No, "The Left" Isn't Apologizing For Roman Polanski
I haven't proffered an opinion on the Polanski case, but let me say now that I am against people raping 13 year-olds and getting away with it! Yes, I'm going out on a limb! According to Howard Kurtz, that makes me no longer a liberal, since he quotes wingnut Ed Morrissey, who lazily attributes defenses of Polanski to "the Left." Which, as Jamison Foser points out with multiple links, isn't true. Scott Lemieux piles on. Indeed, the most prominent defenders of Polanski are certain friends in the movie industry, which of course becomes "the Hollyweird Left" in the wingnut construction, as well as Anne Applebaum, whose husband is a Polish government official working to free Polanski (Applebaum casually forgot to mention that in her piece). In other words, friends of his. They saw a documentary that put the whole thing in a favorable light for Polanski, and that allowed them to assuage their guilt.
Steve Lopez has a very good piece today, noting that far too many of these defenders have elegantly chopped out the most damning parts of the testimony from the trial:
Q: What happened then?
A: He reached over and he kissed me. And I was telling him, "No," you know, "Keep away." But I was kind of afraid of him because there was no one else there.
She testified that he put his mouth on her vagina.
"I was ready to cry," she said. "I was kind of -- I was going, 'No. Come on. Stop it.' But I was afraid."
She said he then pulled off her panties.
Q: What happened after that?
A: He started to have intercourse with me.
At this point, she testified, Polanski became concerned about the consequences and asked if she was on the pill.
No, she told him.
Polanski had a solution, according to her.
"He goes, 'Would you want me to go in through your back?' And I went, 'No.' "
According to her, that didn't stop Polanski, who began having anal sex with her.
This 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." [...]
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.
It's pretty outrageous that Polanski's gotten away with claiming victimhood for 30 years after serving 42 days in jail (before the trial) for drugging and raping a 13 year-old. I like his movies but I don't have to absolve his behavior for that reason. We don't have a cultural exemption - or a political one, for that matter - in the US justice system. Let him do his time.
And by the way, that's the prevailing opinion of many on "the Left."
...Many are making use of the fact that Samantha Geimer, the victim, is willing to show compassion and doesn't want to see Polanski prosecuted. After a guilty verdict in a trial, I don't think that's her decision to make anymore, actually.