justice.

    I don’t think you can discuss this case without talking about how the media both sensationalizes sexual crimes, and prosecutes the victims in the public eye.

    Ultimately it is important for our society that people who rape, who force others (men are women) to do sexual things against their will, without their consent are prosecuted and punished, no matter how good their movies are. Every time a rapist like this gets away with it, more women are encouraged to not even report what they have been through. Why bother being prosecuted in the court of public opinion if the man who assaulted you probably wont even be punished?

    If we didn’t need to be having discussions about this kind of issue, there wouldn’t be media campaigns like this.

  198. 198
    kay says:

    Just for the record, statutory rape laws aren’t the problem. Those apply to adult-child.
    “Sexual imposition” is the charge applied to juveniles, and that is a problem, because that applies to child-child, and in conjunction with newer “sexual predator” reporting requirements the whole thing can get ridiculously draconian.
    There’s an informal “4 year rule” that the state uses. So 17/14 isn’t as big a problem as 17/13.
    In any event, none of those (real and debatable issues) have any bearing on Polanski, or his victim, because he wasn’t a juvenile offender.

  199. 199
    bob h says:

    The support has to do with deference to Polanski’s success, status, and wealth. You see the same thing in the tributes to Safire, a jerk who misspent his life on men and causes that damaged the nation, but a great guy according to the DC establishment.

  200. 200
    Marc says:

    The woman in question has also made it repeatedly clear – in published editorials, no less – that she does not want him in prison, has forgiven him, and believes that prosecution of him serves no purpose. She’s angry with the original judge and prosecutor for breaking the plea agreement; and she filed suit months ago to have the charges dropped. The claim that she is only doing so to avoid the trauma of a trial, etc. is directly contradicted by her published words.

    It’s things like this which make this subject so utterly useless to discuss on blogs. Similarly, the uncontested claim is sex with a minor, which he pled guilty to; we have contested grand jury testimony on the forcible rape aspect. Probably true, but we have trials for a reason. Getting someone drunk and high equals drugging someone, with the convenient bit that the latter implies knocking someone out. Then there is the fact that it happened decades ago, which means that the “protecting society” component is vitiated; there is brutal-prison aspect, which applies in my mind to any criminal – namely, that justice is not served by barbaric incarceration environments.

    But any of these points, I suppose, just make me a supporter of child rapists, and maybe a child rapist myself. Just as anyone republicans use exactly the same logic against anyone opposed to our insane child predator laws. That’s the most disheartening bit – to see progressive bloggers and commentators adopt the tough-on-crime strategy of the right on this topic.

  201. 201
    Barbara says:

    Cerberus:

    Way back when in the comments you stated that the judge gave him two months. This is wrong. The judge never sentenced Polanski. Polanski fled in advance of the sentencing because he was afraid the judge would not accept the agreement between his lawyer and the prosecutor to let him out on time served (if you can call a prison psych evaluation time served).

    Polanski pled guilty without any expectation of a particular sentence. This is all a matter of record and there is a transcript of his plea, made under oath in open court, that there was no expectation of any particular sentence.

    What happened next, apparently, and the basis of Polanski’s claim that he was deprived of his rights or betrayed, is that another prosecutor got wind of the outrageous deal struck by the prosecutor assigned to the case and tried to convince the judge ex parte not to accept it. Whether the judge would have accepted it or not is unknown. Whether he would have sentenced Polanski harshly is unknown. It’s unknown because Polanski fled, and the fact that he is so afraid to come back suggests that he or his lawyer knows that his due process arguments are extremely flimsy. The solution to what was, in fact, wrongful ex parte contact on the part of the government and the judge, was for a new and impartial judge to take over. Since the original judge died, this seems more or less inevitable, but Polanski avowedly does not want to be sentenced by a neutral judge. That’s where his argument fails. A procedural irregularity that can be cured should not result in cancellation of serious charges, especially after a guilty plea has already been entered.

  202. 202
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    An open question to the board:

    Let’s say we were talking about your uncle Charlie and not Roman Polanski, that you knew the victim personally and she told you that she didn’t want Charlie prosecuted.

    Would you 1) let sleeping dogs lie 2) explain to the victim that she’s wrong and should stand up on behalf of rape victims?

  203. 203
    Deborah says:

    @Marc: He didn’t like the possible outcome of the judicial system so he jetted off to Europe.

    That is not okay. Normal people don’t get to pick and choose whether they stick around for judgment and sentencing. Normal people who disagree with the judgment against them use the appeals system–and Polanski could readily afford to do just that. If we’re a nation of laws, then the point is not whether Polanski is an artist or or has suffered in the past or the victim has moved on after 30 years; the point is that you don’t get to skip out just because you’re rich or famous or there’s tragedy in your past.

    And I disagree about whether he’s a danger, given his moving statements about how judges and juries all want to f— young girls. In Applebaum’s deeply misguided attempt at a defense she cites testimony that they called the girl’s mother and both talked to her before the rape–does this sound like something you would normally do with a date you believed to be 18 or 20, call her mom to check in?

  204. 204
    Deborah says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: My Uncle drugged and raped a 13 year old and then fled because the rules of justice don’t apply to super special people like him?

    Okay. I want him in jail. And while I fully sympathize with the victim not wanting the stress of a trial, both rape and child molestation are larger crimes against the society. People should not get away with them by the simple tactic of threatening to make it unpleasant for the victim. People should not be free to re-offend.

    I get the impression from your phrasing that you think making the rapist into someone we know would engender a get-out-of-jail-free card; I suspect you’ll find that in fact most of us don’t want Uncle Charlie the rapist at Thanksgiving or inviting over the neighborhood kids for special photography classes, if we know he a) raped someone, b) molested a child, and/or c) used drugs and alcohol to enable a and b.

  205. 205
    Jack says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Is OJ really the best analogy though? It was admittedly a bit before my time, but by and large weren’t the majority of people irrationally defending OJ also irrationally convincing themselves he was innocent at least? It seems to me that pretty much no one is trying to allege Polanski didn’t do what he did, just that he should be able to get away with it. It strikes me as quite a bit worse.

    This.

  206. 206
    Jack says:

    @JK:

    Truth. Roman Polanski’s defenders want bygones to be bygones, or some revolting somesuch.

    Let us remind ourselves that the much poorer Leonard Peltier is into his thirty second year of incarceration. That Cameron Willingham is irretrievably dead.

  207. 207
    Jack says:

    By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.

    The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no-one can know the effects.

    http://www.awardsdaily.com/?p=13432

    This is what bothers Hollywood luminaries, a list sadly including Gilliam and Aronofsky.

    Not that a raping rapist got away with doing the Cosby before Cosby did the Cosby, but that film festivals should be protected venues.

    Class insulates. Especially high money caste…

  208. 208
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    I suspect you’ll find that in fact most of us don’t want Uncle Charlie the rapist at Thanksgiving or inviting over the neighborhood kids for special photography classes, if we know he a) raped someone, b) molested a child, and/or c) used drugs and alcohol to enable a and b.

    If hypocrisy wasn’t such a pervasive human characteristic, that would be the logical conclusion. But human beings rationalize bad behavior all the time. Maybe you never do it or maybe this isn’t the issue that brings out your hypocritical side.

    But for others the decision on what to do about a guy they’ve loved all their lives would be a really tough decision.

  209. 209
    Barbara says:

    If my uncle raped a minor, I would want him in jail because I have minor children. And this is why we don’t let victims dictate consequences: their circumstances — whether they are inclined to forgive or condemn — are personal, even idiosyncratic, and can be at odds to the interests and considerations of the community at large. The reason why this particular victim is so traumatized appears to be related to how publicly Polanski’s lawyer skewered her character, her actions, that of her family, and so on. To allow that conduct to lead to Polanski’s evasion of consequences is just not the right thing to do.

    Moreover, I keep coming back to this: on what basis would he be freed? What criminal theory would be used to ignore what he did and treat it as having been resolved? An expression of personal sympathy is not a legal doctrine, and in this case, suggests that the people supporting him know that the law is really not on their side.

  210. 210
    Marc says:

    If you accept that the case of the prosecution is the unvarnished truth – of course you want to see the harshest punishment possible. I’ve just seen enough cases where the truth turned out to be different to reserve a bit of judgment. That’s especially true for things like sex with underage kids, where it’s particularly easy to push certain (well-founded) buttons.

    The fact that the folks who are most aggressive on this point are also mischaracterizing the explicit wishes of the victim tells me that they may be missing other aspects of the case too.

    Yes, there is an important point re: becoming a fugitive from justice. I think that behavior does deserve a jail sentence, because it undercuts the justice system.

  211. 211
    Jack says:

    @Marc:

    The wishes of the victim are excluded as a consideration, during trial, in most cases – precisely because victims are victims.

  212. 212
    Win Pollard says:

    I see no contradicton in giving him an Oscar for being a great film-maker and locking him up for being a rapist. He is both.

  213. 213
    Shinobi says:

    @Marc:
    Wow. So, because you’ve seen people make exagerrated claims we should just assume that all the victims are LYING? And not attempt to PUNISH people who have CONFESSED to RAPING someone?

    Also, the “uncle” hypothetical is inaccurate. We are not talking about re prosecuting Polanski. He’s already been prosecuted. The victim has already pressed charges, he’s been charged and convicted. In the “uncle” hypothetical, I would try to find a way that the uncle could be punished without the victim having to repeatedly relive the horrors she had been put through and brought up on a media stage and criticized by everyone and their brother for being a slut. But this is immaterial.

    The issue here is his sentencing. He was convicted of a crime, and then NEVER PUNISHED FOR IT. The question is not should he be convicted, the question is should he have to serve his punishment for the crime he confessed to before I was even born. My answer, is yes.

    Lets try a more accurate hypothetical? A man robs a bank. He gets caught, He confesses. Before his sentencing he jumps bail and flees to live in the lap of luxury in France for 30 years. When the US finally gets him back in custody, does he serve his sentance?

    Fucking yes.

    The victims feelings int his case are immaterial. They were material 30 years ago when he was charged and convicted. They are not now. (And it’s not like they exist in a vacuum, would YOU want to deal with this media circus after 30 years? Likely she just wants it all to be over. Which it never will be, because of the actions that Polanski took. He not only raped her, he also destroyed her ability to live a normal life. What a nice guy. Good thing he makes such good movies.)

  214. 214
    Barbara says:

    Marc, I agree in one respect: those who want a harsh sentence are looking at the grand jury testimony, but in reality, Polanski pled to a single count of a relatively less serious offense. Any sentence he receives can be for that charge and that alone. If there is one trend in the Supreme Court that I agree with, it is the limitation on the ability of judges to use facts not proved by the prosecutor and not essential to the charge to impose a more serious sentence. That amounts to sentencing someone for a crime that they were not proven to have committed. The drugging, in particular, should not be considered in imposing a sentence. But what drives me crazy about the apologists is that they fail to recognize how much lenience Polanski already got “on account of the victim,” by having a lot of the charges, including some very serious ones, dropped. That was done, I feel sure, to avoid a trial that would have exposed her to a lot of trauma.

    When someone tries to force another person to do something “or else” he’ll harm some member of their family, we don’t hold the other person responsible for refusing to go along. It’s called extortion, and relying so heavily on the possible trauma to the victim — when it’s Polanski and his lawyers who are going to inflict it — sounds more like a threat than a plea for empathy.

  215. 215
    Pete says:

    FWIW: I think some of the support might be coming from people who don’t know the facts about the case (which is certainly not true of all of the supporters, though). The version of the story I was dimly aware of up until recently went like this: Poor Roman has sex with an eager young lady who, it turns out, happens to be way younger than she looks and, Bam!, statutory rape. Obviously it’s much easier to be sympathetic to this situation than to the actual one.

    On a side note, let’s not forget that OJ brutally murdered two people (including the near-decapitation of his ex-wife). Let’s not get carried away with our equivalencies.

  216. 216
    Persia says:

    @Jen R: Don’t forget that prominent figures even outside Hollywood– like Anne Fucking Applebaum– are claiming that the victim deserved it on some level because she wasn’t a virgin or called her mother or whatever the hell the excuse is today.

    Just grabbed this from Teh Google:

    According to the 1998 National Violence Against Women Survey, the lifetime prevalence of rape among women is 17.6% and among men is 3.0% (using a definition of rape that includes forced vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse.)

    Tell me again how all this is trivial and doesn’t matter.

  217. 217
    kay says:

    @Marc:

    Well, then, the thing to do there was to not offer a plea and go to trial.
    That’s the way we don’t accept the state’s case as “unvarnished truth”. We offer a vigorous defense. Is there some reason the standard route is unacceptable to this person? Some reason he should get an extraordinary exception to the usual process? Because that’s what’s offensive to me.
    He wanted it both ways. He wanted to cast doubt on the state’s case without the risk of going to trial. He wanted to offer a guilty plea to a lesser offense, and then balk at sentencing.
    It’s not even remotely comparable to OJ. OJ went to trial. OJ took the risk that every defendant takes. Polanski is saying “unlike all of you peons, I’m simply too valuable to take any risk”.

  218. 218
    Persia says:

    @Flugelhorn: That may have been part of his plea agreement. Like the one Polanski entered into and then reneged on.

  219. 219
    Brighidg says:

    But for others the decision on what to do about a guy they’ve loved all their lives would be a really tough decision.

    Oh, boo-hoo. Mary Cheney loves her father just as surely as the torturers at Abu Ghraib had people back home that loved them and every person in every prison in America have people who miss and love them.

    You think just because Polanski is rich and white, he’s the only one with a family?

    Also, your question assumes that the people you are asking would never been on the receiving end of Uncle Charlie’s creepy advances at some point in their life. You think this was just a fluke? It wasn’t, from his own admission, Polanski doesn’t mind if they’re underaged and he’s shown that he doesn’t care how he gets it.

    The fact that the folks who are most aggressive on this point are also mischaracterizing the explicit wishes of the victim tells me that they may be missing other aspects of the case too.

    As recently as 2003, before he’d won his Oscar and the lovefest began anew, the victim wanted Polanski behind bars. It was in 2008 that she said she wanted to put this behind her partly because of how it had been handled. After 30 years of seeing him being turned into the victim, I really wouldn’t blame her for wanting the whole thing to go away.

    But it isn’t just about her. That’s not how the legal system works.

    Maybe, you should acquaint yourself with the facts of the case and stop mischaracterizing those facts before you worry about other people.

  220. 220
    Tsulagi says:

    Way late to this thread. See a lot of bullshit above.

    Pertinent facts, Polanski raped a 13-year-old who even though drugged by Polanski repeatedly asked him to stop then successfully shirked responsibility for 30 years. That during that time he made movies people liked to watch in no way mitigates his actions, nor does it magically turn contempt into sympathy.

    He deserves to be imprisoned. And if he becomes Big Bubba’s boytoy during that incarceration, there would be some poetic justice in that. Let him be karma’s bitch for a while.

  221. 221
    Sam says:

    No, the fellings of the victim are not excluded either formally or informally. This case presents a perfect example of that because the very favorable plea bargain was offered in large part due to the feelings of the victim and her family. That’s an example of informal consideration.

    Formal consideration comes into play at sentencing where victim impact is a huge consideration and the victim is accorded the right to address the court in person, in writing or through a summary in the presentence probation report.

    That the victim here has forgiven him and feels he need not be punished further is a consideration for the court. It is, however, just one consideration and it’s up to the court how much weight to give it in relation to other considerations.

    In that regard, I think polanski’s friends are hurting him. Fair or not the attitudes being expressed will likely further tarnish perception of him throughj both guilt by association and the assumption that his friends are speaking based on interaction with him. “Fimmakers DEMAND…” displays a bizarre sense of entitlement that seriously undercuts expressions of remorse and acceptance of responsibility. the many excuses, mjustifications, and minimization of his conduct also will hurt him at sentencing if he cannot distance himself from them.

    In addition to harming him, his friends by acting rashly (and in many cases unbeliveably stupidly) has greatly limited theirtr ability to help him. Had they kept quiet or constrained themselves to expressions of concern for his well being, they might have been in position to offer support for him to the court at sentencing in mitigation of punishment. Having gone beyond destroying their credibility to the extreme of becoming targets of well deserved scorn, testimonials from them will now likely be of little persuasive value to any judge deciding the proper sentence.

  222. 222
    Pete says:

    He deserves to be imprisoned. And if he becomes Big Bubba’s boytoy during that incarceration, there would be some poetic justice in that. Let him be karma’s bitch for a while.

    In an anti-rape comment, no less. The irony! It burns!!!

  223. 223
    jay says:

    Uh OJ was found not guilty. Why isit that a certain segment of our population seems to constantly forget this?

  224. 224
    Marc says:

    #218: The idea that we should sentence people to repeated prison rape is morally depraved. Why not slowly torture criminals to death on TV while you’re at it?

  225. 225
    RedKitten says:

    This: (with an added bit that I threw in…)

    Okay. I want him in jail. And while I fully sympathize with the victim not wanting the stress of a trial, both rape and child molestation are larger crimes against the society. People should not get away with them by the simple tactic of threatening to make it unpleasant for the victim, (or by being rich enough to go on the lam for 30 years). People should not be free to re-offend.

    An open question to the board:
    Let’s say we were talking about your uncle Charlie and not Roman Polanski, that you knew the victim personally and she told you that she didn’t want Charlie prosecuted.
    Would you 1) let sleeping dogs lie 2) explain to the victim that she’s wrong and should stand up on behalf of rape victims?

    It’s not just about the victim, it’s about the message it sends to the society at large. Hey, if you’re talented and rich, you can get away with drugging and sodomizing a kid! You just have to stay away from the country where you perpetrated this rape until people start feeling warm, fuzzy and nostalgic for you and your work. I know it’s a hard cross to bear; having to live in a chateau in France instead of a beach house in Malibu, but it’s a small price to pay for the thrill of brutalizing a young girl’s vagina and anus, right?

  226. 226
    kay says:

    @Marc:

    Or, if his objection is to strict liability statutory rape, he could challenge that. He didn’t. He only challenged the application of it to him.
    Based on what? That’s my question. Why doesn’t it apply to him? Based on his own inherent fabulousness? That’s an interesting take on the world. Where did he get that crazy idea?

  227. 227
    Mr Furious says:

    @Shinobi:

    “…she just wants it all to be over. Which it never will be, because of the actions that Polanski took. He not only raped her, he also destroyed her ability to live a normal life. What a nice guy. Good thing he makes such good movies.”

    Excellent point. The reason this is a drama and still a story thirty years later is his fucking fault and no one else’s.

    What fucking normal person would want to live this battle out in the media when, clearly, a loud contingent of people with microphones are primed and ready to defend your rapist to the wider world.

    Not only defend him, but defame you and minimize what happened as “not RAPE rape”

    Of course she wants it to go away.

  228. 228
    Deborah says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: If hypocrisy wasn’t such a pervasive human characteristic, that would be the logical conclusion. But human beings rationalize bad behavior all the time. Maybe you never do it or maybe this isn’t the issue that brings out your hypocritical side. But for others the decision on what to do about a guy they’ve loved all their lives would be a really tough decision.

    In families across the country, people decide that, on the one hand, Grandpa did molest 3 young girls. But on the other hand, it is very very uncomfortable and embarrassing to talk about, much less charge him, and hey, you don’t have a lot of family feeling if you’re going to say these unpleasant things, so please shut up and come to Thanksgiving and no, don’t warn the new in-laws about leaving Grandpa alone with the kids because we don’t think he does that any more, or if he does we don’t want to think about it.

    ETA: So far looking at responses, you have 0 takers for “but if your dear uncle drugged and raped and sodomized a kid, wouldn’t you want him to get away with it?”
    But I don’t agree with it. I don’t think leaving Grandpa free to keep molesting for the sake of family peace is a good thing. I don’t get the warm fuzzies for the people who blame Grandpa’s victims for talking about such an unpleasant topic.

  229. 229
    Sam says:

    the California statute was NOT strict liability. the smoking gun has the plea hearing transcript. Reading it can clear up a lot of misconceptions.

    First, it would have been a defense to establish reasonable doubt that he kew the girl was underage. He admitted he knew (and indeed conferred with his lawyer off the record before answering yes to the prosecutor’s question as to whether he knew).

    Second, despite the distorted documentary, the plea agreement was not a binding plea agreement and the jusdge was not reneging ton the terms of the plea agreement by sentencing him to any sentence within the statutoty maximum of the offense of conviction. the jusdge was not bound to follow the recommendation of prosecution or of the probation department. Sentencing was in the sole discreation of the court and Polanski alkso acknowledged that he understood that when he entered the plea. The anticipated light sentence was an expectation not a legal or contractual right.

    The only right Polanski reserved was that if he didn’t like the sentence he could then withdraw his guilty plea and be returned to square one where he would face trial on all the charges in the indictment. for fairly obvious reasons, he didn’t like that option. So, he took off.

  230. 230
    Mr Furious says:

    @Marc: Totally separate problem. By that logic, NO ONE should go to prison until the internal problems there are addressed.

    If Polanski had faced the music thirty years ago, he likely would have gotten off lightly and been presented with a better-than-average prison situation. He also would have served his time and been out of prison and past this—decades ago.

    The more I hear this bullshit from you and Whoopi and all the other asshats on the petition the more pissed off it makes me. Even now he’s got tremendous institutional support on his side and it’s too risky or beneath him to be subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

    Fuck him sideways.

  231. 231
    Mr Furious says:

    @Sam: Excellent information, Sam. If that’s accurate, Polanski and his defenders have even less to stand on. Do you have a link?

  232. 232
    Sam says:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/a.....plea1.html

    The site has other Polanski documents too if you go to the archives page, including the girl’s grand jury testimony.

  233. 233
    Jack says:

    @Mr Furious:

    Seconded.

  234. 234
    Brachiator says:

    @Marc:

    The woman in question has also made it repeatedly clear – in published editorials, no less – that she does not want him in prison, has forgiven him, and believes that prosecution of him serves no purpose. She’s angry with the original judge and prosecutor for breaking the plea agreement; and she filed suit months ago to have the charges dropped. The claim that she is only doing so to avoid the trauma of a trial, etc. is directly contradicted by her published words.

    Why do people keep bringing this up as though it is particularly significant? When crimes are committed, they are not just an offense against the victim, but also against society. When a person is prosecuted, it is always, “The people vs X,” not “Victim Y vs X.”

    The victim has no special standing to file a suit to have the charges dropped.

    And as I noted in another thread, a victim’s “wishes” cannot be binding on a decision about whether to prosecute a crime. A victim could be intimidated or bribed or manipulated into asking for leniency. Similarly, a victim can’t ask for special punishment or revenge.

    What if instead of asking that Polanski be freed, she instead asked that he be executed? Would you then favor vigorous prosecution?

    Also, she can’t be angry with the prosecutor and the original judge for breaking the plea agreement because Polanski fled before he was formally sentenced. Nobody had any opportunity to break anything.

    Also, the victim and Polanski reached some kind of financial settlement, so clearly she sought some civil justice for what was done to her. Here forgiveness is not entirely unconditional (and note here that I am not in any way suggesting that he request for leniency is dishonest).

    Marc, I agree in one respect: those who want a harsh sentence are looking at the grand jury testimony, but in reality, Polanski pled to a single count of a relatively less serious offense.

    This is not quite true. People are referring to the grand jury testimony because of some of the outright lies told about the case, e.g., that the girl was a seductresses, that she didn’t look 13, that the sex was consensual, etc.

    And for those who are buying the argument that poor little Roman was deathly afraid of being imprisoned because a vindictive judge was going to go back on his word, we have Polanski’s own boast about what he did:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....girls-too/

    “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

  235. 235
    Marc says:

    #230: I actually agree with your first and second sentences. I also agree that evading justice is a crime that needs punishment.

    That changes absolutely nothing about what’s wrong with the commentary here and in other blogs. Over and over and over again we find out that the actual particulars of a case aren’t the same as the way that they are initially presented in internet discussions. Sometimes they are actually worse; frequently, however, they are far more complex than we’re led to believe.

    I’m unwilling to act as judge, jury, and executioner. I’ve seen cases where throwing someone in a dungeon is an injustice, and I recognize when a mob mentality is taking over a discussion. I’m an asshat now – gee, thanks! That’s certain to lead to enlightenment.

    I sure hope that no prosecutor anywhere ever decides that they want to get you and make you out to be a monster. You might actually appreciate people reluctant to throw a rope over a tree branch right about then.

  236. 236
    Win Pollard says:

    He deserves to be imprisoned. And if he becomes Big Bubba’s boytoy during that incarceration, there would be some poetic justice in that. Let him be karma’s bitch for a while.

    It’s more than a little scary how prison rape has become an accepted part of punishment in America.

  237. 237
    Sam says:

    i have no problem with rpeople raising the issue that the victim doesn’t want further imprisonment. If she feels so strongley about it she can speak at the senterncing hearing and ask the judge to honotr her wishes.

    The problem is only the notion that her feelings mean Polanski should not be extradited and sentenced for his crime.

    Same with all the supporters. If they want to write letters to the sentencing judge explaining why they believe he deservers no further punishment that is their right.

    what is offensive is the idea he should be above the law because of who he is and that their opinions are deserving of special consideration because of who they are.

    I tend to believe the end result of all this will be that the letters of support from his friends will now be countered by thousands of angry letters denouncing Polanski because his friends have unwisely drawn extreme attention to the case. smart people would have realized this is not a case where a spotlight being shined is helpful to the defendant.

    I predict he will be extradited. His motion to dismiss will be denied. He will decline to seek withdrawal of his plea and he will be sentenced.

    The ultimate question is what that sentence will be. I believe that so far his friends are reducing the chances of his receiving a no further punishment sentence, but i still think he will ultimately receive a sentence quite lenient in relation to what he did. I won’t get all up arms about that but I would be outraged if he is allowed to evade being sentenced in accordance with law.

  238. 238
    Jack says:

    @Win Pollard:

    Truth. Sad.

  239. 239
    Sam says:

    Another distortion being bandied about on less reputable websites is that his motion to dismiss has merit.

    Even if we assume as true that there was error (judicial and prosecutorial misconduct as alleged) the second prong which must be proved to establish grounds for dismissal is entirely lacking.

    One must show that the error caused PREJUDICE. Obviously, as he never was sentenced any errors in the sentencing phase following entry of his plea caused him no prejudice.

    Furthermore, even if he could show prejudice in the sentencing phase the appropriate remedy for a prejudicial sentencing error is not dismissal and vacation of the conviction. The proper remedy is imposing a sentence free from the taint of the prior error.

    Someone above mentioned Talkleft. I advise you that the discussion there is completely misleading. Whether it is willful and dishonest or the product of a really bad lawyer talking about things beyond her understanding I don’t know.

  240. 240
    itsbenj says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): it’s right in your post, dumbass

  241. 241
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    But I don’t agree with it. I don’t think leaving Grandpa free to keep molesting for the sake of family peace is a good thing.

    I’m not sure how we got from Uncle Charlie the one-time offender to Grandpa the serial child molester but I would agree that your scenario is not a good thing.

    Uncle Charlie and his family, of course is simply a metaphor for Polanski and his supporters. I was hoping to spark a discussion about family hypocrisy but apparently there are no posters who have been in this position or willing to admit to hypocrisy on similar issues.

  242. 242
    Tsulagi says:

    @Win Pollard:

    It’s more than a little scary how prison rape has become an accepted part of punishment in America.

    Would agree with you. In Polanski’s case, though, wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

    Polanski forcibly raped an underage girl, and through his own press statements, seemingly out of a sense of entitlement. He’s special. An arrogant piece of shit.

    Since apparently Polanski wouldn’t see rape as cruel and unusual punishment, but rather almost as a right, then he should be good if on the receiving end. He would be among kindred spirits. Buddies. I’m sure he craves validation.

    Or, outside possibility he could use that experience to examine his own entitlement belief system. A growth opportunity. See, nothing but win for Polanski in going to prison.

  243. 243
    geg6 says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I would tell my relative that it isn’t her call to make. A rape is a crime against the state as much as it is against the actual victim. And, as a rape victim, I feel just fine with that. I was too afraid to make sure my rapist got prosecuted. This girl went to the police. Once you do that, it is not your call.

    And I find it pretty ridiculous that anyone can argue that we should just forget about this because the victim doesn’t want to go through a trial. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place (where the plea was allowed by the prosecutor out of concern for the victim) and it shouldn’t happen now.

    And regardless of what might have been in 1977, the fucker ran to escape sentencing. That, in and of itself, is more than enough to drag him back here to face the music he should have faced long ago when he probably would have gotten a next-to-nothing sentence. It is nothing but gossip that the original judge was going to do anything other than honor the plea agreement.

    But then again, this is a rape case. Nothing is less important than rape cases in a lot of people’s minds. In fact, in some people’s minds, there is no such thing as rape.

  244. 244
    Sam says:

    Oh come on. No one deserves to be raped even unrepentant rapists. Some people need to be imprisoned and i agree with the punitive function of imprisonment and also with the idea that jutst punishment embodies retribution along with other values and does not serve merely to protect society and deter.

    That said condoning, let alone applauding, prisoners being physically assaulted is beneath a civilized society. It’s impossible to eliminate the occurrence but every reasonable step should be taken to minimize it.

    I can understand feeling less sympathy for some victims than others because that’s human, but it shouldn’t be wished upon anyone no matter how depraved.

  245. 245
    Jack says:

    @geg6:

    But then again, this is a rape case. Nothing is less important than rape cases in a lot of people’s minds. In fact, in some people’s minds, there is no such thing as rape.

    As long as the victim has a vagina. If Polanksi were accused of raping a boy,* well – we’d have such outrage that…

    …ah, nevermind. Most of us know that score.

    *- not minimizing the rape of boys; it’s just that in our rather rape-of-women tolerant culture, there seems to be a common assumption that “boys are victims, girls are asking for it.”

  246. 246
    Jen R says:

    @Persia:

    Don’t forget that prominent figures even outside Hollywood—like Anne Fucking Applebaum—are claiming that the victim deserved it on some level because she wasn’t a virgin or called her mother or whatever the hell the excuse is today.

    God, yes. I ran into one of those apologists at TNC’s place yesterday (day before? it blurs….) He kept repeating this mealy-mouthed, “I’m not saying it isn’t rape if she said no, but it’s interesting that she knew what quaaludes were, and that she’d done drugs and had sex with men before,” bullshit.

  247. 247
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    I’m not sure how we got from Uncle Charlie the one-time offender to Grandpa the serial child molester but I would agree that your scenario is not a good thing.

    Because it’s very, very rare to have a one-time molester. Polanski fled the country and immediately moved in with a 15-year-old girl. He has said many times that he prefers underage girls. It’s not like it was a one-time anomaly for him to decide to have sex with a very young girl.

    Generally, when you have Uncle Charlie the “one-time offender,” the cousins start talking to each other and discover that he’s more like the 5 or 10 time offender, but everyone else was too afraid to speak up.

  248. 248
    Brachiator says:

    @Jack:

    *- not minimizing the rape of boys; it’s just that in our rather rape-of-women tolerant culture, there seems to be a common assumption that “boys are victims, girls are asking for it.”

    This is utter nonsense. The excuses that Polanski apologists are making are similar to some of the excuses that apologists for pedophile priests have been offering.

    “You know, Father X had sex with that boy 30 years ago. What would be the point of sending the poor father to prison now?”

    “Maybe the sex that Father X had with that boy was consensual. The kid was probably really a homosexual.”

    “Father X has tried to make up for what he did with his good works since his unfortunate incident. He’s been punished enough.”

    In fact, I would suggest that for some, artists are secular priests.

  249. 249
    Jack says:

    @Brachiator:

    I had another post, with a personal anecdote, but it was lost in the ether, when I hit submit.

    Please re-read what I wrote. You knee-jerked.

  250. 250
    Brachiator says:

    @Jack:

    Please re-read what I wrote. You knee-jerked.

    I re-read it. Your point is unclear.

    Perhaps your personal anecdote would help.

  251. 251
    Persia says:

    @Jen R: Ah, yes, Hugo.

  252. 252
    Mr Furious says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because it’s very, very rare to have a one-time molester. Polanski fled the country and immediately moved in with a 15-year-old girl. He has said many times that he prefers underage girls. It’s not like it was a one-time anomaly for him to decide to have sex with a very young girl.

    Precisely.

    Polanski’s defender/rationalizers now like to pretend this was some kind of one-off drug-induced night of debauchery and a mistake or anomaly. That Polanski would like to have that one back.

    Polansky’s own statements and actions belie that. He was unrepentant about his actions years later in front of a fucking tv camera. He thought he was safe from U.S. justice and had no qualms letting people know what an entitled asshole he was.

    He messed with an underage Natassia Kinsky, hid out in a country with a pre-teen age of consent and might have done this many, many times. Who knows? I know wher money’d be, however.

    His films are filled with sexual issues and no shortage of rape and sexual abuse and humiliation—often at the hands of older male protagonists and young girls.

    Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a guy with problems at all to me….

  253. 253
    Sam says:

    I have a problem with extrapolating deviant character from his movies just as much as I have a problem with his movies being used to defend him. The movies he has made are just movies. Whether one views him as an insightful and profound artiste or a purveyor of pretentious mostly boring flicks pandering to a sexually obsessed culture, his case should be judged based on what he did.

  254. 254
    Mr Furious says:

    I agree with you Sam. I’m just saying that it seems pretty rich for his defenders to minimize his actions when he’s rather shamelessly built his career around similar themes. Claims that this was a one-off thing are without merit in my mind.

    I know it’s speculation on my part, but no more or less than theirs…

  255. 255
    rb says:

    @Deborah: Deborah, are we related?

  256. 256
    Jack says:

    @Brachiator:

    Nothing unclear. Mediated outrage tends towards the aforementioned meme. Sure, there are cases where boys are blamed, but I wasn’t make a whitewash, only an observation about trends.

    I didn’t type: “there’s never outrage when girls are raped and boys are never blamed for the crimes of the offenders,” and that seems to be to what you responded

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sam:

    The problem with extrapolating from his movies is that it tends to be very simplistic. You can point to Evelyn Mulwray in Chinatown as yet another victim but ignore the fact that she’s the linchpin of the film. The reason Jake fucks up the case is that he assumes she’s some kind of femme fatale and doesn’t realize until it’s too late that she’s an innocent victim in the whole scheme.

    I just said this above, but what confuses people about Polanski is that he often identifies with the victim in his film, to the point of literally playing the role as in The Tenant. But the fucked-up thing about human nature is that being a victim yourself or feeling that empathy is no guarantee that you won’t be a victimizer given the chance. Our brains are way, way, way more flexible than we think and people can rationalize away some incredibly horrific acts.

  258. 258
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I’m with Makewi and K&G…your crack about genitalia hysteria reads pretty clearly to me as minimizing the offense

    Document it or apologize, liar.

    If that’s not what you meant, you fucking “document” what you did mean.

    Oh look, Mr Furious thinks it’s perfectly fine to casually fling around accusations on the internet about how someone is an apologist for horrible crimes, then make his victim prove a negative! That’s so moral and upstanding of you!

    Here’s a thought; FUCK YOU. Apologize, you disgusting, dishonest piece of shit. I will accept it when you choose to give it.

  259. 259
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    t’s right in your post, dumbass

    Can’t document it, eh?

    FUCK YOU. I will accept your apology.

  260. 260
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    If that’s what he meant—a lurid fascination with sex-related stories—I can see his point.

    Thank you, Mr. Furious. Not quite an apology, but close. Now, going forward, don’t fling utterly irresponsible accusations, not at me or ANYBODY, unless you’re really damn sure what you’re talking about.

  261. 261
    Sam says:

    No, we have to accept all parts of our system in order to demand compliance with each part. We can’t treat polanki differently because we think he probably did other bad things in addition to the one for which he stands convicted.

    That’s not to say that other bad acts cannot be relevant at trial or at sentencing, but establishing other bad acts must be done with admissible evidence presented in court (or admitted to by the defendant) not in ways I am seeing here, e.g., the nature of his movies, the statistical preponderance of recidivism among pedophiles or rapists, etc.

    He sexually assaulted a child. He was allowed to plead to an offense that did not require the use or threat of force but the facts surrounding that event which tend to prove it was forcible can and should be considered in determining the sentence within the statutory range allowed for the offense of conviction. That’s fair. But, assumptions about bad character or or other possible but unproven acts should not be considered.

  262. 262
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sam:

    Actually, I agree. As I think I said above, what’s really at issue here for me is not the original crime, but the fact that he fled after pleading guilty and then thumbed his nose at us for 30 years. If the judge now says that they’ll accept time served for the original crime, that would be fine with me as long as he receives some penalty for the flight — maybe 90 days in jail plus a fine sufficient to cover the 30 years of expenses that the DA’s office incurred trying to chase his ass down.

    Much as some people keep trying to litigate it, the issue of guilt or innocence in the original crime is settled. He pled guilty. Debating that sentence at this point is pretty useless.

  263. 263
    Mr Furious says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Thank you, Mr. Furious. Not quite an apology, but close. Now, going forward, don’t fling utterly irresponsible accusations, not at me or ANYBODY, unless you’re really damn sure what you’re talking about.

    You’re an asshole. You had ample opportunity to explain what the fuck you were talking about, but responded solely with epithets. That DougJ accidentally stumbled across something that made me rethink your statement doesn’t mean you still weren’t being a dick.

    Last night. And again this afternoon.

    “…reads pretty clearly to me as…” That’s not me flinging an utterly irresponsible accusation—it’s my interpretation of what you said—and I clearly wasn’t alone in that interpretation. How exactly does one “document” a subjective judgment about someone else’s intentions. anyway?

    The onus was on YOU to clarify your statement. You chose not to, so when people read your obstinence as defensiveness, that’s your fucking problem.

    I might not comment around here as much as I used to, but I got chunks of clowns like you in my shit, so keep on yapping douchebag. I DO know what the fuck I’m talking about.

  264. 264
    Mr Furious says:

    assumptions about bad character or or other possible but unproven acts should not be considered.

    Again, Sam, agreed. I only brought it up to counter the equally spurious implications of his defenders that he’s a stand-up guy with no history.

    I’m not talking about admissible evidence in his trial, I’m countering spin with the same. It’s all speculative and hypothetical. I don’t want us to keep talking past each other on this, since I think we’re actually coming from the same place.

  265. 265
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    OK, here goes…
    Basic age of consent should be 16, with some special considerations.

    It’s difficult to conceive of any objective criteria for age of consent laws. As a practical matter, however, society needs to set a lower bound. Where that lower bound should be I don’t know, but I’m in agreement that many of the laws in our country are idiotic and counterproductive.

    Age of consent laws, indeed, all laws should be crafted not just to be punitive, because we as a society love to throw people in jail, but to protect people who genuinely need to be protected. They should be sufficiently strong to deter, but not tailored to the bloodlust of those who like to watch themselves type “buttfucked a little girl” over and over again. They should take into account changing mores and honestly appraise human behavior.

    You wouldn’t know any of this from reading all the degenerate medievalists in this thread, who want Polanski to be tortured, raped, thrown in jail for life, and so on. It’s simply nauseating that we can be up in arms for the last half dozen years about the Cheney regime, then read comments like that.

    But I’ve probably said too much. The professional hysterics will undoubtedly willfully misread these remarks as some sort of defense of child abuse in general or Roman Polanski in particular. When they do so I will, as always, accept the subsequent apology.

  266. 266
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    “…reads pretty clearly to me as…” That’s not me flinging an utterly irresponsible accusation

    Oh my. Looks like someone needs to apologize all over again.

    Your statement reads pretty clearly to me that you think it’s okay to pitchfork babies. Prove me wrong.

    And fuck you.

  267. 267
    Mr Furious says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Looks like someone needs to apologize all over again

    Please hold your breath…

  268. 268
    Pete says:

    Shorter Michael Gass: I am better than you. Did you hear me? Did everyone hear me? I AM BETTER THAN YOU!

    Shorter Bruce (formerly Steve S.): I have special insight into this case because I am also 13.

  269. 269
    Allienne Goddard says:

    I’d just like to apologize to Bruce (formerly Steve S.).

    I’m sorry you are such an annoying douchebag. Really, I am very, very sorry.

  270. 270
    Flugelhorn says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): You are a complete ass and you should be euthanized so that your body can catch up to your mind. Dip shit.

Comments are closed.