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Reaction to Roman Polanski

Of all the many and unexpected responses I received to my four-paragraph blog post on Roman Polanski, two struck me as worthy of reaction. Here is the first, from an online comment:

Hey Ann Applebaum do you have a young daughter? How about I rape her??? Please, I just love raping little girls.

I will note that the author, identified as "GroverSage" -- which may or may not be his real name, of course -- has truly reduced his argument to the essentials. He seems to believe that if you look for any nuances at all in this extremely weird, thirty-plus-year legal saga (and in my four paragraphs there was only space to mention a few of them) you are not only defending rape, you deserve to be raped. Or your daughter does. I note that there are many, many versions of this argument out there.

Here is the second, from a blogger:

Well, well. It turns out that Applebaum’s husband is a Polish politician who is currently actively lobbying for Polanski’s freedom. Seems that Applebaum did not mention that. Details here.

Well, well, it turns out that the person who wrote that works for the Los Angeles County district attorney, as he points out in an "update." Does that matter? No, of course not. One likes to assume that people who bother to write about a wide variety of things are sophisticated, that their views derive from many sources, and that they are not simply a mouthpiece for their organizations or their spouses. For the record, I will note that I mentioned my husband's job in a column as recently as last week, and that when he first entered the Polish government three years ago I wrote a column about that too. I have to assume that the bloggers who have leapt upon this as some kind of secret revelation are simply unfamiliar with my writing. However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa. (My editors later added a link to a news story that mentioned him.) The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband -- while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.

Of course, there were some very legitimate disagreements, including two excellent ones from my colleagues Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen, and I take some of their points. But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits.

By Anne Applebaum  | September 29, 2009; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  Applebaum  | Tags:  Anne Applebaum  
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Comments

Nuance? The facts that you don't seem to understand are that 1) Polanski committed and pled guilty to a crime, 2) he fled punishment, 3) there has been a warrant out for his arrest, 4) he was apprehended under the warrant.

I suppose you can rely on "nuance" all you want as reasoning for his release, but you can't blame people for finding your reasoning faulty.

Posted by: boolean_radley | September 29, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

After reading the transcript through several pages past the conversation with the mother, it appears to me that you are implying that blame also lies with the victim. Whatever bad judgment she might have exercised and whatever she might have done in her past does not excuse the fact that Mr. Polanski failed to act responsibly (or legally) as an adult in this situation. It is my opinion that Mr. Polanski has avoided punishment for his crime, and the passage of time does not lessen his culpability.

Posted by: mcljphillips | September 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum:

You seem to believe that everyone reads everything you write and takes notes so that we are aware of your back-story and possible biases. It is not true. If you have a possible conflict of interest with an issue that you write about, you should mention it in that article. Every time.

As for nuance, Polanski forcibly had sex with a 13 year old girl. The fact that her mother may have been pandering her out, or no other circumstance mitigates what Polanski did. Since you find the idea of your daughter being raped offensive, why don’t you get this? (For the record, I think the people who suggested this were trying to get you to see the hypocrisy of your position, not seriously suggesting that your daughter should be sexually assaulted.)

The idea that Polanski has suffered by having to live in France (the horror), or not being able to pick up his Oscar in person, is outrageous. He has continued to live a life of privilege and wealth, maintained his career as a movie director, and carried on his proclivity for woman much younger than he is (his current wife is two years younger than the current age of the girl he raped).

Posted by: hgillette | September 29, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh good lord, Anne, for a smart, sophisticated gal, you really don't get it, do you?

The transcript in no way mitigates Polanski's crime, which he added to by fleeing to France.

His fear was no excuse whatsoever.

Posted by: Krisipuu | September 29, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Ms Applebaum,
I would hope that after reading the almost unanimous reaction to your story, you might have second thoughts to your blog. If I were to give Polanski the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know the little girl was 18, I would still classify this as date rape. He drugged her and had sex. Your completely dismissive attitude to the law and American culture dismisses you from any credibility to comment. You didn't like it when someone posed the premise of your own daughter...how would you have liked to be drugged and forced to have sex. He was found guilty and pleaded guilty. He could have faced the law and he chose not to flee. There is no statute of limitations just as john Denumchuck (sp?) was taken to justice years later after leading a "good ;ife". You disgust me.

Posted by: rhino2 | September 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you just call the 13 year old girl a tart who got what she deserved? That is what you are obviously implying by pointing out that part of the testimony. You are unbelievable. You just gloss over the part where he drugged and raped the girl.

Posted by: keepwastingmoney | September 29, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, well. Just keep digging ...

Posted by: ColoradoWellington | September 29, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Anne, I'm glad for the semi-concession to Robinson & Cohen but would have been more impressed if you admitted the original blog wasn't well thought out. If four paragraphs were too limiting for a reasonable defense, maybe you shouldn't have tried?

Posted by: kjefferson1 | September 29, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Now had been Polanski been a Russian who survived the Leningrad siege , Anne Applebaum would not have been so sympathetic to him .
SO Anne , please carry on with your "Anti Russian , Anti Putin" campaign , no matter how ridiculous it is . You may at least get a few supporters. But lay off the "save the Holocaust survivor rapist " campaign , i don't think any sane minded person will support you . Trust me there is nothing ideological in it .

Posted by: mihirsamel | September 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The post by the person who talked about your daughter was disgusting. But it was no less disgusting than the fact that you have read the testimony of the victim and continue to defend Polanski's vaginal and anal rape of a 13-year-old girl. Shame on you.

Posted by: chaos1 | September 29, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I guess sorry really is the hardest word to say! I rarely ever post a comment, NEVER post from work, but have felt the need to do it two days in a row. Ms. Applebaum, you just don't get it! The man plead guilty; the man admitted to a court of law that he is a PEDOFILE!!! And you seem to be ok with the fact that he's never been punished for having drugged and had sex with a 13 yr. old girl.

Posted by: bjmiles1 | September 29, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought we'd gone a long way past blaming the victim for the rape. Even if her mother had offered her up to Polanski on a silver platter, he had a moral and legal obligation to just say no. What exactly do you tell your daughter about Polanski: "Honey, rape isn't a good thing, but after all, she wasn't a virgin, she didn't fight back, and her mom shouldn't have brought her there in the first place. Anyway, the poor man has already suffered a lot in his life and spent 42 days being evaluated and it was a long time ago. He's an incredible artist and Americans just don't understand that Europeans have such a different (and less puritanical) view of sex and sexual maturity. Anyway, he paid off the victim a few years ago so she's come out of it just fine. But really honey, if anything ever happens to you, be sure and let me know because you know how strongly I feel about rape."

Or in simpler words: I'll stand up for your right not to be raped as long as the rapist isn't a renowned European artiste.

Posted by: bk0512 | September 29, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Having dated a number of woman that had daughters about the victim's age, I can attest to the fact that there is no shortage of, well, delicious looking 13 year olds with short, short skirts, a curious look and an interest in exploring the world. And that's natural and their right but with equally interested young teenage boys - not horny old men. That's why we have strong laws against childhood rape. This low life needs to be given enough time - behind bars - to finally understand that.

Posted by: marcopolo511 | September 29, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

I posted the link to wikipedia which stated your relationship with the polish foreign minister, whom I identified as Polish Ambassdor. I do not work for any DA or any government. Your defense of Mr. Polanski rings just as hollow as the people who defend or defended OJ Simpson. Mr. Polanksi is a deviant and a criminal. Because of his fame he was able to hide in Europe.

Posted by: nikhil22 | September 29, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ms.Applebaum,
Here is the girls' OWN testimony. I have quoted from

"this exchange from that testimony, which was made public in 2003 and published by the Smoking Gun:

"Then he lifted up my legs and went in through my anus."

"What do you mean by that?

"He put his penis in my butt."

In the girl's grand jury testimony, which is slightly sickening to read, she also said that she had repeatedly told Polanski no, but that she was too afraid of him to resist."
I have taken the liberty to quote from Bill Wyman's excellent article in Salon.
http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2009/02/19/roman_polanski_documentary/index.html.

I have an idea...why dont we send all the teachers who have sex with their students to France and Poland instead of charging them with statutory rape in this country and filling up the prisons.

Posted by: spc2 | September 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

When these kind of people committed a crime, it is always complicated. When he raped the 13 years old kid, it is different than someone else doing the same crime. Raping a 13 years old kid is a crime and there is no excuse for that. For someone to suggest otherwise is offensive.

Posted by: lhao333 | September 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I bet if this were a Catholic priest who did what Polanski did, the French and perhaps Ms. Applebaum, would cry out one bit. This priest may say, "she tricked me and lied to me about her age" and everyone would rightly scoff at such nonsense. And yet because Mr. Polanski happens to be a fine director, we can see past his "indiscretions". Elistist privalege, I guess.

As for the excuse that Mr. Polasnski has suffered loss, do we excuse the child molester who assaults children because he himself was molested as a child? No. Because someone has suffered does not give them excuse to make others suffer. This is clearly making excuses for a member of the cultural elite and these apologist would extend such courtesies on the premise that culurally sophisticated people are more important and deserve more lenient treatment. What tripe!?

Posted by: Daedulus | September 29, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Ann Applebaum, instead of attacking those of us who feel that Mr Polanski should be jailed, perhaps a better approach for you to take would be to define the circumstances under which pre-teen sex is allowed. That allows us to understand your position better.

First, some facts from the Grand Jury Testamony (unless you question this as well). The victim said "No" repeatedly. Can we assume that she didnt mean it, or that she was not forceful enough? Or No really meant Yes? Is a decision made by a 13 year old under the influence or drugs and booze in these circumstances ever valid? Are laws meant to protect society? Are they only enforced or applied when the rapist fits our sterotype of them? If the victim of any vicious crime does not want the criminal punished - how does that help his next victim.

The anger you read in the responses is because you glaring empathise with a self admitted rapist, over the society that he committed his crime. So my question - What did I ever do to you?

Posted by: Bush2 | September 29, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Ann - "Europeans have such a different (and less puritanical)" -

Of course unless it's their daughter being drugged and raped!

Posted by: Bush2 | September 29, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Anne, you are really saying "She was asking for it". You are truly beneath contempt.

Posted by: dan1138 | September 29, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Would Anne defend a pedophile priest of Polanski's age who hadn't raped a child in the last 30 years?

Posted by: sscritic | September 29, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

My thirteen-year-old daughter was in the car with us on Sunday afternoon when we heard of the arrest of Mr. Polanski on the radio. The piece included a reporter in Switzerland getting the reaction of about 5 or 6 people who had been waiting outside the venue where Mr. Polanski was to receive his award. Each and every one of these folks thought that his arrest was outrageous – after all, it had happened so long ago, he was such an old man, he had had so much tragedy in his life . . .

My daughter was literally shocked by the reaction of these people who seemed to think it was okay for a 45 year old man (older than her father – yuck!) to drug and rape a girl her age. What if something like this were to happen to her? Would no one come to her defense? Would everyone think that it was somehow okay? My heart broke as she expressed her thoughts to us and I regretted her having heard the news story.

Over the last few days, I have heard all the arguments – he had made a plea bargain and the judge was not going to honor it, the girl’s mother should have borne some of the blame, perhaps he was entrapped, the list goes on . . . none of that really matters when you look into your daughter’s eyes and know that she’s thinking, “That could have been . . . me.”

Posted by: iamaxian | September 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Ms Applebaum,
Can you verify if the Polish government is planning to have Polanski castrated? They passed a law in Poland last Friday 25th September mandating chemical castration for anyone having sex with a minor younger than 15.
I understand the Polish Prime Minister is asking Swiss authorities to release Polanski and on the other hand:
"Prime Minister Donald Tusk said late last year he wanted obligatory castration for paedophiles, whom he branded 'degenerates'. Tusk said he did not believe "one can use the term 'human' for such individuals, such creatures" (Reuters, 28 Sep 09).

Curious double standard, isn't it?

Posted by: skip40 | September 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Ann - "I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits"

I read this part again. My question taking your view of her testamony which impies that she "asked for it", if your 13 year old daughter flirted with an older man, and he then drugged her and had sex with her while she was saying "No", "take me home". Would you press Rape charges or blame her and call her a tramp as you implied here. As a 44 year old man at the time, doesn't Polanski have a responsibility to "keep it in his pants" even if as you imply she "wanted it"?

So if she was 12 would it be ok, what if she was 12 but "looked like" she was 16? If she was 11, but she was flirtatious? Please let us know your thoughts!

Posted by: Bush2 | September 29, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum, don't you see the hypocrisy in implicitly asking the readers to be shocked at the hypothetical rape of your own child, while simultaneously suggesting that another 13-year-old deserved it?

I am completely appalled.

Posted by: sc09 | September 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I am so relieved to read other's comments that find this story so ridiculous! I don't care how wonderful of a film maker he is (I love his films) the bottom-line is he committed a terrible crime. He probably will not get jail time anyway, but he should come back to face the music. I am sick of blaming the victim, if she was 25 when this happened it would be date-rape, either way this is nonsensical! I understand that the victim would like to forget about it, I can't imagine what it must have been like for her to have this happen and then have her name continuously smeared. I must point out that in crimes such as these, it goes beyond the victim, it is a crime against all of us. People v. Polanski. What kind of special treatment should he really get? It would set a dangerous precedent.

Posted by: nicole30 | September 29, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Here are a few enlightening remarks for you Ann:

Ann Apple-Holocaust-survivors-can-rape-little-girls-baum

Ann Apple-wealthy-Jewish-movie-types-can-rape-little-girls-so -I-can-be-powerful-baum

Also, since you have an obsession with Iran, you can feel free to support their pedophiles. I know, it is not as much fun because they don't have as many Jewish pedophiles, but what is a little religious difference between pedophile friends eh?

Ann Applepedobaum

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 29, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Well the good thing is we now know that Anne at least reads the comments to her own blogs.
The bad thing is she doesn't want to learn from it & continue in the self-indulgence .

The point is "no lineancy for rapsts " irrespective of their race religion , gender & past history

Posted by: mihirsamel | September 29, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Polanski is responsible for his own decision to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. It was unlawful.

One does not read to read the court transcripts to understand the law in question:
- a MINOR or mentally challenged adult is LEGALLY INCAPABLE of giving consent to the (sexual) act.

Posted by: jamg | September 29, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow - you summed this up so well - congratulations - Go MSM elites - we are special - not the little people!

Ms. Applebaum, don't you see the hypocrisy in implicitly asking the readers to be shocked at the hypothetical rape of your own child, while simultaneously suggesting that another 13-year-old deserved it?

I am completely appalled.

Posted by: Bush2 | September 29, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum:

"There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age."

The trial transcript:

Mr. Gunson (Prosecutor): On March 10th, 1977, the day you had sexual intercourse with the complaining witness, how old did you believe her to be?

(Pause in the proceedings while a discussion off the record ensued at teh counsel table between the defendant and his counsel.)

The Defendant (Polanski): She was 13.

Mr. Gunson: Did you understand that she was 13 on March 10th, 1977, when you had sexual intercourse with her?

(Pause in the proceedings while a discussion off the record ensued at teh counsel table between the defendant and his counsel.)

The defendant: Yes.


Why do you lie, Ms. Applebaum? And why does the Post let you get away with it?

Posted by: chaos1 | September 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

How truly disgusting! I would defy any human being who has ever had beneath their roof a 13 year old daughter, to attempt to defend a child rapist.

Roman Polanski is a morally bankrupt person, an escapee from justice who admitted to his crime and who was well aware that (after his flight) the American justice system had not forgotten him nor were they ever about to do so. Of course the French support him, did they not also support a murderer, Ira Einhorn, from Pennsylvania whose girlfriend was found murdered and stuffed in a trunk in his abandoned apartment. That person was finally extradited, charged and convicted of that crime. Did the French learn nothing from that debacle? Obviously not, the only difference here is that they are protecting (or were) a man who had pleaded guilty to the disgusting predatory crime of raping an underage female who had been drugged!! Doesn't matter how long ago it happened....there is no statute of limitations on the serving of a sentence.

And no thank you to Poland for supporting their "native son" either. I can NOT imagine any country in the civilized world behaving in this manner UNLESS there were a serious doubt as to the fugitive's guilt.

Are these two countries trying to suggest that if a person manages to elude the law and it's punishment for long enough, all should be forgiven? You have just shown quite graphically, France and Poland, how much you value the very young females of the world. How truly disgusting!

Posted by: OregonStorm | September 29, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Any decent journalism professor will tell you that it was irresponsible of Applebaum to omit mentioning her husband's role in the Polanski affair. Any decent human being will tell you Applebaum is an accomplice to evil when she states that the forcible rape of a 13 year-old girl by a rich and powerful 43 year-old man is not worthy of prosecution. What kind of immoral standard of conduct tells us that the rapist of a child should be excused because the rapist had family members who were murdered?

Posted by: a-m-young | September 29, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

As someone whose job is to comment on serious issues, and as someone who just lost all credibility, I'm not sure your mea culpa can wait much longer.

Posted by: boolean_radley | September 29, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Anne, this isn't a tricky one. A 44 yo man raped a 13 yo girl, plead guilty, and then ran away when he realized he might pay the criminal penalty. None of your arguments do anything to excuse his behavior. Sometimes it's just that simple.

Posted by: skepville | September 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I did as you asked and read the transcripts. If you genuinely thought this would change my mind regarding Polanski, you are seriously insane.

The man should be dragged into the desert and beaten with a baseball bat ala Casino. You should suffer the same fate.

Posted by: azken | September 29, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I have just read the transcripts as you suggested and I really have to ask, what is wrong with you?

Posted by: Dayton-Man | September 29, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It's hard not to conclude that Anne is afraid -- of being taken for an ignorant, unsophisticated American rube if she fails to mainstain her "leave poor suffering Roman alone" stance.

Posted by: Krisipuu | September 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You wrote:

"But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi --and not just the salacious bits."

Lest anyone assume that you are telling the truth here, I read the transcripts you link to, and while she does talk to her mother by phone (this before Polanski gives her part of a quaalude and rapes her), at no point does she say that she asked her mother's permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi. Nor do I see anything else in the testimony that indicates that this was anything less than rape.

On another point, I am puzzled as to what you would consider "the salacious bits" in this testimony. If you found any part of the testimony even the least bit tittilating, I would say that there is something seriously wrong with your moral compass.

Posted by: chaos1 | September 29, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits."

That's so sweet. The "She was asking for it" defense. Have you no shame lady?

Posted by: jayc281 | September 29, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Blah. blah, blah...excuse all you like. You don't just assume "everybody knows". If your husband is Polish and has involved himself, no matter how remotely, in an issue you cover that touches Poland in any way, you MUST disclose this. EVERY TIME. It's not up to your discretion, it's the rule. It's about integrity.

Posted by: lbjack | September 29, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Can someone other than ApplePedoBaum explain the "nuance" that we have to be considerate of in raping a 13 year old?

I got it! the nuance is that he was a Holocasut survivor! That's right, I get it now!

(Folks just think about how the poor Palestinians have been raped, figuratively, using the samr kind of Me-Victim arguments for years--truly vomit inducing)

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum just doesn't get it. Oh well, this will be the last piece I read from her.

Posted by: bushido11 | September 29, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Folks, her mentioning or not mentioning her husband is quite irrelevant.

The relevant fact is why would a person who appears not to be suffering from any mental disease, would come in the defense of a man who raped and sodomized a 13 year old.

If you can answer that, you will really learn a lot about human nature and the effect of tribal and pseudo-religious identification on basic human dignity and character.

That lies at the base of war and genocide. Where otherwise normal soldiers are brainwashed to kill innocent civilians. This is not affliction for some grizzly novel. This is happening rigth now and Applebaum is a testament.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It seems the Polish FM Radosław Sikorski is planning to have Polanski released, lure him into Poland and get him castrated, applying the new Polish law (Sep 24 2009) that mandates castration to anyone that has sex with a minor younger than 15.

Posted by: skip40 | September 29, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend that had a similar thing happen to him when he was about the same age. What happened to my friend was with a Catholic priest. The priest was eventually kicked out of the priesthood because he kept re-offending. He fled the country to Germany for a few years and waited out the statute of limitations then returned to live at his rural family home.

There is a wise saying that if we want peace we need to work for justice. I read the court transcripts with the original idea that perhaps Mr Polanski had gotten too close to a young girl that had sex with him because she was infatuated with him. Instead what I read is that Mr Polanski had the exact behavior of a predator. Having sex was all Mr Polanski's idea. He systematically achieved this after enticing the girl with the lure of pictures, providing her with drugs and alcohol (that he had pre-prepared for the purpose?), and getting her all alone. He did this bit by bit always with the one goal in mind of having sex with her. This is the exact definition of statutory rape. Actually with statutory rape the minor person can even consent because it is understood that the minor has not developed the reasoning capacity necessary.

If victims do not feel that justice is served will they not then eventually take justice into their own hands? The idea of making sure that the defrocked priest never re-offends is a topic of discussion among those that know of him. We stay in touch with the county sheriff there who understands the situation, but I often wonder if it is the cowardly path, and that I will regret not putting the man out his misery if I find out about another young person that he has victimized. Am I wise to trust the sheriff or am I really just avoiding a responsibility?

Posted by: satnamgee | September 29, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

He put his penis in her butt after she said no.
It was rape by the very definition of the word.

I'm baffled why liberals are twisting themselves into hypocritical pretzels in order to defend getting away with rape.

Particularly troublesome is the implied suggestion that because the girl was sexually active or knew what the drugs were that she was "asking for it". Or even better, that her mother is at fault, because God forbid Polanski actually know how to behave at 44 years of age.

You're calling his arrest outrageous? What about his behavior?

Posted by: nashbridges | September 29, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum, there are times in everyone’s life when there are so many telling you that you’re making a mistake that you almost have no choice but to pause, seriously reflect, and ask yourself, “Could I be wrong about this?” or “Am I making a terrible mistake?”

Please believe me when I say that, for you, this is one of those times.

The law of the jungle is survival of the fittest, eat or be eaten – this is what humankind resorts to in its darkest hours. But in our best times, when we as a society are what we should be, we step in to protect those who cannot protect themselves – the weak, the young, the innocent, those that cannot defend themselves.

I am baffled that you seem unable to determine which party is in need of the greater defense and I humbly and respectfully ask you to reconsider your position.

Posted by: iamaxian | September 29, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

He put his penis in her butt after she said no.
It was rape by the very definition of the word.

I'm baffled why liberals are twisting themselves into hypocritical pretzels in order to defend getting away with rape.

Particularly troublesome is the implied suggestion that because the girl was sexually active or knew what the drugs were that she was "asking for it". Or even better, that her mother is at fault, because God forbid Polanski actually know how to behave at 44 years of age.

You're calling his arrest outrageous? What about his behavior?

Posted by: nashbridges

==============

I am just as baffled by this. I am trying to see if there is a silver lining to Applebaum's position on this but I don't think there is any.

She is just rubbing her nose into our faces, she is Jewish, she is powerful, she has influential friend, and she has an audience. She is telling us, "I have Chutzpah!, I can defend a fellow Jew despite the fact that he is pedophile criminal and none of you people can do a thing about it!"

Revelation.........

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

unless, she is getting paid based on the number of comments to her " article"!!

no, can't be....

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Folks who are surprised by Applebaum's position ned to be reminded that Israelis are raping Palestinian society (figuratively" on a daily basis. But the voice of victims never get to us.

That voice gets muffled in the cries of Me-Victim coming from the likes of ApplePedoBaum who are the gate-keepers of information and opinion!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Polanski has been molesting children for years! There is his affair with the 15-year old Natasha Kinski, for example, and his comment that "normal sex is boring." I can understand the French sophisticate tolerating his pedophilia, but Polish law condemns it. The earlier post published regarding the Ira Einhorn crime underscores the French contempt for our justice system, but a convicted child molester in Poland must be castrated for raping children if his victim is under 15 years old. How can you defend him, Anne? I hope that a few of Polanski's other victims file charges now. Let them weigh in on his ongoing spree of molesting children. Show him no sympathy.

Posted by: MDCJ | September 29, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I would hope Ms. Applebaum is continuing to rethink her first blog. I don't get the defense of the rapist of anyone. All the circumstances around the case as publicly reported don't mitigate the essential crime. We wouldn't hesitate to capture a fugitive Nazi criminal no matter how many years had passed, even if the criminal had made popular films, was old, and seemed like a nice guy. For the most horrible crimes, criminals must understand that time offers no escape from justice.

Posted by: bryan37 | September 29, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You know what? Dr. Daniel Gajdusek won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976. He still went to jail for his guilty plea to a crime.

His work was (and still is), FAR more important to all of us than anything Roman Polanski ever done.

He didn't flee. He served his sentence. Polanski may or may not serve any time for the original RAPE, but he d@mn well should serve time for fleeing the country.

Posted by: Skowronek | September 29, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Like most media personalities, Ms Applebaum attempts to make herself a martyr for having to deal with any criticism of her piece from the public. To her, people commenting on her husband's involvement in the story and the potential conflict of interest are offensively implying that she is a spokesperson for her husband, making poor Ms Applebaum the victim. But the reason for disclosing the conflict is not necessarily to deal with anything so obvious. It is to let the readers know that there may be factors affecting (but not controlling) the author's opinion that the readers might not be aware of.

Posted by: mrmr | September 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum wrote a book about the Soviet Gulags, communist concentration camps that liberals prefer to leave unnoticed. I read her book and applaud her for writing it. Her attitude toward Polanski is just plain wrong, however. Artists get no special dispensation from the application of criminal laws. Polanski fled prosecution for rape and has yet to answer for it. Polanski is no Jean Valjean. His flight itself demonstrated consciousness of guilt.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 29, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I think AA needs to spend some time with an actual 13 year old girl. I'm alarmed by her complete lack of sensitivity towards the victim in this case,(and, no Anne, I don't mean Roman Polanski). She's not even giving lip service to the victim. I'm absolutely dumbfounded. Anne appears to be oblivious to the reality of what being a 13 year old GIRL means. Perhaps she skipped that age growing up. (also, note I said, GIRL, and not WOMAN, we usually don't say 13 year old WOMAN, something else to think about, Anne)

There's a reason why recently, here in DC, there's been a campaign in papers and buses reminding citizens that, "13 years old is the average age girls are forced into prostitution." I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact they are easily exploited and coerced.

And in the cases, where these young girls provide testimony, to help convict their exploiters, I'm sure Anne could also provide links to their testimony transcripts and arrogantly describe them as not simple and straightforward.

Just like the pimps, Polanski, and his apologists, Anne and her husband, can bring up all the mitigating circumstances they want. "She wanted it." "She was asking for it." Etc., when and if Polanski finally shows up in court.

Polanski was a grown man. Grown men, under any circumstances, should not have sex with young GIRLS.

That should be very simple and straightforward.

Again, if Anne would spend some actual time with 13 year olds and get a real world glimpse of how young and vulnerable they are, she might develop more understanding and sensitivity. I'm doubtful, but I would hope so.

Polanski made a decision to commit a crime and I believe now he should take responsibility for it.

Personally, I think he's behaved, and is currently behaving, like a complete coward.


Posted by: orson72 | September 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

please excuse Ms. ApplePedoBaum,

She is just defending a rich and powerful member of her tribe. Is that so wrong? I mean poor Polanski has paid for his crime because he had "lawyer fees" and "couldn't personally pick up his oscar in hollywood"!!

Polanski is a "chosen" fellow and so is Applebox. please get off her back and let her enjoy simple eliticism.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

sorry I meant "elitism".. See, I am not good at spelling it!!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

Can you at least admit that it is wrong for a 44 year old man to have sex wit ha 13 year old girl regardless of religious affiliation of the parties involved?

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Again, Anne Applebaum endorses child rape. Nuance? There is never enough nuance to justify a 40 year old man drugging and anally raping a 13 year old child.

FIRE ANNE APPLEBAUM NOW

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum's basic attitude is that what happened to that young girl was what she deserved, but if it happened to Anne's daughter (if there is one), that it would be undeserved.

Anne, you need to go read Dr. Anna C. Salter's professional works on pedophiles. Here's a link. Do your homework before you try to defend this man any further.

http://www.annasalter.com/

Posted by: Skowronek | September 29, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum, Thank you for addressing this subject again. Too bad you only address two of the ridiculous general responses to your blog post. Aren't the genuine ideas and objections more important than the noise of a few jerks?

Grover-sage's comments are disgusting, but I think you may be disingenuously misinterpreting. They are just disgusting sarcasm by an illogical extension of your argument.

The conflict of interest thing took off in the blogosphere but I don't know that it's such a big deal, especially given your testimony that you did not know anything about your husband's or the polish governments attitude in this case.

But I wish you had addressed some of the meatier comments.

1. Why did you refer to the crime and the plea as if it were the same thing?
2. Should Polanski be arrested if he reenters the US?
3. Should Polanski be held responsible for being a fugitive--dragging out this case for thirty years and postponing closure?
4. If it wasn't a straightforward criminal case, what was it? Being obscure is good for you, but bad for your argument. You seem to be saying that child rape is not what happened here while conceding that child rape is a terrible thing that would warrant extradition. So what did happen?
5. At what point in time, in your opinion, did the balance on the fairness and rightness of extradition swing from pro to con?

Posted by: notfromDC | September 29, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I guess another "nuance" we need to look at is who was the 13 year old victim? Was she Jewish? Did she have any family members who suffered in the Holocaust? People are just not asking the right questions!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

So much hypocracy. If he had been 16 years old and she had been 13 and the sex was consensual; he would have gone to jail. If he had been a teacher and she had been a student; he would have gone to jail. If he had been white and she had been black; it would've been a hate crime and he would have gone to jail. If he had been black and she had been white; he would have gone to jail. If this guy walks, the lesson is that rich artistic europeans aren't held to the same standard as the rest of us.

Posted by: cjones4 | September 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Antisemitism rampant on this board!!!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

People asking for ApplePedoBaum to be fired are DELUSIONAL!!

Have you looked at the list of the owner/editors/journalists at Washington post? It is like a list guest names at a Jewish wedding! Good luck trying to get some objectivity!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the bottom question is: Anne, in your calculations that Polanski's arrest was outrageous and otiose--how do you value the crime itself (not the plea offense).

Vaguely citing a transcript to muddy the water and not have to advance a clear conception is a trick.

Posted by: notfromDC | September 29, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Like others said, if he was "Father Polanski," Ms. Applebaum (and much of the media) would have a much different slant to her editorial...

Posted by: MyPost8 | September 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I tried to read the testimony, but it made me ill. All I saw in the first several pages was a teenager unable to assert herself when an adult--over 40!--asked her to do things that made her uncomfortable. I often think about a time when I was 14 and a strange man following me in a car asked me several times to take a drive with him. He was in his late 20s, said he just wanted to talk. I was walking home from an errand for my mother. I said no repeatedly. He opened the car door and started to get out. A neighbor suddenly called to me and asked if I knew who the man was. He burned rubber as he sped off. At the age of 14 I wore a bra sized 38D. People often mistook me for the mother of my 5-year-old sister because of my looks and nurturing disposition. Yet I was a bookish "A" student, reserved, socially awkward, and uninterested in boys of my own age. I had rarely been out of my own neighborhood. But I can imagine the picture that would have been painted of me if he had managed to get me into that car. The most dangerous part was that despite my apparent maturity, I didn't really believe that he could or would have hurt me. He had a nice face. After all, he said he just wanted to talk. My neighbor and my parents quickly disabused me of that notion. I've often thought of what a pivotal moment that was and how lucky I was. I've thought of it for 43 years now since it happened. And I think about, if I had been raped, what would have been written about that case and how I, a physically developed African-American 14-year-old, and the strange man with the nice white face would be perceived. Probably in the same way that, in 2009, too many perceive the starstruck, naive 13-year-old daughter of an irresponsible mother and the distinguished, talented, high-powered rapist. I wish there had been someone who could have stood between the poor child who gave that testimony and Roman Polanski. I'm sorry that she wasn't as lucky as I was. I'm glad that the justice system is pursuing him.

Posted by: Catthecat | September 29, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

GroverSage's point was that Applebaum would be horrified by the thought of her own child being raped. Yet she is dismissive of Polanski raping a little girl she has never met.

Amazingly, Applebaum completely missed the point and continued to endorse Polanski's pedophilia.

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

And if there was any doubt that Applebaum needs to be fired, she actually comes out with the "she's asking for it" defense.

Really Anne? In 2009? Really? You are honestly suggesting that this child was asking for it?

FIRE APPLEBAUM NOW

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum where is your shame! What is bizzare is not the fact that a US judge wants to pursue this case, but rather your explicit, undeniable support for a man who RAPED a 13 year old girl. Anally, vaginally and against her repeated requests to STOP.

Any defense of rape is a reflection of your demented intellect and twisted liberal feminine beliefs.Or is it your beliefs for a fellow Jew?

I would not line the bottom of a bird cage with your filth. You are a pig to every girl and woman on earth. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.

Posted by: charlottesweb | September 29, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

For those horrified by Applebaum's defense of child rape, send complaints to:

Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt hiattf@washpost.com

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Anne,

Are you OK? You seem like you've lost your mind. You defend a man for raping a child, and then as a rebuttal for those that rightfully criticize you, you give us a link to the child's testimony which reads like a pedophile's version of Penthouse Letters. It's clear from the transcript that the child stated that Polanski persisted even as she said "no, no, no." I don't know what world you grew up in, but in the civilization I live in "no" means "no." But I guess you're of the "no" means "ignore my will and treat me like a piece of meat" school. You're almost as good of a role model for little girls as you are a defender of them. For your sake, I hope you can continue to live in absolute ignorance of the horrors of child rape and molestation.

As for your next column, might I suggest something along the lines of "Why the Gulags were a Good Thing." It seems more in your field and along the lines of your rationals in defense of Polanski the child rapist.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 29, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Anne,

First, to echo other comments here, the suggestion that your (hypothetical) 13-year-old daughter should be raped was a device to highlight the utter hypocrisy of your position. You should know this as a professional writer and journalist. To feign shock and indignation, as if anyone was actually suggesting such a thing is dishonest.

Second, a responsible and ethical journalist, as someone else noted, is required to disclose each and every time she publishes any possible conflict of interest. It is not the reader's responsibility to be fully cognizant of every conceivable connection. Please note that each and every time that CNN mentions Time-Warner in a news story, they qualify the mention of T-W as "the parent company of CNN." Every time that NBC News mentions GE, the same qualifier is attached. It sounds silly to the casual listener, but true professionals understand the need.

Third, your clumsy attempt to obscure the facts in evidence against Polanski by providing a link to testimony that does not support your assertions was dishonest.

Fourth, it matters not that your were in Europe and your husband was in Africa. Would you have your readers believe that the Foreign Affairs Minister of Poland was not reasonably available by telephone? That is insulting to the readers.

Fifth, you seemed to be missing (or denying) the obvious here. No one in your industry has come out to excuse or defend this monster except you. As you grudgingly pointed out, your peers have soundly damned Roman Polanski and been greeted by nearly unanimous agreement in the comments to their columns and blogs. Your material in the past has been strongly supportive of women rights and protection. Now, you adopt an archaic "she was asking for it" defense of Polanski. How could a reasonable person not believe that your blog had some ulterior motivation?

You are not only a dishonest journalist who does not deserve publication, but you are totally tone deaf to criticism and apparently incapable of admitting a mistake.

I trust that I am hardly alone is being one of your former readers.

Posted by: hisroc | September 29, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Susan Brownmiller's classic book "Men, Women, and Rape" tackled the classic "blame the victim" approach to rape, in which the man is assumed to be somehow not really at fault and the victim is.

As well as the "oh what's all the fuss about" would-be worldly attitude that rape isn't really a violent, ugly crime.

And the "isn't it romantic" idea that really, the victim wanted it all along and the forceful violation just added sizzle.

I honestly don't care what a 13-year-old girl thought, said, or did. A powerful adult man "asked" her to have sex with him (which was, right there, immediately, a serious and repugnant crime) and ignored her when she repeatedly said no. And then had intercourse after giving her drink and drugs.

A 13-year-old isn't a grown-up. She is the victim. He is the rapist. There is no additional complexity to the actual crime, no purpose to be served by reading over the girl's comments at the time.

Nobody wants your daughter to be raped. You know as well as I do that people writing such comments are desperate to somehow communicate to you that that society should protect all 13-year-olds, whether it is your daughter or this victim. It is so very hard to fathom that you disagree with that.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Last day reading the post ever.

Applebaum you are sub-human.

Posted by: thecomedian | September 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm pleased to see you revisit that column, but you miss the point: in dismissing Polanski's crimes, you underscore rape survivors' powerlessness and trivialize our pain. This is a very serious matter and should be discussed with awareness not only of the argument but of its effects outside of your column.

Posted by: sjohnston1 | September 29, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum, vive la chutzpah!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum - there is none so blind as she who will not see. I am an independent who voted for Obama and still think my vote was correct, and I bring this up because there are a lot of posters here who in addition to justifiably condemning Applebaum's column are also trying to use the opportunity to unjustly rail against liberals. I have nothing personally against you Ms. Applebaum since you do have your right to express your opinion, the same way Ahmedinajad or Iran who whoever has a right to express theirs without fear of being attacked whilst rational persons have the right to ignore said opinions, but secretly in my core deep in the recesses at the back of my mind if something bad were to happen to one of your children I would have absolutely no sympathy for you.
A 44 year old man raped a 13 year old child and absconds to not face a fitting punishment and now you insult the intelligence of the readers by assuming that they haven't read the court transcripts, or that somehow reading the transcripts would justify a 44 year old man getting away with raping a 13 year old child??? I have read the transcripts and I can tell you that if on every page the girl was begging for sex or first said no, but then after sex thought it was good enough to warrant running after Polanski for more (none of which ever happened by the way) she was still to young to consent. Ms. Applebaum you have not presented ONE - NOT ONE valid argument. The only ancillary argument I heard was from Whoopi Goldberg who said that in some societies, (the U.S. however not being one of them) allow the behavior Polanski exhibited. You use the "Oh if only you really saw it like me, or if you only read the transcript you would see the nuances". Lady I read the transcript and all I can say is that it just makes me angrier with Polanski. Lady don't you see that virtually 100% of the comments here are against the logic of you columns. Were you doing drugs in Hungary before you wrote the column??!!

Posted by: eastlander | September 29, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum's religion is not at issue here. Polanski's Holocaust experience is, only because Applebaum brought it up. This is not a Right vs. Left issue. This is about crimes by the powerful against the powerless. It is good to see writers from opposite ends of the political spectrum in agreement on that at least. As a liberal, I'm appalled by Applebaum's elitist and misogynistic position. Polanski is not the only person who has done harm; defense of his crime abets other victimizers.

Posted by: sjohnston1 | September 29, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Hitler had a rough childhood, Osama Bin Laden has middle child syndrome, Napolean had a small penis. I bet you see the extenuating circumstances in it all and would let these guys off the hook too. My father died when I was six and my mother had a nervous breakdown when I was eight, so can I come over and burn down your house? Rape is a capital crime, it doesn't expire and chaos is not the same as liberalism.

This is an example of extreme liberalism which is why we have such extreme conservatives running around making everyone's lives miserable. Both extremes are nuts including you Miss Applebaum.

Posted by: mmgoods | September 29, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Anne, as the parent of a 12 years old child, I find your position repugnant! Child Rape is the lowest form of rape!!! There are no excuses to be made...this was premeditated Rape by the child predator, Roman Polanski. Anne, I wonder if your opinion would be different, if this little girl were also Jewish and had had grandparents that met their fates in German concentration camps?

Posted by: d2009 | September 29, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

If the victim was also a victim of Holocaust, then Applebum's support would go to the highest bidder, in this case, Polanski!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Applebong is probably sitting in some cafe in Hungary claiming antisemitism to account for the mass revolt against her inhumane stance on pedophilia!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

People like Applebong makes us feel that maybe people like Ahmadinejad have a freaging point!!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

For those horrified by Applebaum's defense of child rape, send complaints to:

Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt hiattf@washpost.com

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Please, let's not confuse the issues here...this is NOT a Liberal vs. Conservative argument!!! This is a Crime vs. Punishment and those who believe that some of us should have a "get out of jail free" card, if we are not happy with the legally imposed consequences of our crimes and misdeeds.

Posted by: d2009 | September 29, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum! YOU LIAR! I just read an EXCELLENT article in Salon.com - no wonder you are supporting the child rapist! Salon's excellent writer Kate Harding writes: "the Washington Post's Anne Applebaum, who finds it "bizarre" that anyone is still pursuing this case. And who also, by the by, failed to disclose the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case." How DARE you! And how DARE you use as the basis for your excuse for this scumbag (because that's what Polanski is - that and a COWARD, no matter his ephemeral film direction talents) a transcript of the phone call made by a drunken CHILD to her mother! I will never, ever read one of your columns again - you are deceptive, you are sneaky, you are a liar, and you are using your position as a columnist to pimp our your husband's viewpoint to the world - you are the Jack Abramaoff of the Washington Post. If you trust the judgment of a drunken and drugged thirteen year old more than that of a forty-four year old man, I PITY and LAUGH at you. You have truly lost your mind.

Posted by: postisbiased | September 29, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I posted last night that the WPost Public Editor should perhaps look into this journalist`s defense of Polansky. I posted that BEFORE knowing anything about she being married to a Polish politician who is lobbying Polansky´s case.
Just the speed with which this journalist posted that piece, its innuendos, its absolute lack of reasoning, I though was VERY suspect. Didn´t smell good.

Posted by: fgubb1 | September 29, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

you've dug yourself into a hole and your arguments are offensive and borderline upon the inane. Why did you focus on the victim's grand jury testimony to question the sex crime charges when on the same site you have the transcript from Polanski's plea? http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0928091polanskiplea1.html

Pay particular attention to the transcript after page 11 where Polanski is informed prior to pleading that the judge is the one who sentences and the judge had not made a sentencing decision yet. Polanski was fully informed about what he was doing when he plead guilty at page 16. He has no good excuse for fleeing the jurisdiction of the court.

I'll remember your posts on this matter the next time I see your public opinion. I'll remember and then do the only thing I can do with a clear conscience - throw your opinion in the trash!

Posted by: dantelives | September 29, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

What if this model were sexually active, did drugs, spent time alone with the guy, had a month with her Mom to figure out her next career move, went with the guy again, phoned her Mom during the episode, two weeks later had a lawyer cry rape, got a civil settlement of 'undisclosed amount', and then lived like a millionaire for decades - and it was all in various court records...

Posted by: kelldor | September 29, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

...regarding, what if...what if this little girl was raped repeatedly, what if she pleaded, no and stop repeatedly...what if it was a crime...what if the Perp was arrested and pleaded guilty...what if...what if...
The fact remains that Polanski is a Child Rapist!!! NO WHAT IF's!!!

Posted by: d2009 | September 29, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you just keep digging yourself in further and further. You're offended that people would actually think you're biased. You're surprised that your prior ill-conceived post got reponses.

Out of hundred of responses that intelligently and throughly refuted virutually every one of your poorly executed arguements in your prior column, you cherry-picked the one from the clearly degranged person to showcase.

To paraphrase, the McCarthy hearings, "Have you NO decency left, Madam?" Seriously, do you?

Here's the deal: You're just plain wrong. And your now-desperate back-peddle, only makes all the more evident that you're wrong. And I suspect you know it too. All this flailing about smacks of CYA.

No matter what deals were made and broken the fact remains the victim -- tired as she may be of this -- has never waivered from the fact she said no and Polanski drugged and sodomized her anyway. No matter how much smoke and mirror you haul out, that fact remains.

It's a crime for which, in his arrogance and now yours, he believes he should not have to be held accountable for.

Posted by: westwingpotus | September 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I take Applebaum to be saying that even if she knew that her husband was pushing for Polanski's release at the time of her writing the blog entry that neither ethics nor fairness toward her readers would require or incline her to disclose such a fact to the reader?


Her reason? It is offensive for anyone to believe that her thinking would be influenced by her husband (although she puts this in the strongest way: "spokesman"). But offensiveness attaches to probably every case of conflict of interest. So how is offensiveness an argument against diclosing information? Note, Applebaum has painted the case strongly to maximize the offensiveness--saying Applebaum is just parroting her husband's views is offensive!

But Applebaum has switched the issue on us. The question is not is Applebaum guilty of acting on a conflict of interest. The question is whether Applebaum should let her readers know about a near conflict of interest.

This is all hypothetical, according to Applebaum's timeline of events, but I think she's dead wrong.

I think the test should be: would her husband's position on the matter affect how her readers scrutinize her arguments?

Or another one: if Applebaum does not disclose the relationship to her readers, would it leave her open to some fishy gotcha complaints?

Or another one: If you replaced Applebaum's opinion with its opposite--It's fantastic news and very just that Polanski has been arrested--how would that settle with the position her husband has taken on the issue?

Having said this about a hypothetical case, Applebaum's possible conflict of interest has no bearing on the rightness or wrongness of her views or the strength of her arguments.


Posted by: notfromDC | September 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa."

Oh, and one more thing, apparently we're supposed to take you at your word about this here. So what you're telling is is that, just like Mr. Polanski, you're not a manipulative liar, you're a victim too.

But hey, that little girl -- now there's a brat who deserved what she got...

Man, you are one cold & mean-spirited person.

Posted by: westwingpotus | September 29, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Prior posters have made the basic points well (not counting the anti-semitic garbage). Still, I am dumbfounded to read, in the first line of your response above, that you find these reactions "unexpected." How can the same person who wrote of the inhumanity of the Gulag's exploitation of young children be so dismissive of the terrible exploitation here, and the need to apply justice? What a very, very sad case this is for you.

Posted by: trav1 | September 29, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Anne, a thirteen year old girl initially going along with the suggestions of an older man and a famous director doesn't even come close to "consent".

First of all, as a photographer and a director, he had manipulated her into the position of obeying his direction unquestioningly. He was an adult and an authority figure. She was a child. Surely you have enough maturity to understand the power relationship.

Second of all, when she grew uncomfortable with the situation and his requests (i.e. removing her panties so he could take pictures of her in the jacuzzi), she tried to leave. However, she had no means of transportation, and he did not volunteer to take her. Instead, he called her mother and told her that she would be staying.

I do not see anything in the transcript that suggests the girl was in any way consenting to it. She was trying to get out of the situation, but he wasn't letting her. She said no. That's really all anyone needs to understand.

Do Europeans seriously believe that if you give a girl sedative drugs so she can't resist and then has sex with her while she keeps saying "no" that that counts as "seduction" rather than rape?

Really? If that is truly the prevailing opinion in Europe, then I can only conclude their views of sexuality are in fact less sophisticated than Americans, not more.

Americans at least have the sense to see there is nothing "sophisticated" about drugging a girl so she can't resist. Seduction is a psychological game; giving someone roofies is rape.

Posted by: tjk1 | September 29, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Regarding NO WHAT IF's!!!, with that response even after thirty years - of course ANY lawyer would have "the Perp" plead guilty for time served - whatever the truth.

Perhaps as the judge reneged on a sentence that solicited a guilty plea, there were thoughts about the Nazis judging his mother.

Posted by: kelldor | September 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebuam:

You are a pathetic liar, beyond repair.

You said "There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age" without providing any. The court records clearly showed that Polanski unambiguously stated under oath that he knew the victim was 13.

When your colleague Karl Vick emailed you a reader's question regarding the conflict of interest issue, you wrote:
"I have disclosed that before, more than once. Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea that my husband, who is in Africa, would, or could do anything about it, as Polanski is not a Polish citizen. I am not responsible for his decisions and he is not responsible for mine. " It has been widely reported Polanski has dual French-Polish citizenship.

You lied. You lied to your readers, to your colleagues. It is pathetic that WaPo still provides a platform for you to spread lies. WaPo should fire you NOW.

Posted by: MikeEverest | September 29, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I sent the following to Mr. Hiatt via email and just in case he deletes is before reading I am posting it here:

Dear Mr. Hiatt. As you can see from the letter below incorrectly sent to the Obudsman this is as I stated the first time or more accurately the first column in any newspaper that I am requesting the firing of the columnist. I would ask this if you had a columnist advocating the release from justice of child molesters, child rapists, child killers, serial murderers, despots, racists, white supremists etc. We as a society do have the right under the constitution of free speech, but anyone advocating the absconding from justice and advocating that the worst of the worst of perpetrators escape justice has no place in your publication. They may make their depraved and debauched opinions in some other forum. We must protect our children and your publication cannot come out in support of predators of such. I don’t know Mr. Polanski’s parents, but I have to believe that even his dead mother would be rolling in her grave upon knowledge of his behavior and subsequent cowardliness. I will no longer read the Post if this woman is not fired. Most news stories are usually similar when they break except for exclusives so one can get their news in a variety of places. I refuse to read a publication with an unequivocating advocate of a child rapist and by extension of child rape.

Posted by: eastlander | September 29, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@kelldor Your implication that poor Mr. Polanski was manipulated into his crime fails to touch my heart since even if it were so, he readily took the bait and then fled the consequences instead of resisting temptation. It was already a well-known fact that Polanski preferred young girls for sex. He has used his wealth and position to molest many other children before and after raping this girl. He mourned Sharon Tate's death by seeking solace with teens. His despicable behavior has been a life-long habit. That is why he should be jailed now.

Posted by: MDCJ | September 29, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Dear Anne Applebaum, unrepentant supporter of raping children,

I like how you call replies to your first defense of pedophilia as "unexpected." As if you were assuming readers would agree that child rape is totally cool and that fugitives should never be brought to justice. Maybe you could get a job enslaving little girls for the Taliban and helping Al Qada avoid capture by US agents. Or maybe you can just keep misusing your soapbox to defend the raping of little girls. After all, that's such an honorable stance to take.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 29, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@MDCJ, since "His despicable behavior has been a life-long habit." clearly neither responsible parent nor virtuous teen would be involved with the man, no matter how many undisclosed settlements.

Posted by: kelldor | September 29, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the comments posted here. It's embarassing and ridiculous that some prominent Hollywood directors (and others) are campaigning for Polanski's release, as if he was somehow the victim. True, he's had some tragic circumstances to deal with. Pity him those without condoning his crimes. After pleading guilty to the rape of a child, he has lived the high life in Europe and somehow transformed himself into a public martyr. No one would be crying out for his release if he was an unknown or "ordinary" child rapist. No amount of good film makes up for his actions, and like the rest of us, he should be held accountable.

Posted by: Lori6 | September 29, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the text and signers of the petition.

http://www.thewrap.com/article/petition-release-roman-polanski-7901

Posted by: MDCJ | September 29, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@kelldor:

The argument that the little girl was a tramp, and therefore deserved what she got, is an opinion best left in the 1800's.

She was (1) 13 years old and (2) said no. Don't muddy the waters with your outdated misogyny.

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It's one thing to argue that it's a waste of resources to pursue him and it won't do anyone any good, but it's another to say the 13 year old girl was asking to be slipped a Quaalude, raped, and sodomized. It is utterly unacceptable. You ought to be ashamed. The Washington Post should be ashamed.

Posted by: reader8709 | September 29, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, you did not expect those comments, Anne.
That's maybe because you cannot comprehend how evil you actually are. When you put your Gulag story mask and deceive your readers about (for example) Russia colonizing Poland in WW2 you just bought yourself some time before your real face got out. But, there is nothing surprising, you would show it anyway at some point. Therefore dont be so amazed.
"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
You probably heard it, now think about it...

Posted by: pigswithfigs | September 29, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum:
You are not fit to work at an American newspaper.
You are not fit to be a babysitter.
You are morally and intellectually repugnant.
There is no consensual sexual intercourse between an adult and a child of 13.
Polanski is a pedophile rapist.
The statute of limitations hasn't run out, since he ran out.
This type of moral myopia, which must also have an intellectual disablement, you exhibit here is chilling.
You should be fired; you already are disgraced.
And remember, you ain't comforting the afflicted, here. You are cozying up to one of your compadres, part of the jet set.
You demonstrate the bizarre way national journalists can get so out of touch with regular people that you actually DEFEND your moral and intellectual obtuseness.
Go away. Far, far away. Don't ever write another thing on this planet.

Posted by: nodakboy | September 29, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Aside from all the arguments for Applebaum being insane, let us ask this very simple question:

Why would she call the arrest "outrageous" if it weren't for propaganda? You can question the arrest (if you are a
pedophilo-phile) but to judge it as outrageous is outrageous!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

new terminology courtesy of Peace:

Judeo-Pedo-Philo-Phile

Judeopedophilophile!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Applebong supports a Judeopedophile!

She is a Judeopedophilophile

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This post is by Applebong's co-Judeopedophile Joan Shore regarding Pedolanski"

"The judge in the 1977 statutory rape case is dead. Polanski had agreed at the time to a plea bargain, but then the judge reneged on it. Polanski has tried to appeal.

But there is more to this story. The 13-year old model "seduced" by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies. The girl was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday, which was the age of consent in California. (It's probably 13 by now!) Polanski was demonized by the press, convicted, and managed to flee, fearing a heavy sentence.
I met Polanski shortly after he fled America and was filming Tess in Normandy. I was working in the CBS News bureau in Paris, and I accompanied Mike Wallace for a Sixty Minutes interview with Polanski on the set. Mike thought he would be meeting the devil incarnate, but was utterly charmed by Roman's sobriety and intelligence.


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-z-shore/polanskis-arrest-shame-on_b_301134.html"


Applebong and Shore, "elite" Jews with no shame!


Polanksi is a victim of "antisemitism" I am sure!!!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 29, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if we take the "he's an artist" out of it, you can see just how flawed your judgment is.

Here's my real life story. My 11 year old daughter was raped by her father's brother. He also raped his own daughter.

His mother died that year and his wife divorced him.

He went into hiding after has finally resurfaced and has liver cancer and will probably die within the next few years. My daughter is now 33, her uncle is near the end of his lifespan.

If I get you right, he's gone through enough and I should probably just leave him alone, right? NO CHANCE.

Pedophilia is pedophilia, no matter how long they hide. After 22 years, my daughter gets some type of closure and no matter how much his victim says she's over it, she'll be amazed when she actually really gets closure.

I suggest you stop beating the dead horse. It's really starting to stink.

Posted by: pook1 | September 29, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I can understand adult on adult crime but adult on child crime I just cannot wrap my head around. Regardless of the mother's complicity, a 13 year old trusts and/or fears adults by nature. If the standard for adult action were to take advantage when you can, our daycare centers would be full of horribly maltreated children. The idea that this guy should get a free ticket is so repugnant it’s almost laughable.

And if we follow this logic to around a bit, we come to a scary conclusion. He’s one of the best directors of our time – so in order to have great works of art we have to let people molest children and (place other unspeakable acts here). What a load of crap. And yeah, living rich abroad is a real heartache. Sell that to some folks living under a bridge in Miami or in tents in Atlanta for sex crimes.

As a father, the only thing that would keep me from spitting on this guy if he were within 3 feet of me is the thought of my DNA possibly mingling with his. He deserves prison and if he ever gets out it will be a disgrace to our justice system.

Posted by: iphitis | September 29, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

As a mother of a daughter, I can not fathom what Ms. Applebaum is thinking. As a long time reader of the Washington Post, I can not fathom why her column was allowed. That the Post has not issued a retraction or any kind of statement, that they are standing behind a columnist who defends a rapist, makes me seriously re-think my loyalty as a reader. In this age when newspapers are struggling, I would suggest to editors that having a columnist who repeatedly defends a rapist is a poor business plan. This is the stuff that makes people, even those of us who have been reading WaPo for over a decade, want to cancel our subscription.

And to Ms. Applebaum, let me add my voice of disappointment and sadness that a woman could defend a man who took advantage of a powerless teenager. I pray that, if you have a daughter, that she never has to face such a monster. But I would hope that, if your daughter did have such an experience, you would feel grateful for a system that would not let him get away with it because he makes kickin' good films.

Posted by: hbenn99 | September 29, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

While I do not agree with eastlanders threat to never read the Washington Post again if Applebaum isn't fired, he is spot on with the suggestion to flood Fred Hiatt with our objection to Applebaum's blog posts. Note that we should not be objecting to her opinion--she is entitled to that--but to her deception in concealing her husband's interest in this matter and then trying to excuse it away. THAT is conduct that warrants dropping a columnist. I have already emailed him and told him that regardless of whether or not the Post retains Applebaum I will never read her column again. I will never know for certain if she is offering the analysis of a celebrated Yale graduate who is an expert on the former Soviet Union or is peddling the talking points of the Polish Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Email Hiatt, the Editorial Page Editor at:

hiattf@washpost.com

BTW, is @kelldor Applebaum's assumed ID or just another pedophile trolling here?

Posted by: hisroc | September 29, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

@hisroc:

I see no problem with emails that object to her opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the Post is not required to give everyone a forum.

The Post would not carry a columnist who denies the Holocaust, who insults a particular ethnic group, or who endorses violence against others. So why should they carry a columnist who tacitly endorses child rape?

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 29, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@OU, perhaps the point is:

She was (1) 13 years old (2) said no (3) only after several meetings (4) during several months (5) with Mom's supervision (6) Mom on the phone (7) all concerned drinking/drugging AND (8) later, per her recall, he's in jail (9) then he flees a judge reneged time served sentence (10) while mother/daughter collect 'undisclosed' thousands($millions?) from a civil settlement. (11) he's arrested again (12) it's thirty years later (13) he's 76 (14) etc.

Even up-to-date misogyny couldn't muddy those waters.

Posted by: kelldor | September 29, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old girl. Anne apparently is okay with that. The Post pays this woman?

Posted by: pathelms | September 29, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Ms Applebaum, might I suggest that you read articles you link to in the future?

Explained here: http://patterico.com/2009/09/28/anne-applebaum-i-had-absolutely-no-way-to-know-that-my-husband-was-helping-polanski-that-is-other-than-by-reading-a-story-which-i-myself-linked/

Posted by: Randinho | September 29, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum may be a lunatic but at least she's a useful one. She implies condemnation for Groversage for even suggesting her daughter be raped and yet a man who actually and admittingly DID drug and rape a child should be left alone.

And I think she misses a point Grovesage may be trying to make - he writes that he 'just loves raping little girls'. Well Roman Polanski himself (in a 1979 interview) said:

"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!

Maybe Groversage was just too nuanced.

Posted by: harkin1 | September 29, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

If you REALLY want to know how remorseful Polanski felt for having drugged and raped a 13 year-old, read this quote from a 1979 interview with novelist Martin Amis:

“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!”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaeldeacon/100011795/roman-polanski-everyone-else-fancies-little-girls-too/

It is amazing how far Applebaum willingly bends over for Polanski. Pity she wasn't around when he forced himself on a 13 year-old girl.

Posted by: sbroce | September 29, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder Anne if you are advanced enough person to forgive your husband molesting some girls on his trip to Africa. Please tell your audience and him in particular because, may be he is just not sure what you think about it...

Posted by: pigswithfigs | September 29, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

A 13 year old cannot give consent in any state in this union. There is none that allows it under the age of 16.

There are added penalties now for drugging the person. In the medical field, you cannot as an adult give consent to a procedure if you're under the influence, yet somehow this child who was barely a teen is supposed to be so clear and wise with a middle aged man?

Yeah. Sorry honey, but you need to turn in your feminism card. I thought that no meant no? Not if your a syncophantic fan of Polanski. Then it's whatever he says that it is. Or whatever they say it is?

Rape as a relative thing? Truly pathetic.

Posted by: Geepers1 | September 29, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

How convenient for you to choose only two rather egregious straw men out of the hundreds of reader comments as "worthy of reaction." Polanski's actions are indefensible, and by supporting Polanski you are inevitably condoning his actions. Who can take you seriously after this? As Barney Frank recently put it in another context, "On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

Posted by: Lutoslawski | September 29, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial."

That's a flat-out lie. No one has alleged any misconduct in the trial. Polanski pleaded guilty--voluntarily and knowingly. Some people have raised questions about the judge's conduct before sentencing, but since he never actually pronounced sentence, Polanski was not prejudiced in any way.

You ought to seriously review your defense of a child rapist. Your reputation--Pulitzer Prize and all--may not survive your bad judgment here.

Posted by: nomilk | September 30, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I was horrified that so many pundits here and in Europe were supporting Polansky. Your column shocked me to my shoes.

I have to say, to all the ordinary folks who posted here and elsewhere, it has comforted me to see decency so frequently and clearly expressed. Thank you!

Posted by: mminka | September 30, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I have cancelled my subscription to Washington Post after reading AA's deplorable apologia of a rapist. Freedom of the press is one thing, but an established newspaper should do a better job vetting their articles if they want to maintain a readership.

Posted by: RickElliott | September 30, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum --

Your previous article stated, "There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age." I don't know what evidence you have in mind, but Mr. Polanski in fact testified that he knew she was only 13 years old. I refer to p.14 of the transcript from his guilty plea:

MR. GUNSON: Do you understand that a legal defense to this crime of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse is that the perpetrator believed the female to be 18 years of age or older? Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

MR. GUNSON: On March 10th, 1977, the day you had sexual intercourse with the complaining witness, how old did you believe her to be?

(Pause in the proceedings while a discussion off the record ensued at counsel table between the defendant and his counsel.)

THE DEFENDANT: She was 13.

MR. GUNSON: Did you understand that she was 13 on March 10th, 1977, when you had sexual intercourse with her?

(Pause in the proceedings while a discussion off the record ensued at counsel table between the defendant and his counsel.)

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

There's nothing ambiguous about Mr. Polanski's testimony. He made these admissions under oath, in open court, with the advice and approval of his counsel.

Based on his testimony, isn't it undisputed that he knew her real age?

Posted by: firmspam | September 30, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

"I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi"

Anne Applebaum, 9/29/09

This is just unbelievable dishonesty on your part. There is nothing in the GJ testimony that refers to the victim "asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi". Do you just go merrily along, making up facts that you hope no one will check?

That you would stoop to lying about the content of a transcript shows how despicable you really are.

Posted by: sbroce | September 30, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

The age old questions: the relationship between morality and low... and, identification of the behaviour with the person... and, the bounderies between acceptable norms of sexual behaviour, the different perceptions between males and females, young and old etc...
No doubt, what Mr Polanski did on that day was deeply immoral and emotionally hurting to that 13 year old who Ms Geimer was at the time, given the power/vulnerability differences between the two. It was also unlawful at that particular time and space and those particular circumstances.
It was also irresponsible on the mother's part to pursue a career for her daughter that was not necessarily suitable for a 13 year old, especially doing so without considering the risks involved.
It should be clear to everyone who read enough about the case that Mr Polanski acknowledged his guilt and was ready to accept the consequances for his action. He did not run away from taking resposnibility for what he did.
He run away from being punish for what he did not do. Rumour says the judge was motivated by personal ambitions and vendetta and that he shared some antisemitic views. And Mr Polanski hapens to be born a jew, something he just happens to be. He did not choose to be anything but a human being and had been already punished "enough" for being something he just happend to be. And in that particular time and space he was vulnearable again to be immorally/unjustly/horribly wrongly being hated for what he had been (and whatever that meant to be in Judge Rittenband's value system), and being judged and punished for that again.
Whoever is pursuing "justis" in this case today, proves lack of moral judgement. By following the law blindly, they achieve nothing but hurting and damaging people who are around Ms Geimer and Mr Polanski: their families and friends and their relationships with them. (I believe Mr Polanski's children are about the age of or younger than Ms Geimer was at the time...?)
Is this level of immorality and irrisponsibility the accaptable standard of the American legal system?



Posted by: mark6499 | September 30, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Sbroce is dead right about the grand jury transcript having no mention of the girl asking for permission.

The victim has been given champage and part of a qualude at this point in the evening but not been approached sexually by Polanski. No reason is given for the call home, but it appears that the girl is checking up with Mom or possibly Polanski has decided that the hot tub will delay her being returned. The mom asks if the daughter is alright and offers to pick her up. The victim says no.

I'm not sure how this particular section supports Applebaum's view of the matter. It does not seem to complicate what happened. If anything it highlights that the child was in the care of Polanski and that no one expected Polanski to try to have sex with the girl.

In any case, read the transcipt. Take the weakest view of the matter: Polanski gave a 13 year old champage and a qualude and had sex with her, even though she tried to evade him at several points. That cries out for some kind of punishment, no matter if you call it rape or not.

If take a stronger view of the case, the victim's view, it was rape of a child.

Posted by: notfromDC | September 30, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, people know that Polansky's ".. despicable behavior has been a life-long habit."

Yet often sick behavior cuts both ways. Maybe a non-virgin 13 year-old only posed for a second photo session, but what mother wouldn't know that saying "yes" to her daughter's "asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi" was more sex than innocence?

Within days, lawyers were on the case and a huge settlement for her daughter was in the works.

Perhaps, maybe - after Vietnam, oil wars, weapons of mass distruction, and other lies - stampedeing to 'black and white' answers isn't always the best solution.

At least one might wonder where all the outraged voices were for the past thirty years.

Posted by: kelldor | September 30, 2009 2:08 AM | Report abuse

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0302/24/lkl.00.html

Kelldor, Have a look at the transcript above. The mom thought the daughter had gone with a friend the second trip withi Polanski.

Applebaum had inferred something that isn't referenced in the transcript she says to look at: there is no asking for permission in the phone call. Also, the child got in the hot tub under auspices of having pictures taken. Polanski came out of a bathroom naked and got in. All this was after the phone call.

Check out the cnn transcipt from Larry King. The real burden in this case, from the victim's point of view, was the media circus. She supported Polanski's plea bargain in order to avoid the ordeal of a trial. The judge backed away from this agreement and screwed everyone over.

Still, Polanski is the guy who has the power to bring closure to the victim by returning for sentencing. He is doing so but unwillingly.

Posted by: notfromDC | September 30, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Nice logic, Kelldor. She wasn't a virgin, so she had an anal raping coming to her. Are you a virgin Kelldor? If not, I suggest you go trying being forcefully buggered a few times, just to prove you stand by your support of rape.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 3:23 AM | Report abuse

the only question Polanski should be allowed to be answering now is (1) the chamber or (2) sparky. Your husband is embarassing himself and his whole country just like Kouchner and Mitterand have embarassed (again) France. Still, maybe he should learn about the topic - since I foresee in the future, Vladimir will be a Polanski to your hubbie's Geimer. But Vladimir will not hand out roofies - he don't need to.

Posted by: jebb2 | September 30, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Having read through these comments, I'm beginning to think that Kelldor is actually Anne's pedophile assisting husband. I wonder if they're running some kind of sex ring in which they sell little girls to be raped by the rich and famous.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

anyone think that applebaum is just pissed b/c (1) she's too old for Polanski now - she missed her window of opportunity; and (2) the Solzhenytsin estate is threatening to sue for copyright infringement?

Posted by: jebb2 | September 30, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

"However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa."


Hungarian and African kids: run away! run away!

Posted by: jebb2 | September 30, 2009 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Something is wrong in a world where the only French voices of reason are LePen and Cohen-Bendit.

Posted by: jebb2 | September 30, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Anne, you have to look at it that way. If you could nuance yourself, after you or your daughter was lured, drugged, and raped, then more power to you. And yes, by claiming that justice should not be served, you are defending child rape. If it applies to him, it should apply to all the rapists. Justice is blind, right?

The 13 year old was asking for it, right?

Posted by: thelaw1 | September 30, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

This blog post of yours dug the hole deeper, care to keep digging?

Posted by: thelaw1 | September 30, 2009 6:40 AM | Report abuse

If it had been 8 paragraphs would that have made it better? If it was 2 shorter, would that have been better?
Defending a rapist is defending a rapist, just because the guy is famous and a lefty, does that make raping a child nuanced?

All of you defending her and Polanski, you HAVE to ask the question, would you feel the same if your daughter was raped?

Posted by: thelaw1 | September 30, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, I can honestly say that I will never read another of Applebaum's columns again. The Washington Post needs to seriously consider her value to their paper. I would not be upset if she was let go.

Posted by: draco550 | September 30, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

I also find it amusing that she wrote that she received "unexpected" comments to her original column. This confirms that Applebaum is out of touch with reality.

Posted by: draco550 | September 30, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

For those disgusted with the Posts editorial support of raping children, I refer you to the following link of an editorial board composed of decent human beings.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/opinion/30wed4.html

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting that Ms. Applebaum would direct readers to the transcripts as they do more to damage her original argument. Several times does the victim say that she said "No" and told Polanski to stop and take her home. Whether she was 13, 18 or 100, this is the definition of a rape. No amount of past suffering on the part of the man denies a woman her right to say no; no amount of talent and abilities that the man possesses denies a woman's right to say no, and any woman who would defend such an action is a traitor to her gender. Polanski committed a crime and should have suffered the consequences for that. Just because he refused to do so for 30 years, does not change the facts of the case.
I have two very good friends who have been victims of rape and in support of them, I will never give another dime to the Washington Post.

Posted by: dlynn508 | September 30, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

This blog post of yours dug the hole deeper, care to keep digging?

Posted by: thelaw1

I think she's eschewed manual labour in favour of dropping in a stick of dynamite and going directly for bedrock. Manual labour (i.e., reading the transcript of the trial first)? Are you kidding?

Posted by: Skowronek | September 30, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

As a Jew, I find Polanski to be rapist. That is what he is. Blaming the victim as Ms. Applebaum does in the previous article and the above craptastic article, is why more woman do not report rape. That is what Polanski did to a 13 year old girl. HE RAPED HER! Yes, he is an artist, he makes engaging films.So what! He is still and will always be a rapist. The victim said NO. Do you understand and comprehend the English language, Ms. Applebaum?? Read through the links you gave (to demonize the victim more) SHE SAID NO. The space you have wasted would have been better filled not defending a man who raped a 13 year old girl, but discussing rape. How a women choose not to report it, because more powerful men have the ability to twist their depraved acts into something else. That is what Polinski has done all these years. He is the victim he cries, and all of the insipid herd (such as yourself) fall be hind him, supporting a child rapist. He can be forgiven all things, because he is an artiste. While your friends and you MOOO your support of this rapist, women and young girls are watching this unfold. People like you are saying that she deserved it, she was a Lolita, he is/was troubled and she wanted a part in a film, she should have known better. SHE WAS 13 AND SHE SAID NO. No matter the age- no means no. He should have known better, and it speaks poorly of the Post and Europe that they defend a rapist who sodomized a 13 year old girl (I like my sex freaky, but even I do not have anal sex).Of course, what do I know I am just an American who does not understand great sex, because only Europeans have the ability to open themselves up. So The Hollywood elite, the EuroTrash, and you Ms. I heart rapists, should just forgive us (Americans) for not understanding why a rapist should be free.

Ms. Applebaum and the trash like her,that defend rapists like Polanski, are why women are raped daily, taken as sex slaves, face sexual harassment and are looked upon as objects. Thank You for helping your gender to remain an object of violence from sick men like Polanski. Powerful,rich,talented men should not be given a carte blanche to do whatever they like.

Posted by: whiskers2 | September 30, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

You, Ma'am, are a joke.

Posted by: mcsquared65 | September 30, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Good points dlynn508. I wonder how Anne would respond if a gang of men walked up to her on the street and demanded that she let them rape her on the grounds that they've had hard lives. Seeing how sick Applebaum is, I'm guessing she would say only a little girl should be forced to suffer such a fate.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Anne? Nothing?

Posted by: boolean_radley | September 30, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

OK, so now I get it. If you agree to sexy pictures in a jacuzzi, and you are not a virgin, that makes it OK that you get drugged and raped. Oh, yeah, that's a whole different story.

Did all of defending the creep lose your minds about this or have you always been whacked.

If you plead guilty to a crime, then you will be sentenced, if you flee before sentencing, you are a fugitive. There is no statue of limitations then. All of you ding-alings who think there will be a trial to drag the victim through are wrong. She does not have to participate at all. That phase has been done.

Why, again, are you defending a rapist?

Posted by: thelaw1 | September 30, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

For all of those who would defend/ 'excuse' this Predatory Monster, commonly referred to as Roman Polanski, you should view the following -- Roman "Child Rapist" Polanski's LIFE-LONG preference for for prepubescent girls
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=17027
"...he has been a law-abiding, outstanding citizen of the world ever since the rape..."
YOU POLANSKI APOLOGIST MAKE ME PUKE!!! THIS ANIMAL IS A HABITUAL CHILD PREDATOR!!!!! Lock his ass up and give all of us concerning parents a key, so we might help him 'see' the errors of his ways.

Posted by: d2009 | September 30, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Applebaum, you are a deplorable human being. The girl was underage and did no consent. For all sane and rational people, this is enough for them to condemn Polanski. What is your problem, exactly? Drugging, raping, and sodomizing aren't enough? What would that monster have needed to do before you would condemn him?

If you do have daughters, please don't let them see this very ugly side of you. Children view their parents as protectors, but when those protectors are more interested in protecting the child rapist than defending the child, it can really shatter the child's image.

Shame on you.

Posted by: ynot4tony2 | September 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. First of all the transcript does not indicate the child’s mother gave permission for her to be photographed in the nude, in the jacuzzi. And if her mother gave such permission, so what? How does that change the child’s testimony that she repeatedly told the old pervert “NO”, and repeatedly asked him to take her home? How does the mother’s alleged permission (which I think exists only in the imagination of Ms. Applebaum) negate the laws of consent? So if your mother gives the old pervert permission to take a picture in a jacuzzi, it’s okay for an old man to rape a child? I don’t know what world Ms. Applebaum lives in, but I hope it’s not one any daughter or granddaughter of mine ever has to live in. What happened to No means NO?

Posted by: mbs235 | September 30, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Offensive? To whom? Surely not offensive to you. You are a person who can rationalize the rape of a child as no big deal. So how could you be offended by the mere mention of your husband's job of defending the rapist. The WaPo needs to distance itself from people such as you.

Posted by: d1carter | September 30, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Applebomb (sic): He seems to believe that if you look for any nuances at all in this extremely weird, thirty-plus-year legal saga (and in my four paragraphs there was only space to mention a few of them) you are not only defending rape, you deserve to be raped. Or your daughter does.
________

SOUND JUST TO ME. JUST SAYIN"....

Posted by: moonchild64 | September 30, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Roman Polanski had unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Her consent, even assuming she did consent, which is contradicted by her grand jury testimony, is not relevant.

Her mother's bad decisions are not relevant.

Mr. Polanski's wife's death or his Holocaust experiences are not relevant.

The quality of his films is not relevant.

The victim's forgiveness as an adult and her receipt of a settlement from Polanski are not relevant.

Let me repeat: Roman Polanski had unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

This is a CRIME. He admitted to a crime and then fled from the country when the judge indicated that he would decline to accept a plea bargain.

Polanski must return to California and pay the price for his crime. Another judge can re-sentence him if there actually was judicial misconduct (nobody has alleged any misconduct regarding the trial and plea bargain).

End of debate.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 30, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Keep typing Anne and keep talking Whoopi, as I can actually FEEL Liberalism swirling down the toilet where it belongs..... 8-)

Posted by: moonchild64 | September 30, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Wait...The little girl ASKED her mother if she could go to Jack Nicholson's house? Ohhhhh....well in that case she deserved to be drugged and forcibly raped and sodomized (according to the transcript you cite) despite her protestations and pleading for him to stop and take her home.

Wow Anne. Blame the victim....... Just. Wow.

(BTW--This is not a position you are EVER going to be able to walk away from Anne. Thank God for the internet!)

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Wait...Is this like James Bond having a "License to Kill?"

Is permission to rape little girls something granted to Polanski under his Artistic License?

I'm just your average Joe-Schmo so I don't have an Artistic License (or a Journalistic License for that matter) and don't understand how they work. Apparently your journalism license allows you to write "fact-challenged" diatribes and blame rape victims in support of your friends.

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse


Ms. Applebaum approves of vaginal and anal rape of a 13-year-old girls.

Does the Washington Post leadership also approve of vaginal and anal rape of a 13-year-old girls.

Posted by: freeaccess1 | September 30, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Anne,

It's refreshing to know that someone of your sophistication and intelligence is willing to stand up for Roman Polanski. Perhaps we can use some of your persuasive arguments in Phillip Garrido's case. I mean, apparently the 11 year-old girl and her parents WANTED her to be abducted and kept as a sex slave for 18 years. So he was just accomodating her, right?.... Right, Ann? ... chirp, chirp... chirp.

Posted by: MLCM | September 30, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum, it is quite apparent that you are being intentionally obtuse regarding Polanski's admitted guilt. Additionally, for you to assume that a young girl at age 13, regardless of contact with her mother or any other adult prior to the ultimate rape incident, has even the smallest degree of culpability, is beyond the pale.

If that poor child had willing submitted to that monster's sexual demands, there might have been some question as to her mother's offense of raising the child improperly. As it is, Polanski could not have his way with her without first drugging her. That alone takes away any gray areas or hints of culpability. He was and is a sexual predator, who destroyed a young girl's life.

For you to find excuses for what he did by force tells me all I need to know about your personal lack of integrity, and lack of empathy for all young girls who have fallen victim to adult male sexual predators. You, like they, are the basest form of despicable human being, IMNSHO.

Posted by: KendraWilder | September 30, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Anne, I suppose you also are quite happy with Obama's "safe schools czar" who covered up the sexual molestation of a teenage-boy by an older man. Are you a paying member of NMBLA or just a fan?

Anne Applebaum, supporter of sexual exploitation of children! Go Anne! Go Anne. Maybe you can open an ACORN office. You seem to have the right ethics for it.

Posted by: MLCM | September 30, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It always comes to this...regardless of the cover they hide behind, sometimes for years, sooner or later, LEFTIST sooner or later will reveal themselves to be the ugly degenerate mentally defectives which they have to be in order to believe in the nonsense which they believe.

And this week, Washington Post readers get a picture of the "real" Ms. Applebaum behind the mask for all her cancerous vileness. There simply is NO anyway for normal people to understand the mental illness which is Leftism as displayed by Ms. Applebaum and her co-horts.

So what value does this society place on the opinion of a woman who attempts to lay the blame on a 13 YEAR OLD GIRL for being sexually abused by a 40 YEAR OLD MAN simply because he is a like-minded leftist?

That's right, Polanski wasn't some 19 year old boy he was a 40 year old POS who gave LIQUOR and DRUGS to a 13 year old girl and then abused her sexually when he was supposedly taking "pictures" of her for Vogue? And just for kickers, this wasn't the only time, Polanski was outed preying on a teenage girl. Wonder how many more unlucky young girls this degenerate pedophile has abused during his years while running from justice? Will we ever know?

Leftists like Ms. Applebaum are the scum of the earth.

Posted by: LogicalSC | September 30, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

if that degenerate creep Polanski pulled that with my daughter I would have personally gassed that pervert in my own kitchen oven...

Posted by: copocabana | September 30, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ann,

I think you must have misread that part of the testimony. You see, she was asking permission to have her picture taken, not to be drugged and then anally raped.

I can see where you might have conflated the two. Please be a dear and try again.

Signed,

Mister Ristem

Posted by: MisterRestim | September 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Applebaum, I bought your most recent book and thought it was OK. I've read your stuff over the years and thought it was OK. But I've lost all respect for you. You should be trying to get ahead of the scandal you've brought upon yourself, and you're not. You're clueless on this.

Posted by: littlebeartoe | September 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Anne,

Since you can't seem to convince anybody with your twisted and morally-depraved logic, maybe you should switch the 20-year old picture of you on this website with the current and quite scary picture of you that Hot Air is using.

That way maybe you can scare people into agreeing with you.

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I guess the victim was right to have supported a slap on the wrist plea bargain for her rapist to avoid the publicity of a trial. She apparently knew what I would never have guessed--that the press, including "luminaries" like Applebaum, would trash her to protect the rapists.

Posted by: sbroce | September 30, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=17027

Please take time to read this regarding Polanski.

Also, this is NOT a Left/Right matter, or a red state/blue state...it is simply those of us regardless of our political leanings, wanting this Monster aka "I'll watch the kids" Polanski, to spend the remaining years of his pathetic life behind bars, and those who want their buddy to go free, because he is really a great guy --- and because, "it was only JUST a little ol' rape that happened ages ago!" Our outrage against Polanski and his Apologists, transcends any one person's party affiliations!!

Posted by: d2009 | September 30, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I thought our society dumped the "blame the victim" defense back in the '80s, yet Ms. Applebaum appears to employ that defense at the end of this post. Is that because the rape at issue occurred in the '70s?

Posted by: gbrubaker | September 30, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

For those horrified by Applebaum's defense of child rape, send complaints to:

Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt hiattf@washpost.com

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum--

There is no doubt in my mind that, had Polanski been (say) a conservative political figure, you and your fellow bien-pensants would be shrieking for his speedy extradition and slow flaying.

Allow me to remind you that, whatever you may think of the victim (and whatever she may now think), it is illegal in this country for an adult to drug, rape and sodomize a child. If that troubles you, consult your elected representatives (and stay clear of my children).

I have seen and heard much of liberal hypocrisy, and had even thought myself quite jaded on the subject. Frankly, I must confess that the unprincipled and thoroughly debased reactions of you and your ilk to Polanski's long-overdue arrest have astonished me.

Posted by: morganfrost | September 30, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Is your middle name Massengil?

By trying to defend this indefensible scum, you have turned yourself into scum as well. Enjoy your self-inflicted beclowning, idiot. FOAD.

Posted by: neversaylie | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Up until this series of posts, I regarded you as one of the sanest columnists at the Post. I've been reading and admiring your columns since the days when you worked for the Telegraph.

What has happened to you? You have completely lost your judgment. Completely. I will never take seriously anything you write again. And that's a shame.

Posted by: mgvita8035 | September 30, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The "blame the victim" mentality expressed in your latest post when that victim was a defenseless 13-year old girl is quite possibly one of the most contemptible things I've ever read in a mainstream news source. There's nothing in the transcript which exonerates Polanski in any way or places the blame on the girl.

Simply despicable.

Posted by: rsrobinson1 | September 30, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Nowhere in this transcript is this “permission” to get photographed in a jacuzzi mentioned. But let’s say for a moment that it did, and that the mother said that it was OK to get in the jacuzzi to snap some photos. Does Applebaum believe that it amounted to permission to sexually abuse a 13-year-old girl, and that such an agreement somehow trumps the girl’s repeated demands that Polanski stop attacking her? And this doesn’t even begin to address the fact that Polanski drugged the victim first to make her more compliant.

Applebaum crosses the line into some despicable territory here. She argues that once someone gets into a jacuzzi, regardless of their protestations and their refusals, that a girl is fair game for a rapist no matter what her age. "No" no longer means "no" if the shameless hussy leads on the poor, victimized male.

Posted by: neversaylie | September 30, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh Ann, even the suggestion of your losing employment simply due to your noble defense of pedophilia is almost as appalling as knowing that a fugitive child rapist was unable to personally accept an Oscar from his slavering peers. Clearly man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds. Should the worst come to pass, however, please know that ACORN would be thrilled to have you as their press representative. Your elegant application of nuance in explaining indecency to the masses would make you indispensable to that organization.

Posted by: krbbrk | September 30, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

You don't seem to realize the damage you have done to your reputation and the respect of readers to your judgment. Your taking faux offense to comments is not helping.

Your silly excuses for child rape was bad enough, buy you also have failed to address Mr. Polanski's other felony -- violating his bail and felony flight.

Posted by: Delongl | September 30, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Anne Applebaum. Apologist for anal rapist of little girls.

Anne Applebaum. Moral criminal.

Posted by: pabarge | September 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I usually agree with your posts Ann, but this time I must say that I am surprised by your take on the Polanski arrest. There is no nuance in this case. All nuance was removed from this case when Polanski pleaded to the single charge of “unlawful sex with a minor”. At that point nuance when out the window. She could have been the seducer who brought the drugs and alcohol with her and he would still be guilty of this crime (and no one believes that is the way that it happened). He pleaded to the best possible scenario.

The undisputed facts of this case are that he gave alcohol and drugs to a 13 year old (a 7th grader) and then had sex with her. It would be more nuanced if he had been convicted of a “he said/ she said” rape charge. There is no nuance in the fact that the judge may have rejected the plea deal that was on the table. Judges have that discretion. We have the hind sight of 30 year to say that he has never been accused of a similar incident (despite pushing 50 and dating a 15 year old [ninth grader] Nastassja Kinski). This judge had this case dropped on his desk with the undisputed facts listed above and a deal between a lawyer, a prosecutor and a distraught family that allowed Polanski to walk after a 42 day psychiatric evaluation. The judge did not have the benefit of hindsight to guide him and he may have thought that this guy was a rich and powerful sexual predator who would only be encouraged by this light sentence.

Bottom line, he admitted to having sex with a 13 year old girl. We have junior high school teachers, both male and female, serving hard time in prison right now for the same offense. In many of those cases the sexual contact was demonstrably consensual. Why does the fact that Polanski was able to avoid justice for 30 years make justice in this case any less desirable? If he had paid for his actions 30 years ago this would indeed be ancient history and he would have been able to pick up the pieces of his life and move on.

For 30 years the only people who have had to “really” cope with this crime were the victim and her family. And I do not blame her for wanting this all to go away, but she was not the only victim 30 years ago. The state of California, society in general (clearly highlighted as his apologists contort themselves to explain why he deserves a pass) and ultimately justice itself were also his victims. He has run a 30 year tab at the expense of justice and now the bill has come due. I don’t mind people having sympathy for him, but I do mind people making excuses for his criminal and morally reprehensible behavior.

Posted by: sjposton | September 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

You are disgusting.

Posted by: VibrioCocci | September 30, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Can we PLEASE stop making this a left/right issue? I'm a Leftist, liberal or any other "L" word you want to throw my way, and I think this man should rot in prison, where he will truly come to understand the meaning of the word "rape." One's political leanings have no effect on how you view this case. Thinking that a person's creative talents affords him the right to violate another human being and flee prosecution does not come from political philosophy, it comes from being an idiot.

Posted by: dlynn508 | September 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Can we PLEASE stop making this a left/right issue? I'm a Leftist, liberal or any other "L" word you want to throw my way, and I think this man should rot in prison, where he will truly come to understand the meaning of the word "rape." One's political leanings have no effect on how you view this case. Thinking that a person's creative talents affords him the right to violate another human being and flee prosecution does not come from political philosophy, it comes from being an idiot.

Posted by: dlynn508 | September 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa."

Really? You had "no idea", huh? Is that why, in the original comPost story to which you linked in your column, this was mentioned?

-----------------------------------------
"I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency, which would settle the matter once and for all," said Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, according to the PAP news agency.
-----------------------------------------

In other words, YOU linked to a story that mentioned your hubby's role, but you want us to believe that that you DIDN'T KNOW? What, did you NOT read the story to which you linked? Do you routinely reference sources that you don't ACTUALLY read?

Then again, considering you linked to the Polanski case transcripts and told us that the transcripts mentioned something that they clearly do NOT mention, I can certainly believe that attention to details isn't exactly your forte, madam. So which is it: you were lying about not knowing Hubby was involved, or you were sloppy and didn't pay attention to the details of your referencing story? Either way, that's pretty embarrassing, no?

Just say it, Toots: It's totally cool to drug and sodomize a 13-year-old girl if the perp in question was responsible for that cinematic masterpiece known as "Rosemary's Baby"...right?

Posted by: neversaylie | September 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I have lost ALL respect for you. I can hardly believe that you wrote what you did. I'm sitting here shaking my head.

Posted by: Maggie45 | September 30, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

when I was in journalism school about 10 years ago a professor assigned a book titled "virgin or vamp" that was about how the press covered high-profile sex crimes. basically, the book made the point that most press coverage described a woman was either a "virgin" -- a true victim -- or a "vamp" -- someone who asked for it through her dress/actions, etc.

The prof assigned to book to make the point that we shouldn't fall into such a trap and rely on such characterizations, as such cases are not black and white and do a disservice to the victim either way. Looks like the press is still relying on this either/or characterization.

it's odd, however, that the "vamp" description is being applied to a child. that's a first. I can see it now, that 13-year-old and her siren song seduced him. right. everyone deserves a defense, but Polanski's supporters are really coming off as delusional

Posted by: NoVAHockey | September 30, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Can we PLEASE stop making this a left/right issue? I'm a Leftist, liberal or any other "L" word you want to throw my way, and I think this man should rot in prison, where he will truly come to understand the meaning of the word "rape." One's political leanings have no effect on how you view this case. Thinking that a person's creative talents affords him the right to violate another human being and flee prosecution does not come from political philosophy, it comes from being an idiot.

Posted by: dlynn508

Nicely phrased dlynn508.

If a Nobel-prize winner can spend time in jail for what he did (Dr. Daniel Gajdusek), I don't see why Polanski can't do it too.

Gajdusek's contributions to the world of medicine and research are FAR more important than Polanksi's art. I enjoy the films, but the man is no hero. Reading that testimony is like reading a how-to manual by other pedophiles/pederasts.

As for those who are going on and on and on about "the times", well, sh t, is that a defense? "All the other directors were drugging and raping young wannabe stars (either gender), so why shouldn't I?" And its corollary, "Well, I shouldn't have to be punished FURTHER, I'm gonna run away! Nyah-nyah-nyah."

Spare us.

Posted by: Skowronek | September 30, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I garner from reading about the conversation with the mother is that I would have liked to see the mother go to jail as well. The betrayal of her daughter's well-being and safety is heartbreaking.

Applebaum's position on this issue is as foul and indefensible as the crime itself.

Throw the book at Polanski.

Posted by: restons | September 30, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Ace of Spade...

Forget the crimes against humanity that Polanski committed and confessed to....His arrest in Switzerland is a crime against the Humanities!

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Lady, you are 11 kinds of crazy if you cannot see that:

1. there was a CRIME committed by an adult on a child - the crime called RAPE - done by drugging the child and then forcing himself on her against her wishes

2. that it is IRRELEVANT that they called her mother before the crime took place.

3. that he was TRIED and pled GUILTY to the crime, then FLED the country as a WANTED CRIMINAL before he was incarcerated for his crime.

These are fact, whether anyone wants to recognize them or not. And now that he has been captured, I hope he is sentenced and incarcerated for a few years...AND is added to the list of sexual offenders.

Posted by: ChiefPayne | September 30, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I left the "e" off your name Anne. I really do read your blog.

Posted by: sjposton | September 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

There is a problem with every single comment posted so far. Mr. Polanski did serve time decided by judge/law. He escape only after he learned that corrupted judge dishonored the plea that was demanded. The victim layers and persecutor welcomed the punishment. Hence, Polanski did not escape the punishment but the corrupted judge. It will be virtually impossible to reopen the case because there is so much to be explained. One more thought, Polanski did not hide so why one time felon would be so desire, if after his return there is nothing to be done. Just a thought.

Posted by: marcindec | September 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Anne, now you are just flat-out lying.

NOWHERE IN THE TRANSCRIPT DESCRIBING HER PHONE CONVERSATION WITH HER MOTHER IS THERE ANY MENTION OF THE JACUZZI.

This lie is on a par with your claim not to know your husband was advocating on behalf of Polanski, while linking to an article which mentioned that he was in fact doing so. Do you think we can't read?

Your new blame-the-victim tack is disgusting and should be grounds for your immediate termination. THE VICTIM WAS ONLY 13!!!!!

Have you read what the shameless little creep said in an interview with Martin Amis a year after the rape?

“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!”
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaeldeacon/100011795/roman-polanski-everyone-else-fancies-little-girls-too/

You should be fired at once.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be great if a famous person raped your 13 yr old daughter after drugging her. I bet you would throw a party every yr as an anniversary reminder!
Gosh, you would be the proudest mom on the block I bet. After all, she would most definitely deserve the rape for being there in the first place.
So, do you think the girls mom and the little girl OKed the little girl to be raped AND sodomized? Did they have a conversation detailing that a 40 yr old man was going to get her drunk on champagne and then a bit of drugging before getting his jollies off by raping the 13 yr old?? Funny, I don't remember the transcripts detailing the conversation of drugging so the old man could get the little girl easier without a struggle. It did not even mention the jacuzzi. Did you dream that part up? I wonder WHY Polanski needed to Drug the little girl before penetrating her and Sodomizing her? Hmmm, Is that consensual sex to liberals now??
Interesting values and beliefs you have about under age sex. 40 yr old on a 13 yr old. Funny how you can justify anything when you like the older guy doing the raping. Must be your value system. Some Liberals seem to have pretty f@@ked up values. Salacious you say?? Just what are YOU thinking? Are you turned on by the thought??

Posted by: moniqueO | September 30, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

A:"I said that I wanted to go home."
Q:"What did Mr. Polasky say?"
A:"He told me to go in the other room and lie down."
--------
Q: "What were you afraid of?"
A: "Him."
--------
A: "He sat down beside me and asked me if I was okay."
Q: "What did you say, if anything?"
A: I said, "No."
Q: "What did he say?"
A: "He goes, you'll be better. And I go, "No, I won't. I have to go home."
--------

This is a little while after giving the 13 year old a Quaalude and champagne. And just before he rapes and sodomizes her while she repeatedly asks him to stop.

Most people, myself included, think Roman Polansky is a great artist. I had never read the transcripts until today. I am utterly outraged in your defense of him.

You need to do some deep introspection into how you've become a defender of an obvious predator.

Posted by: MattinChicago | September 30, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Wait, she called her mother first?

Then, when asked if she wanted sex, said no. Then, when sex was initiated... said no. Then, when sex continued, struggled, and said no.

Well then clearly it was ok. I mean she called her mom before she said no and was raped anyhow.

Is this the new rule Anne? Have feminists given up on "no means no" and now gone with the "saying no doesn't matter, just have at it"?

I have to say, I'm not sure I approve of this change.

Posted by: gekkobear1 | September 30, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to imagine Applebaum's Utopian state: no one has to show up for prison sentences, little children can be drugged and raped for fun and journalists can cite as evidence articles that completely disagree with their view. It's pretty much an Alice in Wonderland world. Many things are the opposite of the way they should be and pedophiles run the whole show.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@marcindec -- I'm afraid it's you who's mistaken. Polanski did not serve time. While there is evidence of prosecutorial interference, the fact remains the in any plea deal -- for any defendant , not just Polanski -- the judge has the right and the duty to approve or disapproved a deal.

If there WAS interference, that was something Polanski's lawyers had every right to have argued in the matter. However, Polanski didn't give them the chance because he jumped bail and fled the country.

The case doesn't need to be reopened because it has never been closed. There is little to be explained as the fact remain the same: Polanski sodomized a child who says she said no to him and he didn't dispute that. (though he did try to excuse it away with the classic blame the victim excuse, something his supporters continue to cling to)

His lawyers can now make all the prosecutorial interference arguments they choose to. The courts will hear them. The case will proceed as it should have before Polanski decided he was above the law.

If you want to educate yourself, there is an excellent rundown on this Newsweek blog:

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/09/29/roman-polanski-raped-a-child-a-primer.aspx
.

Posted by: majorangstgirl | September 30, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It is perverted to support Polanski.

Absolutely disgusting. You have to be totally warped to even think of backing Polanski.

Disclosure is disclosure, and Applebaum failed.

Posted by: drjohn3 | September 30, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Anne, Merriam Webster Dictionary defines "salacious" as follows:

1 : arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination : lascivious
2 : lecherous, lustful

As a professional writer, you presumably choose your words carefully. Do you really find a description of the oral, vaginal and anal rape of a thirteen year-old child to be "arousing"? Get help.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@marcindec:

The judge was under no obligation to abide by the plea agreement. And there are no allegations that the judge was corrupt.

In fact, any decent judge WOULD ignore a plea agreement that allows a child rapist to walk free after 42 days in jail.

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 30, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

marcindec = another out of the closet pedophile.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh my God. Just came across the girls on The View talking about it off YouTube. In the now immortal words of the moral philosopher Whoopi Goldberg:

"But it wasn't rape-rape."

You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: MattinChicago | September 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

MattinChicago,

yeah, it was actually "RAPE! RAPE!"

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Just another voice that finds defense of a child rapist indefensible. One can only hope that this point, when leading media figures and politicians "debate" whether or not a convicted rapist should be held accountable for his crime, marks some sort of turning point. Unfortunately, the author seems like one of those people whose is so addicted to their own detached intellectualizing ("nuances"), they've lost touch with basic humane principles.

Posted by: Jon44 | September 30, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa."

Seriously? So you can't talk to your husband when you're in Hungary and he's in Africa? You really expect us to believe that?

I doubt it has anything to do with your op-ed, and it probably isn't a big deal, but your explanation is asinine. Either way, you should disclose any relationship that even gives the appearance of impropriety. What a joke

Posted by: hellno | September 30, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Kind of funny. The rules for posting comments state that a person cannot post the following content (among other things):

# contains or advocates illegal or violent acts
# contains advertising or solicitation of any kind
# impersonates others

It seems like Anne's original post violates the first listed term by advocating a fugitive's prolonged escape from the rule of law. And seeing that she's promoting her husband's jockeying for political clout in Poland (without disclosing this until being caught) she is in violation of the second. And lastly, she is in violation of the third by pretending to be a decent human being.

So why won't the Post delete her original comments? Does the post believe that advocating raping children and assisting fugitives are permissible illegal acts?

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Is there a better sign of our cultural decay than the fact that much of our cultural/artistic/intellectual elite wants to give Polanski a free pass for drugging and raping a little girl? Not only that, but they scorn our lack of "nuance" and "sophistication".

Has anyone noticed that the elite have nothing much to offer beyond hedonism and relativism? Polanski's movies are amusing diversions, but, like the man, there's no substance.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I just have to point out this other Post rule on posting. Seriously, this one needs no explanation.

# You certify that you are at least 13 years of age. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any content to us. If you are under the age of 18 but at least 13 years of age, you may submit content only with the permission of, and under the supervision of, a parent or legal guardian. If you are a parent or legal guardian agreeing to these rules for the benefit of an individual between the ages of 13 and 18, please be advised that you are fully responsible for his or her submissions and any legal liability that he or she may incur.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

And this one.

"If there are any individuals under the age of 18 in any photos, video, or other content that you submit, you must obtain the permission of each such individual's parent or legal guardian prior to submitting the content."

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

But in getting permission to rape a child, I guess the Washington Post would only require a quick phone call to a parent.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I am really shocked that AA would continue to dig herself deeper. The facts of this case are not particularly "nuanced" and the time that has elapsed between the commission of the rape, the plea bargain, and the criminal's flight from responsibility doesn't change the original situation at all. It is not now, and never has been, murky.

But more than that I am shocked and repulsed that the Washington Post continues to publish the work of this rape apologist, shilling for her husband and his friend the rapist. It is the very definition of immoral as well as being a kind of journalistic malpractice.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | September 30, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

You have indeed boiled down the argument to it's essentials.

That you would make an argument of "nuance" in the case of a raped child says all there is to say.

Posted by: catmman | September 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

BigDick, that is the funniest thing I've seen in a long, long time.

Posted by: MattinChicago | September 30, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I hate to sound racist here and I am sorry if it may offend anyone Jewish, and maybe I need help realizing where I am wrong with this, but:

Do we see a relationship between Applebaum and Polanski due to their religion? Applebaum does bring up "Holocaust" as a justification for Polanski's escape from the US. Do we seriously believe that Applebaum would have come out in defense of a Christian or Muslim or other Pedophile?

The reason this is important is because we have a subculture of elitism and exclusivity in the world that abuses the plight of Jews throughout history for material gain in the present moment. Is this an illusion? Is this an antisemitic "canard" that has afflicted me?

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Anne:

I met you six years ago at Princeton. We both spoke to the Amherst College for the group put together by the beloved Professor Arkes. I distinctly remember your eloquent talk on how the Soviet Union, unlike Nazi Germany, has not fully confronted, let alone repented of, the horrific atrocities it inflicted on its own citizens. And now, much to my surprise, I read what amounts to the Soviet problem writ small: an unwillingness on your part to confront evil and to call it by its real name. If, for example, parents had given permission for the Soviets to place their children in gulags, would that be adequate "nuance" to lower the moral judgment of treating children badly? Not at all, it would only mean that those cooperating with injustice is larger than we had supposed. In the case of Polanski, the fact that his victim's mother conspired with him to rape her daughter does not make the rape less evil. As a matter fact, it makes it more evil, since it means that the person with the obligation to care for that child gave her over to a rapist for his own personal pleasure.

Time, of course, is irrelevant, since Polanski is a fugitive now. Thus, it was his fleeing that made lifted this case's chronology.

Justice is timeless but is applied in time, and thus cannot be held hostage to the desires of rapists trying to flee its hand.

If time truly mattered, then Nazi war criminals should not be tried today. What they did happened much farther in the past than Polanski's acts.

Posted by: fbeckwith | September 30, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It is offensive indeed to suggest that you or your daughter deserves to be raped. However, it is also offensive to suggest that a 13-year old girl is somehow to blame for her own rape. If you do, in fact, read the transcripts you mention, you'll note that she never asks for permission to be photographed; even if she had, that would not excuse Polanski's actions. Let's remember - she was 13. He was old enough to be her father. Moreover, if you do read the "salacious" parts, you'll note that the victim attests to having been drugged and then repeatedly telling Polanski "no" - which he ignores. How is there any nuance or ambiguity in this case?

Posted by: sophia86 | September 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits."

I really didn't want to read the transcript, because I feel like a damned peeping Tom. But at your urging, Ms. Applebaum, I've read the whole thing. Now how is it anything but "a straightforward and simple criminal case"? Because that's all I see.

Other than making the victim an easier target, her age doesn't have much to do with it. If she'd been over the age of consent, the result would still be the same: she didn't want to have sex with him, and repeatedly told him so, but he forced himself on her anyway.

That's rape, and as aimai said, you're being an apologist for the rapist.

I hope your sorry ass gets fired from the Washington Post for this. Unfortunately, the people in charge of it have long since stopped being repulsed by any sort of moral monstrosity, from the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents in a war, to torturing people to death. I doubt they'll be bothered that one of their op-ed writers condones rape.

Posted by: rt42 | September 30, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Peaceful2009, I doubt Anne being Jewish has much, if anything, to do with her support of a child rapist. It's a liberal elite thing, which is a far more potent force than Judaism. Polanski is a pig, but he's their pig. His depravity is worse than theirs, but probably only by degrees.

Look at the movies they make and the moral nihilism they espouse. The morally transgressive is prized as cutting-edge and the morally responsible is ridiculed as backward. This is same way they look at Roman the Rapist's arrest. The only real sin in their world is to vote Republican.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, this is yet another addition to the long list of Washington Post writers who think the law doesn't apply to People Like Us - but should be administered harshly to anyone else.

Isn't that what David Broder basically said about Bill Clinton? "He came in and trashed the place, and it wasn't his place."

Sums up the Washington Village attitude rather succinctly! I've yet to hear an outcry about the previous administration and their war crimes.

Posted by: uberblonde1 | September 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Peaceful2009, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism. For the record, I'm a Jew and I hope Polanski (who practiced Catholocism before abandoning religion entirely) goes to jail, and I am thoroughly disgusted (see my post above) with Applebaum. And religion hadn't entered into my thought process on this until you brought it up. I suspect that most of the people agitating for Polanski's release are, like yourself, gentiles. I think I can draw my own conclusions about their views on child rape without having to resort to an analysis of their religious/ethnic background.

Posted by: morganfrost | September 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

people bring up the concept of "consent"

let us be clear. a 13 year old girl can NEVER consent to sex with a 44 years old man, NEVER!!

I think for any adult, from any religion, to suggest that there can be "implied" consent for sex in this case is beyond strange. We have managed to outlaw "questioning" of Holocaust in Europe. Can we also outlaw "suggesting" that sex between a 44 years old man and a 13 years old girl is absolutely and unequivocally wrong (regardless of whether the perptrator is Jewish or a contributor to Zionist cause)

emmet1, I understand your point but I think there is more to it. I know how bad it sounds to implicate an entire religion or people for the transgression of so few. But the few really give others a real bad name, especially when they are is such positions of power.

This is similar to associating Muslims with bad behavior. Yes, it doesn't apply to every Muslim, but when we don't hear their objections loud and clear, we start to think there may be an underlying brotherhood that transcends human dignity. Just my two pennies of course

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Morganfrost and emmet1 thank you. I guess I have my own pre-conceived notions. Hope I am wrong...

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Instead of getting snarky with the audience about their reaction to your position, how about defending it? All I gather from this post in a way of a defense is that this case has nuances. Well, please do tell; don't hold back. Explain. The fact that you don't makes me believe that you can't.

And really, I've read the transcript and these seem like the undisputed, straightforward facts:

(1) Polanski had sex with the girl.

(2) The girl was 13 while he was in his 40s.

That sounds like statutory rape - which is what Polanski pled to.

Moreover, it's indisputable that Polanski, rather than face justice, fled the country. That's pretty straightforward. His defenders like to justify this by stating the judge was going to throw the book at him - give what they perceive was an unfair sentence. Well, our legal system has a process for dealing with the imposition of unfair sentences - it's called an appeal. He should have made one.

The best I can discern is you are sticking up for a criminal, and you aren't even doing a good job of it. Why?

Posted by: connorrsmith | September 30, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I am not suggesting that all "Jews" support Polanski because he is Jewish. My suspicion is that people like Applebaum in their circle of power, are willing to overlook the crimes of a pedophile because of his other qualities. In this case, It was Ms. Applebaum who brought up the effect of "Holocaust" in this case. Both Whoopi Goldberg and Shore refer to his fear of being overly punished for this crime because of his experience in Holocaust.

Do you see the distinction here? Applebaum IS supporting Polanski and giving him all the support because of Polanski's Holocaust experience.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

People rightly feel that it is insensitive to discuss Holocaust. But ironically, it is usually people who are Jewish who bring up Holocaust as a justification for something else. I am not trying to be an insensitive jerk (at least at the moment) but wouldn't it be just as wrong for a Jew to abuse the memory of Holocaust as it is for a non-Jew?

Sort of like a black person breaking the law and then claim "racism" when justice is about to be served. Bringing this up is delicate phenomenon because if you point out that the "black" person is crying foul, you run the risk of sounding like you do not appreciate all the "real" racism towards blacks. Do I make any sense?

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum:

This is a really good response to your response from Media Matters. I think it gets to the heart of your "argument's" problem:

"she responds by saying, basically, that the Polanski case isn't 'straightforward and simple' because Polanski's victim -- a 13-year-old child -- had asked her mother for permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi.

Applebaum doesn't bother to explain why a 13-year-old child asking her mother for permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi in any way gets a grown man off the hook for subsequently drugging and raping the child. She just assumes we'll understand. But, in any case, Campos points out that Applebaum got it wrong; the victim didn't ask her mother if she could be photographed in a jacuzzi. So Applebaum's defense of Polanski is not only strange and bizarre, it is factually inaccurate as well."

http://mediamatters.org/blog/200909300030

Posted by: connorrsmith | September 30, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum can't even read 20 lines of a trial transcript accurately (the victim never asked her mother for permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi). But that idiocy pales to insignificance in comparison to the moral blindness involved in suggesting, as Applebaum clearly does, that if the 13-year-old victime had in fact asked her mother's permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi by a 44-year-old man that would somehow transform the man's subsequent drugging and raping of the girl into something other than a "simple and straightforward criminal case."

Applebaum's first post on this subject might have been ever so slightly excused by the possibility that she simply hadn't thought through exactly what she was defending. This has no such excuse.

Posted by: AjaxtheGreater | September 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Peaceful2009, I think your confusion is due to the fact that there are so many Jews in the Hollywood and media elites. (Jews are by far the most accomplished ethnic group in world history.) Many, if not most, of them are not observant Jews but just garden-variety secular liberals. Their Jewishness is ethnic rather than religious, and their kids tend not to think of themselves as Jewish at all. I think you should look at the appalling values of our cultural elite, not of Jews specifically.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you connorrsmith for the link, very much to the point che-ching!

http://mediamatters.org/blog/200909300030

Applebong is not a worthy individual to be enlightened. She is a self-absorbed elitist. But as a result of her evilness, so many people have gained insight into human condition. How evil one can be (Polanski, Applebong) and how honorable (most posters on this blog)

I do not consider myself to be honorable, but I feel good that I can see this situation and draw conclusions from it.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

You write:

> The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband -- while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.

yeah, i think the conflict of interest is really a red herring. the real story is your appalling lack of morality and slippery understanding of the facts.

I think if you truly took the rape of a young girl seriously, you wouldn't be swayed by any conflict of interest. I wouldn't assume you could be bought so cheaply. but i am a little shocked that you give up any sense of morality for free.

Polanski pled guilty to sex with a 13 year old girl. he admitted that he knew she was 13, and indeed the consent form for the photo shoot said as much. That alone makes him a reprehensible man who should spend a minimum of 5 years in jail.

Yes, even if mom consented to the jacuzi shoot (which is debatable at best). Hell, even if the girl was a prostitute, her mom was a pimp, etc. or even if the girl was sent there with explicit instructions to seduce him in order to get a civil settlment. It doesn't matter. the mere fact he had sex with her makes him a vile human being.

And all of your rationalizing and minimizing, especially your citation of the holocaust to justify letting him off, is nothing less than morally appalling.

maybe it is offensive to suggest that your appalling lack of morality is the result of a conflict of interest. but i find your defense of Polanski's indefensible conduct infinitely more offensive.

i hope that they throw the book at him. every decent person should.

And, btw, just out of curiousity, would you let this man baby sit your teenage daughter? by himself?

Posted by: awalker1972 | September 30, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The irony is that at some basic level, even Applebong loves her children or other family members. But when it comes to her self interest, or that of her husband or her tribe, etc, she overlooks basic human dignity, integrity, honesty, etc. I am sure we all have a little Applebong in us. It is just that for most of us, we draw a line in the sand when it comes to pedophilia

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank you connorrsmith for the link, very much to the point che-ching!

http://mediamatters.org/blog/200909300030

Applebong is not a worthy individual to be enlightened. She is a self-absorbed elitist. But as a result of her evilness, so many people have gained insight into human condition. How evil one can be (Polanski, Applebong) and how honorable (most posters on this blog)

I do not consider myself to be honorable, but I feel good that I can see this situation and draw conclusions from it.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Peaceful2009, I think your confusion is due to the fact that there are so many Jews in the Hollywood and media elites. (Jews are by far the most accomplished ethnic group in world history.) Many, if not most, of them are not observant Jews but just garden-variety secular liberals. Their Jewishness is ethnic rather than religious, and their kids tend not to think of themselves as Jewish at all. I think you should look at the appalling values of our cultural elite, not of Jews specifically.

Posted by: emmet1
----------------------

Good point and well taken. What I have noticed is that observant Jews are less likely to use their Judaism for socio-economic or political advancement. But i cannot deny that there is a minority of people of "Jewish decent" who are Zionists and place an importance on whether their colleague or client is of the same heritage. I can understand that this happens for many different ethnicities as well. the only distinction is when the concept of Holocaust is mixed in.

At any rate, I sound like I am obsessed with the topic, but it is mostly a political fascination with me as opposed to religious.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"He seems to believe that if you look for any nuances at all in this extremely weird, thirty-plus-year legal saga (and in my four paragraphs there was only space to mention a few of them) you are not only defending rape, you deserve to be raped."

Well, in my opinion that's a very simplistic analysis of the commenter's intentions. I believe he was merely using hyperbole to try to force you to think about what you were writing.

As far as "nuance"... if you truly believe "nuances" can excuse the flight from justice of a man who pled DOWN to statutory rape, then you should seek therapy. In my non-professional opinion, of course.

Posted by: malclave | September 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with you, Anne Applebaum?

I read that transcript and not only does it fail to say what you claim it says--the girl didn't actually ask mommy for permission to get in the hot tub--but also, WHO CARES if she asked mommy for permission?

Why isn't it obvious to you that if a middle-aged man has to call mommy to ask for permission to have his "date" stay a little while longer, then having sex with her is simply the last thing he should ever be doing?

Much less giving her booze and drugs and then having vaginal and anal sex with her as she is saying NO! I want to go home!

You're completely cracked. She was THIRTEEN. This 44 year old man gave her drugs and booze and raped her.

Posted by: theorajones1 | September 30, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Anne,

it is statutory rape. that means intent or consenual behavior is not relevant. the law has decided that her age is TOO YOUNG TO CONSENT. Now I might agree with you if the male was 19 and the girl was 17, but in this case I really don't see how it is defensible.

Posted by: jk1492 | September 30, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Just curious, Anne.

What, in your view, is the appropriate punishment for a 40-year-old man who orally, vaginally, and anally rapes a 13-year-old girl, over her resistance and spoken denial of consent?

Posted by: Belial | September 30, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Applebaum:
Because I have enormous respect for you and have read your columns religiously for many years, I remain perplexed that you have not articulated a more thorough and reasoned response to your critics. I wonder whether your opinion about this issue has evolved at all over the past few days; I am curious which of Eugene Robinson and Richard Cohen's points you find persuasive; I'd be curious about your reaction to the Salon article; and I am interested in which aspects of the transcipt you think make this anything but a clear case of rape.

Instead, your response to some of the (admittedly outrageous)blog comments is more shrill than responsive, and I find that profoundly disappointing. It's not that I have to agree with you -- it's just that I usually do, and I would love to hear more about how you came to your opinion in this instance.

Posted by: Elisabeth4 | September 30, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect Ms. Applebaum, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND ?!

Do you have a daughter ? Reading your blogs, it seems you either have no children or you have no soul.

Polanski is a pedophile. Yes he directed Chinatown and yes he won an Academy Award - but he is still a pedophile who remains unpunished for the crime of rape.

She was 13 Ms. Applebaum. Thirteen years old. There is no splitting hairs here - it's not as if she was 17 years and 11 months. The girl was 13... and Polanski raped her.

... and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by: thebunker66 | September 30, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I read the testimony yesterday and concluded that if only these idiot elites - Whoopie, Applebaum, Debra Winger - would take a minute to read what happened, they would immediately apologize for their defense of a depraved child-rapist. There is no way you could read the full testimony and conclude anything other than Polanski’s actions were rape - repeated rape and sodomy of a drugged 13 year old by a predatory adult.

Now Applebaum actually cites the testimony to make her warped case.

There are two Americas alright, the one normal Americans live in and the one Applebaum lives in.

Posted by: bosszeroboss | September 30, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Anne,

Just a few comments:

1. I could give a sh&t if your husband is currently playing a role in lobbying for Polanski's freedom.

2. How cute of you to now describe your disgusting column as a "four paragraph blog post."

3. Your belief that somehow your views are "sophisticated" is utter nonsense. You have gone on record stating that the world should just close their eyes to the fact that Mr. Polanksi drugged a 13-year old child and despite her protests, performed oral sex on here, penetrated her vagina with is 43-year-old penis, and then, again despite her protests, pushed it into her anus.

And possibly worst of all is when you hinted that the girl didn't look 13. Well all I can say to that is that I'm glad you're not my daughter's mother.

I'm sorry, but you're not sophisticated. You're disgusting. And if your readers abandon you and you are from here on in treated like a social pariah, it's because you deserve that.

Posted by: wkristol | September 30, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

How does Applebaum reconcile her claim that Polanski didn't know how old the girl was with her claim that he had the girl call for permission from her mother to be raped in the jacuzzi?*

If he had the girl call her mother to ask Mommy's permission for anything, then he was obviously aware that she was young enough to require parental consent- ergo, too young for his morally reprehensible 44 year old self.

*And, in fact, the transcript does not even say what Applebaum claims. It shows Polanski to be venal and guilty of a greater crime than that he pled to.

Posted by: DeputyHeadmistress | September 30, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

emmet1,

After more pondering, I can see how this is more an affliction of the Hollywood elite than it is of a particular ethnicity. It is just so shameful for so many people in position of power to overlook this crime.

I am generally a liberal myself, and I believe that even a pedophile deserves a second chance. But we are talking about a "second chance" after he has placed himself at mercy of justice. I don't think Polanski should be shot to death for his rape, but he needs to come before justice. Let the judicial system determine his punishment, just as it does all other crimes.

I believe that all humans have good and bad qualities. I am not claiming "purity" by condemning Polanski, but then again, I do not drug and rape little children. I think people who come to Polanski's defense are confusing leniency with justice!!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

You should be fired.

Posted by: thedudesblog | September 30, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I won't rehash what dozens of posts have already pointed out: that the defense of Polanski's rape of a 13 year old is appalling. As for this "nuance" business, Ronald Reagan once said that "there are no easy answers, but there are simple ones." Even if the girl planned to have sex with him (which flies in the face of what the transcripts reveal), he is guilty as heck and admitted such. End of discussion folks.

I am struck by the parallels between this incident and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick (which springs to mind in light of the recent death of Senator Edward Kennedy). In both cases, a wealthy and powerful celebrity visited serious harm on a young woman. Both Kennedy and Polanski fled. Neither really faced the kind of punishment we mere mortals would face. And in both cases, the media elites have gone out of their way to brush aside the magnitude of what these men did, because somehow, the importance of the celebrity somehow outweighed the harm done to the individual.

In Kennedy's case, we are told that his long list of legislative accomplishments so vastly overshadows what he did at Chappaquiddick, that the death of Ms. Kopechne was hardly worth mentioning, except as a way to point out how it harmed the Senator's presidential ambitions. With Polanski, the argument goes that his tremendous artistic talent (and I am sure he was a "good guy" who supported all the "right causes" too) justifies this "eccentricity" of his.

I think that Mark Steyn's observation about Kennedy, is applicible to Polanski:

"As for the argument that, well, for a rich and powerful man Ted sure did a lot for da liddle guy, include me out. Benign paternalism and droit du seigneur are two halves of the same coin: The former has excused the latter in monarchical societies through the ages. It's distressing to see so many alleged "democrats" embrace it here."

Posted by: ctlawyer | September 30, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I would hope that if we have "lawyer" types among the posters to really make a formal complaint about Ms. Applebaum to the Washington Post.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The documentary that showed Polanski in a favorable light, and which every apologist is referring to, actually has some pretty important lies. Marcia Clark has uncovered some facts about it in this article..

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/imagine-that-lies-revealed-in-roman-polanski-documentary

Also, Polanski acknowledged knowing that the late judge Laurence Rittenband reserved the right to scrap his plea deal. That would be the same plea deal cited by Team Polanski, many of whom argue the director only left the country because the paranoid, publicity-mad Rittenband welshed on their agreement:

"District Attorney: Do you understand that at this time, the Court has not made any decision as to what sentence you will receive?
Polanski: (No response.)
District Attorney: Do you understand that the Judge has not made any decision?
Polanski: Yes"

http://www.movieline.com/2009/09/roman-roundup-backlash-builds-as-polanski-and-co-fight-back.php


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/keli-goff/wonder-why-middle-america_b_303965.html?show_comment_id=31943146#comment_31943146

Posted by: spc2 | September 30, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Ann, you are absolutely disgusting. Defending the indefensible is not only immoral and stupid... it's already cost you your credibility and it will cost you your job as well.

I threw up in my mouth when I read your first blog entry and again just now. I am disgusted by your blatant defenses of a child rapist and pedophile. HE DRUGGED HER AND FORCIBLY HAD SEX WITH A 13 YEAR OLD! Have you no morals at all?!!

I hope you get fired over this... I'm orchestrating an effort to do just that.
Anyone else want to join me in calling for the immediate firing of this pedophile supporter?

Perhaps you deserve to be locked up along- side the pedophile rapist. At the very least you deserve to lose your job and be kept far far far away from any kids for the rest of your life.

Disgusting.

Posted by: kanetrain | September 30, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

There are two Americas alright, the one normal Americans live in and the one Applebaum lives in.

Posted by: bosszeroboss |

-------------------

Applebong doesn't live in the US but unfortunately, is given a forum from which she can propagate her senseless ideas and opinions.

For the average working human, with a family and all, there are certain concepts that have a clear delineation of right vs wrong. This line can get blurry when you add wealth, power, religion or ethnicity to the mix.

44 years old man rapes a 13 years old girl and admits to it, then flees for fear of harsh sentencing. easy case of black and white, right or wrong. Add Hollywood, wealth, success, and Holocaust, and the line gets blurry.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Stop digging!

Posted by: glenmorenee | September 30, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

I am terribly sorry you have to endure the comments of People like this GroverSage. Even though I can't prove it I doubt that he is even a famous movie director. Of course if he were it wouldn't be that bad.

I'm curious... if GroverSage directed some off-broadway plays or maybe some dinner theater stuff would it be ok if he made it to 3rd base?

Posted by: Spider79 | September 30, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Anne,
What makes this not a straight forward case of rape? You write, "to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony" especially the phone call to her mother. Okay, but I don't understand your point. Are you calling the girl a liar? Are you saying that she made up the rape? Please explain what you mean that saying this isn't straight forward.

The girl called her Mom and told her that she was okay. She also told her Mom that she didn't need her to pick her up. After the phone call, Polanski plied her with drugs, took some pictures, and when he started to hold her and kiss her she said, "no" and "keep away." In 1977 and today, "no" should mean "no," especially when the girl in question is 13.

Roman Polanski gave a 13 year old girl drugs and raped her. I don't understand why you think his arrest for their heinous crime was "outrageous" or where there is any disagreement.

The two items you discuss in this post (whether you condone all rape and your husband position) doesn't matter. The real question is why you believe it is outrageous to arrest Polanksi for raping this 13 year old?


Posted by: bogdon6 | September 30, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Polanski testified UNDER OATH that he knew the girl was 13.

Why does Applebaum lie?

Posted by: DeputyHeadmistress | September 30, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, I read the Smoking Gun transcript, and I honestly have no idea what Anne is talking about regarding the relevant "nuances" it supposedly lends to the case. It depicts a scared, crying girl, in a situation that she felt she had no control of. As others have pointed out here, if she were an adult, this would still be rape. Getting a 13-year-old drunk and high and then forcing your 34-year-old self (or however old he was) on her really doesn't leave much room for "nuance."

As a side-note, cherry-picking an "offensive" comment as part of your defense is just plain weak, and the oldest trick in the book when journalists respond to commenters in online forum. Also, obviously Anee should have disclosed her husband's connections--why would she expect anyone to be so enamored of her work as to remember that she mentioned that in a past column? And to pretend to be believe that those who brought this up were saying she was being a mouthpiece for her husband is beyond disingenuous.

Posted by: milnerg | September 30, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hot Air: Applebaum blames the victim for the rape
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/30/applebaum-blames-the-victim-for-the-rape/

Posted by: StewartIII | September 30, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Look people...No one regretted what happened more than Polanski. He felt terrible for the little girl. Why just look how contrite he was in 1979 in an interview with the novelist Martin Amis:

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

Clearly this is a man who has struggled with himself and what he did!


[Just to be clear **** stands for a vulgar word meaning to have sex.)

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum:
Come back to the United States and say this...will you, please?

Posted by: Kas300 | September 30, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Whoopi Golberg and Debra Winger, stars of next Polanski film:

"Lolita-2: the little bit*h is too damn sexy"

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah KHauser,

We wouldn't want you to spell out what **** stands for. That would be obscene and the WaPo would have to censor it. But defending raping little girls is apparently not at all obscene to the WaPo. You can **** little girls. You can promote ****ing little girls. But just don't write the word ****. Because that would actually be a crime here at the Post, home of child raping supporting columnists. ****ers!

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Anne, I have much respect for you and have enjoyed your writing for some time (particularly on the subject of human rights in Russia).... but how you can read that that transcript ans see anything but a confused and frightened 13 year old girl who is being molested by a pedophile is mind boggling.

I had a fairly open mind about this case until I read the transcripts and imagined any other 13 year old child I knew being placed in the same situation...... it made me sick to my stomach.

Posted by: Cyyy | September 30, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Kas300,

Please, don't encourage her to come back. She and her child rapist defending husband need to stay in Poland. That way, if her husband ever commits the crime he's defending, he will have to be castrated (chemically). And no, that's not a threat on my behalf, that's a barbaric law his party just passed last Friday. In Applebaum and her husband's world, Oscar winners are free to rape children and poor pedophiles get castrated.

Posted by: bigdick1 | September 30, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Lot's of repetition here and it's all warranted, but I'll try not to add to it.

I'll try to add some "nuance".

Surviving the Holocaust, then using it as some kind of excuse for evil behavior, is horrid.

His mother was a direct victim of the Holocaust. Roman was a child who lived in a ghetto and escaped.

Ms. Applebaum, before excusing "survivors" like Polanski, perhaps you should ask someone like Elie Wiesel for his opinion.

He didn't just survive in a ghetto, he survived Auschwitz where his mother and sister perished. He then survived Buchenwald where his father perished. A photo from Buchenwald captures his gaunt face staring into oblivion as he shares bunks with dozens of other men.

Ask Mr. Wiesel if he ever considered his Holocaust experience as license to harm others. I imagine we all will know his answer. As a matter of fact, the life he's led since being liberated is all the answer we need. He's a Nobel winner who's dedicated his life to issues of freedom and peace.

You are using the Holocaust to not only excuse Polanski's drugging and anal rape of a child, but as a reason for him to elude justice. This not only dishonors survivors like Wiesel who've used their lives for good, but dishonors every victim that never made it out of a Nazi camp.

Those millions of souls prayed for survival so they could reunite with loved ones and continue raising families....silent promises to God to live wonderful lives and be good people.

You have spit on each of their graves. Shame is not a strong enough word.


Posted by: Vasago | September 30, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Vasago,

Great post, and cathartic for some, including myself, who as a non-Jew and Anti-Zionist, has been spewing misplaced anger.

You are absolutely right, just because Applebong is Jewish, it doesn't give her the right to abuse Holocaust to serve her little elite circle of friends. Applebong is no authority on Judaism or Holocaust and is a shameful pandered. I believe people like Elie Wiesel MUST come out and condemn this kind of abuse. It will go along way to eradicate antisemitism.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I have posted earlier and I believe that my opinion and thoughts on this situation are very clear. However, as I continue reading these posts there appears to be a recurring theme of requesting that Ms. Applebaum be fired for her opinion. I don’t think this is fair.

While Polanski apologists baffle me, there are other perspectives from which to approach this argument. I don’t find these arguments convincing or mitigating, but some people who grew up in other cultures might. I just recently became aware that some counties in Europe have an age of consent as low as 13. That doesn’t make it legal here, but it helped me get my head around some of the support that this guy has been getting because I was very confused. They are relying on the narrow legalism that he only pled guilty to having sex with a minor (even though most of us think differently), “more sophisticated” Europeans and worldly Americans can point out that our repressed , puritanical culture is persecuting a talented man of the world who transgressed a dated folkway. In other words, "no real rape,rape happened".

I think that this is a misguided approach to this crime, but people have every right to that opinion, and I don’t necessarily think everyone who holds this view is evil. I can’t believe that I am posting this after arguing against nuance. But, I think we can vigorously disagree with Anne’s opinion without making our disagreement personal or demonizing someone who is usually very thoughtful and, in my opinion, on point with her posts.

Posted by: sjposton | September 30, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Vasago September 30, 2009 5:57 PM

Excellent post. Exactly on point.

Shame is not a strong enough word indeed.

Posted by: KHauser | September 30, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Peaceful2009, I read your previous posts and understood your points (I'm Catholic, by the way). The thought that a Jewish person would excuse evil behavior using the Holocaust is just horribly dishonorable to me. Yet, that's not what I think Applebaum is doing directly.

I think what she's doing is worse.

Her use of the Holocaust as a defense for Polanski minimizes the Holocaust. It sullies the memory of those who died and dismisses the survivors who've led wonderful lives.


Posted by: Vasago | September 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Man am I conflicted about this issue. The question is this: HOW BEST WILL JUSTICE BE SERVED?

Here are the facts:
1. The victim and her family have forgiven Polanski.

2. Re-opening the case will hurt innocent people and not just the guilty Polanski.

a) It will hurt the victim, who has children, and her family.
b) It will hurt Polanski's wife and young children, who are not adults.

3. Is it really worth the money for cash-strapped LA county to prosecute Polanski when the government has had to release prisoners early? In addition, LA county has not been able to afford to process 13,000 RAPE KITS. That's right, 13,000 rapes in LA ARE UNSOLVED. The Polanski rape has been solved!!!!!

Is there any justice in spending millions to prosecute a high-profile celebrity case when THOUSANDS of sex crimes in LA remain UNSOLVED? Where's the justice in that?

Posted by: fabucat58 | September 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, sjposton! It's obvious that these people want to read the POST and have their preconceptions unruffled. I often disagree with Ms. Applebaum's opinions. Nonetheless, I think that the most obscene and disgusting editorial that the Post ever published was John Bolton's editorial urging that the US "bomb Iran." Even a Larry Flynt editorial cannot top that!

Still, I never wrote to Fred Hiatt about censoring any future Bolton editorials. Some people just aren't comfortable with the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: fabucat58 | September 30, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

fabucat58, those are the best defenses for simply letting Polanski go and dismissing all the charges. Though I disagree, they are not un-sound reasons.

There is one element you left out. What about current pedophiles who may abuse current 13 year-olds in the same manner? If we simply drop the Polanski case, does that say anything to them? Sure, any criminal case is about direct punishment for a given crime, but shouldn't deterence also be a factor?

When I hear Polanski's victim talk about being re-victimized now, I'm stunned because it appears as if she believes was the first and last victim of such sexual abuse.

Your points are valid but I think any decision must also consider what affect dropping this case will have on the pysche of a pedophile who may commit such an act in the future. I don't think such a factor is benign. I also think such deterence is plenty of counterweight to your valid arguments.

Posted by: Vasago | September 30, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sjposton | September 30, 2009 6:15 PM

Good perspective also sjposton, but there is no ambiguity in what is considered rape in the United States. People are free to disagree with the American justice system, but the American justice system cannot function in malleable format.

This reminds me of a line in the movie "Untouchables". Right after Elliot Ness helps arrest and convict Capone, a journalist asks him "Mr. Ness, I hear they are going to repeal the prohibition. What are you going to do then?" and Ness says "I guess I will have a drink"!

The law here needs to be applied equally and expeditiously! Switzerland must and will return Polanski to the US. Polanski will stand trial and sentencing. The details have to work themselves out here, not through the opinion circles. People like Applebaum, Goldberg, Woody Allen ( ahem, can you believe this guy? he married his stepdaughter, whom he raised!!) are misguided at best!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | September 30, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

fabucat58, not that I want to get into such a different topic but considering the recent revelations regarding Iran, I'd think an old editorial about bombing them would start to become practically prophetic.

Posted by: Vasago | September 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

fabucat58, I hope LA will treat Polanski like any other child rapist. Not less harshly because the film industry is throwing its weight around, and not more harshly because so many of us are disgusted by Polanski and his morally obtuse defenders. Just give him the exact same punishment he would get if he were a plumber or teacher.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

There is no dispute that Roman Polanski drugged and raped a child. There is no nuance to his crime. Any suggestion that Roman Polanski should not be brought to justice is a defense of child rape, pure and simple. Anne Applebaum owes her readers an explanation about why she believes that child rape is acceptable and not worthy of punishment.

Posted by: Jay6 | September 30, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, there is no way Polanski is anything but a convicted felon who fled to avoid possible incarceration.

I read the transcripts, and they were pretty awful. Yes, this was a seriously misguided girl. Yes, despite being only 13 she had prior sexual experience. Yes, her mother, if she consented to the girl being photographed in the Jacuzzi, was possibly committing child endangerment at a minimum. Yes, Polanski is a Holocaust survivor. Yes, his pregnant wife was brutally murdered.

But.

Come on, let's be real. He gave alcohol and drugs to this 13-year-old (that's probably 2 felonies right there), then he proceeded to have vaginal and anal sex with her, against her stated wishes (read the transcript).

Sorry, I'm not buying the "Polanski-as-victim" thing.

There may have been all kinds of police and prosecutorial errors and misdeeds preceding and during the trial. If so, that's why we have an appeals process.

Yes, the girl says she has forgiven him and thinks he has suffered enough. Once the complaint is made, the law takes it from there. She can't stop the process now just because she feels badly for Polanski, or for whatever her reason is. She could have stopped everything back in 1977 or whenever it was, but she would have had to recant her story and say she had lied to the police. Doesn't sound like she was lying. Seriously mixed up, probably, but not lying.

So spare me this crap, please.

And by the way, yes I know you mentioned your husband's position in the Polish government in a column quite a while ago, but not all of us have total recall. It would have been decent to mention it, at least in passing, in your opinion piece.

Posted by: ajsmithva | September 30, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

to fabucat58:
There is no need to prosecute Polanski for the rape; his guilty plea still stands. He still needs to be sentenced for that crime; up to 20 years is possible under the law as of 1977. He does, however, need to be prosecuted for fleeing justice. Because it is definitely in all our interest to discourage wealthy criminals from fleeing.

Posted by: kpkooiker | September 30, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Lady,
I read the transcripts of the 13 year old's testimony.
She resisted. She asked to be taken home. She was scared of him. She said no. She said no when he went down on her. She said no when he entered her vagina and again when he entered her anus.

Unless there is another set of transcripts, you are using some real magical thinking here.
Or you just don't believe that no has any meaning.
And you believe it is ok for a 40 something year old grown up to drug and rape a child.
You are seriously from another era.

Posted by: bklynny | September 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ann,

Who's more evil, Roman Polanski or Sarah Palin?

Posted by: JohnSkookum | September 30, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

What I don't like (in a theoretical sense) about this case is the going back on the plea bargain; the prosecution has this enormous power, which they can use to pressure even innocent defendants into pleading guilty. They enter into a plea bargain; the defendant makes this irrevocable guilty plea, and then the bargain gets taken back but the guilty plea still stands. I'm not bothered by the outcome in this particular case, because the evidence is so clear that Polanski committed a grave crime, but this sort of behavior on the part of the justice system affects numerous defendants, including innocent ones.

Posted by: MikeToreno | September 30, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I understand your unease Mike,

But, 999 times out of 1000 the judge is going to go along with the prosecution’s recommendations, but the judge does have discretion with the final sentencing for cases just like this. A rich and powerful celebrity violates a 13 year old girl and gets a 42 day psychiatric evaluations as time served and no jail time. I can see why that might give a judge pause, because ultimate he is the one who will have to answer the question of why this guy got off so light. He can’t say, “the prosecutor made me do it.”

Posted by: sjposton | September 30, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

MikeToreno,there is a lot of misinformation about the plea bargain and the judge's reaction. In any event, if the judge had refused to honor the plea bargain, Polanski could have withdrawn his guilty plea. He has no legal defense at all for failing to appear for his sentencing, which alone can carry a three year prison sentence.

Marcia Clark has an interesting article in the Daily Beast. The prosecutor who caused a stir by claiming to have had an unethical conversation with the judge has recanted his story entirely, which is really bad news for Polanski.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-30/polanskis-lost-alibi/full/

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The logic of this matter is clearly beyond you, but let's restate it anyhow and hope for the best: the girl was 13, a 7th grader; little Roman was 44. The fact that he gave her drugs, booze is not in dispute. Her claim that she told him to stop, repeatedly, should trouble you.

But it really comes down to this: she was 13. A child of 13 cannot, by law, consent to sex.

He is a rapist and a child molester and he fled his sentencing hearing. Those who now defend him have shamed themselves, as have you.

Posted by: sfnative2 | September 30, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

Your career is seriously being jeopardized by four paragraphs.

Either seriously read all the comments, or your reputation will be seriously damaged. Do you really want to bet your career on protecting the rape and drugging of 13 year old girl.

Your writing today just dug the hole deeper.

Posted by: Delongl | September 30, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband -- while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless."


The idea that you're offended because someone uncovered your obvious conflict of interest and pointed out the truth about your shilling for your husband--while not quite as offensive that you would rather concentrate on an implied act toward your daughter and leap beyond the obvious point that you wouldn't approve of such a heinous crime if it happened to a loved one of yours--is offensive nevertheless.

Run-on sentences and bad writing are also offensive.

So is stupidity.

Posted by: garrettyork | September 30, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi"

Oh well, I hadn't known this. Clearly the girl was practically DEMANDING to be anal-raped.

Issues resolved.

Posted by: garrettyork | September 30, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I wish you could fathom with your arrogance and deceit how many people you have alienated. How many votes you have cost the liberal left. The extent to which you have further polarized the political debate. How much you have single handedly cemented in the minds of many the conclusion that there is a complete lack of moral character within the liberal left.

You, Ms. Applebaum are a real item of work. An intellectual elite in your own mind only. If you are not, you should be running very scared inside. I cannot imagine the liberal establishment defending you at this point. I will speculate that you soon will announce your plans to leave the Post to pursue other interests.

And then again, you could always apologize and accept responsibility for your misjudgments. But you are not capable. You have lost.

Posted by: bradendad | September 30, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

I have been a fan of your columns for many years as I usually find them insightful and refreshing. But frankly I am appalled by your lack of judgment in supporting the rape of a thirteen year old. If this were not a famous Hollywood director your judgment would not be clouded like this. Truly shameful.

Posted by: disappointed_reader | September 30, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

Will your next columns call on state legislatures around the country to amend their penal codes to (1) reduce the age of consent to 13, (2) create a defense to rape where the alleged victim dresses suggestively, (3) create a defense to rape where the victim does not say "no" really really loudly, and (4) exonerate convicted felons who manage to elude authorities for a set period of time before sentencing?

If not, your protestations on the conflict-of-interest issue fall flat.

By the way, until now I have very much respected your insights on world affairs.

Posted by: ABuffaloAttorney | September 30, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

@fabucat58:

I think you have confused justice and pragmatism. Is arresting Polanski and returning him to the United States the most efficient use of law enforcement resources? That's a debatable point. You clearly think not.

But in a civilized society, there are some things we have agreed not to debate. We don't debate whether minorities should have equal rights. We don't debate whether the Holocaust was a good or bad thing. And we don't debate the morality of drugging and sodomizing a child. Some things are just evil. Anne Applebaum apparently disagrees, which is why you see such an outpouring of vitriol.

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | September 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the only mea culpa that will be acceptable is for you to engage in anal intercourse with Polanski.

Posted by: Banjo1 | September 30, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 

Posted by: Rocinante1 | September 30, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I had no idea who the author, Ms. Applebaum, was so I looked her up on Wikipedia and this episode is now included in her profile/bio. Pulizter-prize winner and child rape apologist. That's gotta sting.

Posted by: connorrsmith | September 30, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I've been an enthusiastic reader of yours for years but I've instantly lost all respect for you. Your defense of a man who raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl is nothing short of hideous.

Anne Applebaum, defender of brilliant artists who rape teenagers. Interesting place to make a stand.

Posted by: sconover | September 30, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

A challenge for Applebaum: Which line of the victim's testimony is exculpatory?

In you original post you write "He can be blamed, it is true, for his original, panicky decision to flee." No, you moral imbecile, what he can be blamed for is giving champagne and quaaludes to a 13 year old girl and then raping and sodomizing her.

Posted by: johnwcbragg | September 30, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Anne apparently hasn't convinced anyone that there are "nuances" to this case beyond the bald facts that a man in his forties drugged and raped a child and then escaped to Europe. Only the moral midgets in Hollywood can find anything exculpatory in Polanski's behavior, and their "droit de seigneur" defense, the idea that Polanski's talent entitles him to special leniency, lacks mass appeal.

Anne should quit digging and let her hubby fight his own battles.

Posted by: emmet1 | September 30, 2009 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I am another reader who has appreciated your past work, and cannot begin to understand why you chose to sacrifice your reputation on this issue. Your attempt to excuse this depraved man reveals a moral depravity in you that I would never have imagined.

Posted by: tpmanning5 | October 1, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

First comment:

A bit of the straw man, eh Applebaum?


Second comment:

-See! He's biased! He works for the LA District Attorney's office.

RP raped a 13 year old. The only outrage is that it took this long for someone to arrest his ass.

And when you're in a hole stop digging.

Posted by: blutozson | October 1, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Post keeps open comments forever on this one. Let as many as possible of the 95%+ of Americans who disagree let their feelings be knows. Applebaum, Whoopi, Woody Allen and the rest want to let a man go free who *drugged and forcibly raped* a girl nowhere near adult age. It has to be up there near the top of all the abominable things promoted in the mainstream press.

Posted by: yourstruly1991 | October 1, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I think the only mea culpa that will be acceptable is for you to engage in anal intercourse with Polanski.

Posted by: Banjo1
---------------

Banjo eeeyeewwww!! I am sure you have seen the picture of both Applebong and Polanski! That visual is vomit inducing!!!!

Applebong is a disgrace!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

My name is Marilyn Miller. I live in Poulsbo, WA. I am not hiding in sending my comments to you. You should be ashamed of what you have said regarding Roman Polanski. He was 44 years old and his victim was 13. There cannot be consensual sex since she was a minor. He plied her with drugs and alcohol, he knew what he was doing. He admits that he raped her. it is that simple. Regardless of the semnatics he performed a despicable act and should be punished accordingly. In addition he is a coward for running away when he did. I doubt that was the only time he raped a minor. You are supporting the exploitation of children, shame on you.

Posted by: mmiller65 | October 1, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

yourstruly1991,

If the Post does close this one, we'll all just have to continue to denounce and point out Applebaum's promotion of child rape and incapacity to disclose her lobbying efforts on behalf of her child molesting promoting husband on any new blog and "opinion" pieces. That is, until she denounces her promotion as child rape as a perfectly OK thing.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Of all the comments about your defense of a child-rapist, "two were worthy of reaction."

Do you have any clue whatsoever how pompous and ridiculous your newest posting is? Do yourself a favor and never bring up the topic of Roman Polanski again.

Posted by: pdxer | October 1, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

You said:

"But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits."

And yet, Ms. Applebaum, NOT ONE OF THOSE THINGS MAKES IT OKAY FOR A 44 YEAR OLD MAN TO RAPE A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL!

Neither does the Holocaust, neither does Sharon Tate's murder, and neither does anything else you say. I've read the case, again and again, and every time it's still extraordinarily clear to me that Roman Polanski raped a child.

Posted by: jilliancyork | October 1, 2009 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

I've read and re-read this post, and I still can't believe that you're honestly suggesting that as long as a girl checks in with her mother, it's okay for an adult to give her drugs and alcohol and have sex with her? Do you speak some language in which "No" means something other than "No"? Do you seriously think that there are any circumstances under which having sex with someone when there is a unambiguous, repeated lack of consent is anything but rape?

Maybe you do. But I think it's more likely that you don't want to admit that you said something really, really stupid. And that's too bad, because all you're doing is making yourself look even worse than you did originally.

Posted by: illuminancer | October 1, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

As someone who has read and respected you for years and years...I hope you understand what you've done to your reputation, because it is utterly decimated.

Your judgment is unforgiveably awful, and I will never read another word you write again without using this subject as context.

Posted by: Haggard1 | October 1, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

May I suggest that next time you make such accusations against the victim and her mother that you supply quotes. At present you are simply making up the evidence, at no point does the victim ask her mother if she can be photographed in the jacuzzi. You also suggested in your previous article that Mr Polanski did not know that the victim was 13 which is again quite untrue. You also suggested that this was statutory rape, wrong again Ms Applebaum, she said "No" (notice the quotation marks there, that is real evidence) and she asked to be taken home, not once but several times. Please read the transcript next time and don't assume that your readers will not.

I do wonder if you have an editor. If so what an idiot he/she is to allow this drivle of lies and hypocrisy to be associated with their newspaper. I'm feeling ashamed for you Ms Applebaum, for condoning a child rapist, for your double standards, your bias and your further victimising of the real victim.

Posted by: AJF88 | October 1, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Ms Applebaum,

I'm a longtime admirer of your historical research and your wise and independent-minded columns, just as I've always admired Bernard Henri-Levy's writings. It therefore saddened me-- sickened me, to be honest-- to read your and BHL's near-simultaneous dismissal of the view that a man who drugged and raped, anally, a 13 year-old girl-- while his host's girlfriend was sitting in the next room-- and then pled guilty to the crime should be exempted from the law. If the perp were R. Polanski, autoworker from Hamtramck Michigan, his current champions would be silent. (If he were Congressman Polanski, R-Illinois, or Fr. Polanski, they'd be screaming for his head.)

Like many other posters here, I'm a parent of small children who are at an age where right, wrong, justice, law and other social strictures need to be explained. I won't be pointing them to your or M. Henri-Levi's columns in future. That's a pity.

Is it beyond you to admit that you were wrong, and apologize to those of us who used to admire your courage and tenacity in exposing monstrous wickedness?

Sincerely,
TMcL.
San Jose CA

Posted by: thibaud | October 1, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with you? The victim, a girl of 13, testified that Polanski plied her with alcohol and drugs, performed cunnilingus on her after she said no, raped her after she said no to sex, and anally raped her after she said no to anal sex. Charged with multiple felony counts, Polanski managed to get them dropped in exchange for pleading guilty to statutory rape. (Pretty sweet deal for him, I'd say.) He then fled the jurisdiction in order to avoid sentencing - thus committing yet another crime. If the victim's testimony - which Polanski has never denied - is true, then Polanski committed monstrous crimes and deserves to be punished severely. Whether the victim and her mother should have done more to get the girl away from this sexual predator before it was too late is beside the point. People have to respect others' rights, and don't get to rape people they want to have sex with - especially, but not only, little girls - after those people decline their overtures. It's amazing that you don't seem to grasp this.

Posted by: Frederick4 | October 1, 2009 3:51 AM | Report abuse

I wish that the tiny number of you who are making anti-Semitic smears against Ann Applebaum would stop doing so. She's just going to seize upon those remarks to write another column suggesting that the hundreds of us who've pointed out her moral bankruptcy are just a bunch of bigots. And it's not a liberal versus conservative issue, either. Liberal bloggers like Atrios, Amanda Marcotte, and Eric Zorn (the Chicago Tribune columnist) agree that Polanski should be punished. (In case you're wondering, I'm not Jewish; I am a liberal.)

Posted by: Frederick4 | October 1, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

According to the Wikipedia article on you, you have no daughters, but two sons. If they grow up to be rapists, we'll know why: "Mom said it was OK!" I also see that you are an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, so you obviously are no liberal. Thank goodness for that.

Posted by: Frederick4 | October 1, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget, Frederick4, her husband and father of her two children is making career advancements out of demands on the US government to allow rich men the freedom to rape children without having to be held accountable to the rule of law. Too bad they live in Poland. Otherwise we could report them to child protective services.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Frederick4, I wouldn't worry about Anne seizing up on posts to pick apart. She's pretty good at flat out making stuff up, like her recalling of the rape victim asking her mother for permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi. Something that never happened. No matter what, Anne will find some way to continue to justify raping little children and she has demonstrated that she is more than capable of making up lies out of thin air.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 6:11 AM | Report abuse

maybe my last post wasn't clear. what I mean is that I wouldn't worry about Anne picking out anti-semitic comments to justify her support of raping children. I'm more worried about the fact that she will just flat out lie and make up insulting comments that were never made by anyone on this page. Anne has absolutely no moral authority and she is not credible.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

"Frederick4, I wouldn't worry about Anne seizing up on posts to pick apart. She's pretty good at flat out making stuff up, like her recalling of the rape victim asking her mother for permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi. Something that never happened. No matter what, Anne will find some way to continue to justify raping little children and she has demonstrated that she is more than capable of making up lies out of thin air."

Exactly. I went back to check the transcript on the off chance that I was wrong, but no, I wasn't. At no point in that phone call to her mother does anyone mention the Jacuzzi. However, even if that had been mentioned, does that give Polanski the right to then rape the girl. Of course it doesn't. He was a 44 year old man responsible for his own actions and he CHOSE to supply that child with alcohol and drugs, he CHOSE to rape her despite her protests and her age, and then he CHOSE to become a fugitive.

I fail to see how his background (however tragic), his talent or the fact that he managed to allude the authorites should exclude him from prosecution and punishment. At the end of the day, when we consider the facts, this man supplied alcohol and drugs to a 13 year old girl in order to carry out what appears to be a premeditated rape. My heart is hardly bleeding for him.

Posted by: AJF88 | October 1, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

"I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi"

Translation: "The b*tch had it coming, going out in public dressed like that."

I should know better than to read your blitherings on this subject while I'm trying to eat breakfast.

Posted by: smbrinich | October 1, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Just for Ms Applebaum:

A. We went inside and called my mother

Q. When you say "we called," did you call or did Mr. Polanski call?

A. He told me to and I talked and then he talked and then I talked again.

Q. What sis you tell your mother?

A. She goes, "Are you all right?"
I went, "Uh-huh."
And she says, "Do you want me to come and pick you?"
And I went, "No."
And he said that we'd be home kind of latebecause it had already gotten dark out.

Q. When you said "he said," did he tell you or did you hear him tell your mother on the phone?

A. He told mymother.

Q. Did he tell your mother any other things?

A. Not that I was listening to.

Q. After talking to your mother on the telephone, what happened?

A. We went out and I got in the Jacuzzi

-----------------------------------------

No mention of teh Jacuzzi until the phone call ends. Get your facts right Ms Applebaum.

Then after telling her to undress in the Jacuzzi he himself gets in, naked, despite her uncomfortableness. She gets out and he then moves to the pool and tells her to get in, she makes excuses about having Asthma even though she doesn't have it because she is uncomfortable. She asks to go home and he takes her to a bedroom and then:

A. He sat down beside me and asked me if I was okay.

Q. What did you say, if anything?

A. I said, "No."

Q. What did he say?

A. He goes, "Well, you'll be better."
And I go, "No, I won't. I have to go home."

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.

Q. After he kissed you did he say anything?

A. No

Q Did he do anything?

A. No, besides I was just going, "No. Come on, let's go home."

Q. What was said after you indicated that you wanted to go home when you were sitting on the couch?

A. He said, "I'll take you home soon."

Q. Then what happened?

A. And then he went down and he started performing Cuddliness.

.................

You can guess the rest. She said "No" repeatedly and he refused to stop. He performed oral sex on her AGAINST HER WILL, he had sex with her AGAINST HER WILL and he had anal sex with her AGAINST HER WILL. That's rape, without even considering the fact that she was 13 and thus under the age of consent. I don't care if her mother put her in a dangerous situation, I don't care if she was intoxicated, I don't care if she was already sexually active. He raped her.


Posted by: AJF88 | October 1, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse

keeping track of Polanski/pedophile supporters:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2009/09/28/round-up-of-hollywoods-polanski-supporters/

naming names:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bighollywood/2009/09/29/naming-names-the-free-roman-polanski-petition/

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, when will the post denounce these two child raping endorsement blog entries?

Your silence is deafening!

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that Anne Applebaum has just blamed a 13 year girl for her forced vaginal and anal rape by a 44 year old man. Plus it is clear she hasnt even read the transcript as her cross reference to the phone call proves nothing other than that her mother failed to protect her daughter. Truly sickening stuff from the Wapo, and from a writer whose work i had previously enjoyed and whose views i respected.

Posted by: markylarge | October 1, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Polanski sure sounds contrite here:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaeldeacon/100011795/roman-polanski-everyone-else-fancies-little-girls-too/

Posted by: markylarge | October 1, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

He drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl while she was saying "no" "stop". What is wrong with you???!!!??

Posted by: maurban | October 1, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Anne is a member in good standing of the Village. Can't risk those invitations to the right cocktail parties.

Posted by: kmblue | October 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The silence grows louder each and every minute.

Posted by: boolean_radley | October 1, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Frederick4
Yes there are anti Semitic slurs on this thread. I blame this on Ms Applebaum. I'm Jewish by the way. Her defense of Polanski makes all Jews look bad. Polansky makes all Jews look really really bad by raping a young girl who I doubt is Jewish.
Polansky probably raped others going by his consensual sex with Natasia Kinski at 15 years old and decades long defense that he has consensual sex with the 13 yo he drugged and raped

Americans are pretty free of anti Semitism but some do notice the connections and one poster here called them tribal. Which is not the case. Ms Applebaum is merely defending one of the artistic elite that she has innate sympathy for.

As a small Jewish counter balance to Ms Applebaum I renounce all Roman Polanski's actions. He should have been in prison 30 years ago. Being unable to touch down in the USA is not much punishment for an essentially European person

Anne Applebaum is just another clueless poobah. A pundit for years, she has had so much approval for her punditry that she still thinks she is correct here. When she is actually winging it, skimming the grand jury transcripts and making false statements about them. Maybe she's too busy raising her boys to bother

Posted by: zzMark | October 1, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

If the WaPo has any decency Anne Applebaum should be immediately dismissed from this paper. Her defense of a child rapist is sick and disgusting. Anne, if this was a Catholic priest that raped a 13 year old boy would you so easily forgive and forget? The double standard shows you have a serious mental illness. You disgust me.

Posted by: truth5 | October 1, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If the WaPo has any decency Anne Applebaum should be immediately dismissed from this paper. Her defense of a child rapist is sick and disgusting. Anne, if this was a Catholic priest that raped a 13 year old boy would you so easily forgive and forget? The double standard shows you have a serious mental illness. You disgust me.

Posted by: truth5 | October 1, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I will no longer read or buy the WaPo intel this pedophile defender is removed from her employment. This is an outrage coming from one of our nations leading newspapers.

Posted by: truth5 | October 1, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Yeah WaPedo editorial board, when are you guys going to man up to your little child rape supporting Frankenstein?

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Really, for the second time, the Washington Post needs to apologize to its readers.

Is this the editorial position of the Washington Post?, I hope they make that clear!

MS Applebaum needs to be put on a mandated vacation in order to gain some perspective. Perhaps she can spend some time with underage sex victims and write a story about that.

Posted by: DonnyKerabatsos | October 1, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Not a bad idea DonnyKerabatsos.

Or maybe better yet. Maybe Anne should give a speech to child sex crime survivors in which she explains to all of them why they really had it coming and deserved to be raped for being so attractive.... Judging by the outrage from some of us, it seems that she has more or less already done that.

PS-Isn't it Donny "Theodorus" Kerabatsos, dude?

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Donny always rolled strikes - Anne's got two gutter balls here :)

(I hate to belittle the serious nature of this blog with humor, but hey...)

Posted by: DonnyKerabatsos | October 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Jillian has a good blog entry on Anne. I ran across it while googling WaPedo Applebaum. She suggests that Anne's logic should lead us to forgive Manson on the grounds that he had a horrible childhood. I'd like to see Anne write her next piece on why Charles Manson should not only be released, but that he should be compensated for all the extra suffering he endured by sitting in prison. And then of course she can blame Roman Polanski for not looking after his wife well enough, just like she blames the raping on the mother of the victim.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jillian-york/anne-applebaum-child-rape_b_305814.html

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What on earth is the matter with you?!!!! So what if she asked permission to get in a jacuzzi?? It wouldn't matter if her mother had undressed the girl and laid her on the bed herself, IT WAS ROMAN POLANSKI WHO DRUGGED, SODOMIZED AND RAPED HER!!!

Posted by: anna_78750 | October 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I read the transcript. Read it before...just about throw up every time.

Ms. Applebaum, you have made a serious, serious error in judgement. Undoubtedly clouded by your elitist mentality...the Hollywood angle and your husband's political games have overcome common sense.

There are no nuances to drugging and raping a 13 year old. Was she somehow too young, or too pretty, or too mature-appearing to have her clear "NO" respected?

It was rape lady...the guy served 45 days and fled. That ain't enough. Not close.

Thank goodness the rest of the planet -- other than your equally elitist Hollywood denizens -- is treating you like a laughingstock.

Posted by: Mr_Myke | October 1, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Of all the people to lose one's reputation over, Applebaum and other Polanski apologists choose THIS worthless cretin because he makes movies? Really?? That's pathetic. I think it's pretty apparent just who the philistines are in this debate.

Posted by: krbbrk | October 1, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Anne,

Good job giving the anti-semites a reason to come out of the woodworks. Apparently, Richard Cohen's column aren't enough to counter yours in their opinions.

Is there even one comment here defending Anne?

Posted by: mg72 | October 1, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Allahpundit at Twitter:

" Word on the street: Polanski’s next film is so good, Europe’s going to let him bang an eight-year-old. It’s THAT GOOD!"

Meanwhile, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in the Independent refers to the drugging and anal rape of a thirteen year-old child as Polanski's "so-called crime" and defends Hollywood's morals as "compassionate". Isn't it wonderful that Hollywood is proselytizing its "nuanced", "sophisticated" morals to our kids through its "art"?

Posted by: emmet1 | October 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I cannot wait for your next column to come out. It should be a real gem. Likely a case study in the unlimited capacity of the human mind to rationalize and distort reality.

Posted by: bradendad | October 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess in Poland the law is now that anyone who has sex with someone under 15 will be castrated unless they are exercising their 'droit du seigneur'.

Posted by: harold3 | October 1, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I am honestly horrified by the celebrity group-think surrounding this issue. What is it about this man that makes people gloss over what he did? Perhaps they can't reconcile the man they know with the monster that lurks inside of him. He treated a 13 year-old girl as a sexual commodity rather than a human being with a right to say no and mean it. I don't care if her mother sold her into white slavery, he is still responsible for his behavior. He should have paid for his self-admitted actions 30 years ago, but he ran. He should pay now. If there is a moral or legal justification for his actions, it's not clear to me. None of the ones that you or other apologists choose to bring up seem particularly difficult to rebut.

Perhaps the idea that he might be made to face up to his crimes make some wealthy and famous people feel vulnerable. But justice shouldn't be meted out on a sliding scale (the fact that it often is certainly doesn't justify this). It's a tired old adage, but it's true: if you do the crime, be ready to do the time.

I read the comments from your last "four-paragraph blog post," Ms. Appelbaum. The two you cherry-picked don't exemplify the tone of most of the dissenting comments. We're not frenzied, ignorant, potentially violent, celebrity-hating bigots because we disagree with you and it's a poor tactic to characterize us as such, not to mention highly unprofessional. There's no defense for a celebrated writer to publish such a poorly reasoned opinion, and the majority of responses on this issue are right to take umbrage with your tone. It's okay to feel the way you feel (we live in a democracy, after all), but really, in this case, you're much better off not trying to justify your opinions. The evidence--all of it--speaks against you. I would uphold your right to believe in fairies, too. Just don't try to show me any pictures of them, or we may have to have this conversation again.

What gives me hope is all the comments from other readers who appear just as horrified by the outpouring of media support for Polanski (of which yours is a particularly egregious example) as I am. It seems you and the other defenders of Polanski are swimming against the tide. I defend your right to keep swimming, but watch out for the undertow. It might pull you under.

Posted by: chicagogirl1 | October 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"I recommend reading the transcript of the victim's testimony (here in two parts) -- including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski's house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson's jacuzzi -- and not just the salacious bits"

I read the transcript before, but went back to see if there was something mitigating that I missed. OK, here's the bit about the telephone conversation:

Q. What happened out there after he indicated he wished to take pictures of you in the Jacuzzi?
A. We went inside and called my mother
[…]
Q. What did you tell your mother?
A. She goes, “Are you all right?”
I went, “Uh-huh.”
And she says, “Do you want me to come pick you up?”
And I went “No.”
And he said that we’d be home kind of late because it had already gotten dark out.

Never mind that there's nothing in there about asking permission. What on earth does a single word of that have to do with the subsequent rape? How is that mitigating in even the very tiniest sense? What am I missing, what's the relevant part?

Ms. Appelbaum is concerned that people are focusing on "the salacious bits." I have to say, I don't find the description of the rape of a 13-year-old to be particularly salacious, but if it floats Ms. Appelbaum's boat, fine. So let me work around those "bits" and suggest she recall these lines from the testimony:

He reached over and he kissed me. And I was telling him, “No,” you know, “keep away.”
I was just going, “No. Come on, let’s go home.”
I was ready to cry. I was kind of – I was going, “No. Come on. Stop it.” But I was afraid.
I was mostly just on and off saying, “No, stop.” But I wasn’t fighting really because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go.
He didn’t answer me when I said “No.”
And I went, “No.”

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think there was anything in the phone conversation asking permission for that.

Posted by: jelitt | October 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

chicagogirl1,

You can't expect WaPedo Applebaum to give representative examples. This woman lies and distorts the truth for a living. And now, she also promotes child rape as a right for the rich.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure quite a few of you are already aware of his site, but go to patterico.com. Pat has administered a complete and thorough butt-whippin' to Ms. Asslebaum, but she stills seems content to dig her hole deeper. RTWT.

Posted by: neversaylie | October 1, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

It appears Ms. Applebaum isn't getting the kind of outrage she's calling for.

There's an irony in that after every response here, the Washington Post offers me a link to "report abuse."

It's so awful. Not only is a hateful and exploitative sexual morality somehow the right of the artist and intellectual to Ms. Applebaum, it's really just the right of the rich, powerful, and well connected who take on the mantle of artist and intellectual to qualify the farce.

The rest of us are just bourgeois fools. First, she tries to make Polanski a victim, then she tries to make herself.

The victims are the raped and exploited children of our world, who now have one thousand more reasons for not reporting their victimization --- one for each European and American intellectual, would-be intellectual, or fawning actor/director lionizing Mr. Polanski and decrying his treatment.

I'm sick and I want Ms. Applebaum to apologize. Loudly and without qualification.

Posted by: edgydc | October 1, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

chicagogirl1 said:
I am honestly horrified by the celebrity group-think surrounding this issue. What is it about this man that makes people gloss over what he did?

My reply:
I was just as bad a few days ago..... I subliminally fell prey to Polansky's propaganda offensive of the last few years. One part of which was to pay off the rape victim to the point where she is now his stooge/mouthpiece

But when Polanski was taken into Swiss custody a local radio station read on air the "salacious" (as Applebaum called them) sections of the grand jury transcript. I knew immediately what a monster Polanski was. Yes, child rapists are monsters and the victim at hand seems not to be the only one

Posted by: zzMark | October 1, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the link, neversaylie!

This woman is a completely and totally incompetent boob! She just lies and misrepresents left and write. She's the new Judith Miller. I wonder what's worse, lying to promote a war or lying to promote raping little children. My vote: Applebaum wins hands down for dishonesty and disgust.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum
You miss the whole point of the simplistic "rape your daughter" posting. In his coarse way to get your attention he is accusing you of hypocrisy. Of course HE doesn't want to rape you or your daughter. The point is, you, he assumes, apply different standards to somebody you don't know-- favoring the perpetrator here because he is "important" and this victim is not important. Why are they not both important, equally as human beings.

I think most people are missing the point that the trial for the crime is over. He is in violation of court proceedings for not appearing at sentencing, after trust was placed in him to do so.

You say we should all lay-off because he is famous, besides, being a fugitive is a difficult life. In fact, that may be a reason to not lay-off. If a fugitive case is dropped we all make the statement that if you flee, and are able to avoid capture for long enough then you win. But maybe that is only for the rich and famous who, after all, are different, and not like the rest of us.

Posted by: jack_alan | October 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"write" was a pun ;)

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The only good thing about this disgusting episode is that the cultural elites who are excusing Polanski are being revealed to the world as amoral pigs. We should have known this already, but now they're rubbing our noses in it.

They're also incredibly obtuse. How could they have expected that their droit de seigneur defense would fly? Who outside Hollywood and the legacy media actually believes that membership in the cultural elite gives one a special pass for drugging and raping a child? Judging from the public reaction, not many.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 1, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Applebaum is the mother to two boys. So her take-home message is, "Kids, you can ply them with booze and GHB and have your way with them. If she can still manage to say "no", it's still not rape. Bonus points if she's 14 or younger and you are are adult male. After all, she's not worth a hangnail compared to you two, MY CHILDREN."

Way to go, Anne. Your boys must be so proud. I wonder how the parents of any of their female classmates must feel about you and them now.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

In a letter to Patterico (www.patterico.com) applebaum wrote the following:

"And please don’t write back that “he drugged and raped a child” because that is not an accurate description of what happened."

Everyone who is commenting here, please email her editor - hiattf@washpost.com - and demand that Applebaum defend that statement and describe what she thinks "really" happened. As a journalist, she needs to justify her statements with facts, even if she is an opinion columnist. That statement is factually wrong and outrageous. It demands a response. Ms. Applebaum, please present your evidence and interpretation about what happened. I hope everyone emails her editor directly.

Posted by: gtwo3 | October 1, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Hiatt,

As a long time reader of Washington Post, I would like to make a formal complaint to you regarding the two recent blogs/articles by Ms. Applebaum. As you are surly aware, Ms. Applebaum has written strongly worded articles in defense of Roman Polanski and the case involving his rape of a minor in 1977.

Although Ms. Applebaum is entitled to her opinions based on the First Amendment, I believe that Washington post has a duty in vetting its writers and protect the readership from false information and conflicts of interest.

1) Ms. Applebaum failed to disclose her husband's role in trying to free Mr. Polanski in Europe. This conflict of interest is important because it can be suspected that Ms. Applebaum is trying to effect public opinion in the US while her husband is working the political channels in Europe.

2) It may be understandable that reasonable people may disagree on what the faith of Mr. Polanski should be going forward. However, there are certain facts on the ground that a newspaper with the reputation of Washington Post needs to protect. Ms. Applebaum is strongly supporting an admitted pedophile and she subverts the known facts from the case. There is obvious evidence and admission that Mr. Polanski gave alcohol and drugs to a child and had sex with her. These are not subject to the "opinion" of the Washington Post. Would Washington Post agree that sex between a 44 years old man and a 13 years old girl can ever be "consensual"?

As a reader I would hope that you would seriously consider eliminating Washington Post as a forum for Ms. Applebaum to spread opinions that serve her personal interest.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

gtwo3, Anne's point is that saying that Polanski "drugged and raped a child" misses all the delicate nuances detected only by the cognoscenti. It's like saying Mathew Shepard was "tortured and murdered for being gay" without understanding the motivations and life experiences of his troubled killers. Or like saying James Byrd was "stripped naked, his throat slashed, and then he was dragged three miles behind a pick-up truck because he was black" without exploring the root causes of the tragic event, such as the oppression of lower-class whites and Reagan's cuts in the school lunch program.

Columnists with exquisite sensibilities, such as Anne, never engage in such gross oversimplifications -- at least, not when the perp is from their elite social stratum.

Posted by: emmet1 | October 1, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You (and your husband, Radosław Sikorski) normally know better than this. There may well be a day (perhaps years in the future), when the two of you will reflect and realize you made a terrible mistake.

Your coverage was unbelievably sloppy. Rookie reporters at D. C. Superior Court know (and report properly) the difference between the allocution at a guilty plea and a trial where guilt is being determined. To say that I would be confused by your putting the matter straight is ... well, just silly.

As for the crime itself:

The desire of the victim for the charges to be dropped brings to my mind why I oppose victim impact statements and the like. Civil actions exist to remedy the effects of torts on an individual. Where such an act has been defined as a crime at the time of its commission, criminal prosecutions are undertaken in order to remedy its effects on society. Should a criminal be put in jeopardy of greater punishment as a result of the victim (or victim's family's) greater ability to articulate in court?

Likewise, there are a number of reasons why a victim may not wish for a prosecution to go forward (especially in domestic violence cases). Prosecutions go forward nonetheless. One can even contemplate the possibility of the settlement agreement of a tort action having the provision that the victim not testify at trial. (I am stating a hypothetical, not making such an assertion with respect to Doe v Polański.)

I'll grant that the judge was a piece of work. Without condoning Polański's action, one might (just might) understand his initial flight outwith the jurisdiction. But once the judge departed from office, Polański's continued refusal to begin his sentence is mere cowardice.

Since you seem to dislike pseudonyms, I sign my name.

Edmund Unneland

Posted by: edunneland | October 1, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

send your complaints to Washington Post and let others know:

hiattf@washpost.com

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Also, Radosław Sikorski _first_ entered government in 1992 as deputy defense minister (not three years ago). I very much enjoyed his description during that time of the intelligence briefer who warned against the perfidious Americans; and who, once reminded of the changed political circumstances, came back next week with warnings against the perfidious Russians.

Posted by: edunneland | October 1, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Send your complaints to Washington Post c/o

hiattf@washpost.com

Dear Mr. Hiatt,

As a long time reader of Washington Post, I would like to make a formal complaint to you regarding the two recent blogs/articles by Ms. Applebaum. As you are surly aware, Ms. Applebaum has written strongly worded articles in defense of Roman Polanski and the case involving his rape of a minor in 1977.

Although Ms. Applebaum is entitled to her opinions based on the First Amendment, I believe that Washington post has a duty in vetting its writers and protect the readership from false information and conflicts of interest.

1) Ms. Applebaum failed to disclose her husband's role in trying to free Mr. Polanski in Europe. This conflict of interest is important because it can be suspected that Ms. Applebaum is trying to effect public opinion in the US while her husband is working the political channels in Europe.

2) It may be understandable that reasonable people may disagree on what the faith of Mr. Polanski should be going forward. However, there are certain facts on the ground that a newspaper with the reputation of Washington Post needs to protect. Ms. Applebaum is strongly supporting an admitted pedophile and she subverts the known facts from the case. There is obvious evidence and admission that Mr. Polanski gave alcohol and drugs to a child and had sex with her. These are not subject to the "opinion" of the Washington Post. Would Washington Post agree that sex between a 44 years old man and a 13 years old girl can ever be "consensual"?

As a reader I would hope that you would seriously consider eliminating Washington Post as a forum for Ms. Applebaum to spread opinions that serve her personal interest.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Send your complaints to Washington Post c/o

hiattf@washpost.com

Dear Mr. Hiatt,

As a long time reader of Washington Post, I would like to make a formal complaint to you regarding the two recent blogs/articles by Ms. Applebaum. As you are surly aware, Ms. Applebaum has written strongly worded articles in defense of Roman Polanski and the case involving his rape of a minor in 1977.

Although Ms. Applebaum is entitled to her opinions based on the First Amendment, I believe that Washington post has a duty in vetting its writers and protect the readership from false information and conflicts of interest.

1) Ms. Applebaum failed to disclose her husband's role in trying to free Mr. Polanski in Europe. This conflict of interest is important because it can be suspected that Ms. Applebaum is trying to effect public opinion in the US while her husband is working the political channels in Europe.

2) It may be understandable that reasonable people may disagree on what the faith of Mr. Polanski should be going forward. However, there are certain facts on the ground that a newspaper with the reputation of Washington Post needs to protect. Ms. Applebaum is strongly supporting an admitted pedophile and she subverts the known facts from the case. There is obvious evidence and admission that Mr. Polanski gave alcohol and drugs to a child and had sex with her. These are not subject to the "opinion" of the Washington Post. Would Washington Post agree that sex between a 44 years old man and a 13 years old girl can ever be "consensual"?

As a reader I would hope that you would seriously consider eliminating Washington Post as a forum for Ms. Applebaum to spread opinions that serve her personal interest.

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the duplication!

Posted by: Peaceful2009 | October 1, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

No one deserves to be raped, ever.

She was 13.

End of story.

Posted by: neilwilson | October 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, after all of these attacks on Applebaum, she'll probably demand that we let her rape a child, seeing her logic that personal stress can be compensated with the act of raping a child. Or can one pay for raping a child by having a string of horrible events? Please explain the process again, Anne. Which comes first in the chain of justification, the right to rape or hard luck?

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

gtwo3, Anne is right that it's not accurate to say that Polanski "drugged and raped a child". He gave alcohol to a child, drugged her, performed oral sex on her against her will, raped her vaginally, and raped her anally. Let's be precise, shall we?

Posted by: Frederick4 | October 1, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's official -- the hypocrisy of the liberal elite knows no bounds!!! This reminds me somewhat of NOW's deafening silence during the sexual allegations against Bill Clinton. However, this Roman Polanski issue brings it down to an entirely new and disgusting nadir.

A very sizable contingent of the Left seems to apply the law differently to themselves than they do to the rest of us. I'm speaking more of the Liberal elite intelligencia, and not all liberal-minded Americans (such as "eastlander" who posted a very good comment here, and Jillian York at the HuffPo actually addresses the matter quite well). And it's not that Polanski's defenders are disputing the fact that it happened. They're just saying "Oh, what's the big deal. Get over it. She probably liked it." This was a 13 year-old!!! But it seems to fall in line with the morally ambiguous "if it feels good, do it" ideology of the Left.

People like Ms. Applebaum discredit themselves by such blatant displays of amoral hypocrisy. Regardless of one's political inclination, evil acts like this cannot be tolerated or excused. And I am DISGUSTED that people like Ms. Applebaum would even attempt to defend such acts!! She should be ashamed of herself, and the Post should be ashamed for aiding and abetting such foolishness. They should have had enough sense to save her from herself.

Posted by: Samwise1 | October 1, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Samwise1:

Applebaum is a member of the conservative media elite. She is an adjunct fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. Just FYI.

Here's AEI's mission statement:

"The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a conservative think tank founded in 1943. Its stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate."

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Samwise1,

Applebaum is employed by the conservative American Enterprise Institute. She is not a liberal.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

At some point, Applebaum is going to re-read her defense of Polanski and feel shame. I just hope it's before she writes more of them.

Posted by: DJVA | October 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

At some point, Applebaum is going to re-read her defense of Polanski and feel shame. I just hope it's before she writes more of them.

Posted by: DJVA

Much as I would like to believe this, I will not hold my breath in anticipation of her moment of truth and clarity. But if she does get back in touch with her sanity, let's hope she writes an opinion piece where she apologizes for ever having defended an admitted child rapist.

Posted by: Skowronek | October 1, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The lunatic fringes of both ideological persuasions lose perspective at times. I am as liberal as they come and I think that this guy should be jailed for many years for what he has done. Stop trying to make this some partisan political issue. This is much more about wealth and privilege against justice than it is about left against right. Both sides can be hypocritical when one of their guys in the hot seat (see John Edwards, David Vitter, John Ensign, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford…). With this case, other than the entertainment industry and those with a vested interest in Polanski’s celebrity, there has been almost universal condemnation in the US.

In France however, where the current government is very conservative, Polanski has receive significant support from people who are actually in the government. No political points to be had here conservatives, just keep on moving.

Posted by: sjposton | October 1, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

No, she'll never apologize. I'm willing to bet that she's busy right now contriving facts, fabricating more non-existent evidence and making up more straw man arguments that no one has ever made in an effort to complete her third piece in justification of raping children.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I got some nuance.

ITS CALLED PENETRATING A 13 YEAR OLD GIRL IN THE ANUS WHILE SHE SCREAMS NO IS RAPE

Posted by: gorak | October 1, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

http://www.abusewatch.net/news_Polanski.php

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Showronek and bigdick1,
I realize that Applebaum is not exactly the poster girl for Liberalism, but she is no Conservative either. Of course, our definitions of the two terms probably differ greatly.

I based my assessment of her ideological leaning based largely on some of her other writings, such as this Slate article: http://www.slate.com/id/2203125/
To me, she comes across as liberal. Either way, her attitude reeks of European elitism (which is a close cousin of American Liberalism).

You'll forgive me if I was too quick to insert politics into this. Regardless, it really doesn't matter to me what ideological label one attaches to her. Either way, I find her defense of Polanski to be repugnant.

Posted by: Samwise1 | October 1, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

samwise1,

It's cool bro. We be friends. It's hard not to temporarily get all emotional after reading WaPedo Applebaum's entries.

Her stand reeks more like aristocratic elitism. Kind of like the maniacal dictatorial Husseins of the world that believe their circle of friends and family are allowed to go around and rape and murder people without being held accountable to the law. And to repeat, her husband's political party just passed a law to castrate men who have sex with children under the age of 15. A day later, he called on the US department of state to let a man who raped a 13 year old off of the hook because he's rich and influential. This is an aristocratic two class of humans mentality. Anne should leave our beautiful Europe and head for North Korea.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 1, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Dear Anne Applebaum,

It was enough to press the self-destruct button once; you don't need to keep pushing it.

Instead of digging yourself deeper into a hole by coming up with weak or clearly false arguments (that are being very effectively exposed by your critics), maybe you should try to diffuse the tension by telling some jokes. I hear that your husband Radek Sikorski has a rich stand-up repertoire covering Polish missionaries and cannibals.

Posted by: Dr_007 | October 1, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

bigdick1,
Yeah, in this current politically charged climate, I do tend to assume that there is some political agenda behind just about any outrageous statement. And they don't get much more outrageous than what Applebaum has thrown out there!! Still, I should have restrained myself a little better. This is about something bigger than just politics.

You're right, this is about aristocratic elitism, which can infect either side of the ideological spectrum. It is something that both sides of that spectrum should fight against.

Thanks for the Mulligan!

Posted by: Samwise1 | October 1, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey ... Anne Applebaum is no "liberal" so please, posters, stop defaming us progressives by lumping her in with us! Ms. Applebaum, you take the cake. You not only present an indefensible original post, but make it worse by this inane posting.
Roman Polanski intoxicated, drugged, raped and sodomized a child (all of which he has confessed to). After he PLEAD GUILTY, he fled the country rather than do time. Another crime. He deserves just as much sympathy as Susan Atkins, who died of brain cancer in prison last week after Polanski's supporters rallied to oppose the "born again" model prisoner's request to die outside of prison walls. Where, Ann, was your compassion and forgiveness there for a forty year old, horrible, crime? And, btw, please sign up for J-101 (Ethics) on your duty to disclose your husband's connection to the story. Hypocrite.

Posted by: Omyobama | October 1, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Anne: You know, no matter how vile you think that comment was about your own child being raped, in the end it is your TWO columns defending Polanski which are the more odious. The comment, after all, was a hypothetical meant to reveal to you your utter elitist hypocrisy regarding the issue of child rape. Your columns, however, paper over an actual crime and as such are all the more damning. You're despicable, and I will no longer be purchasing any Post publication until you are shamed and fired.

Posted by: bullneck | October 1, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

You Ann are a sick human being and you should be fired immediately, shamed publicly and kept miles away from any children for the rest of your life.
Wake up - you just defended a pedophile/child rapist. The man has no remorse.... and you are nearly as sick as he for defending and condoning his actions.

Posted by: kaneisable | October 1, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Anne (the child rape supporter) been fired yet? I truly can't understand this. Have they no shame at the WaPo anymore? No Morales? No respect for children or the law?

Many of us have started calling, emailing and boycotting any advertisers that show up on this page here where Ann supports child rape. I don't think HP, Siemens, CrossCulturalSolutions.org, GapAdventures.com and the others will keep paying money to support child rape. Call the advertiers... you CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Posted by: kaneisable | October 1, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for piling on, but this bizarre refusal among ultra liberal apologists to ascribe any perversion to one of their own remains appalling. Does anyone else look at the Hollywood elite and wonder why Woody Allen isn't stigmatized? No courage? No morals at all? He's one of us, so the fact he effectively incests his own daughter ( and absolutely insults his virtual wife/ her adoptive mother) is OK because we like him? Frightening form of brain washing.

Posted by: dadashburn | October 1, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

You really are a disgrace, and I also have sent a letter of complaint to your editor.

It's disturbing enough that you so easily dismiss a case of child rape (Not just once but twice and, yes, I did read the testimony), but then purposely fail to mention that you are married to the Polish Foreign Minister. It does not matter that you wrote it about it before in a previous column; the point is you didn't repeat that fact when you needed to do so the most. It is a breach of honesty that has destroyed any integrity you or the Post once held.

Your explanation as to why you did not know the Polish government's opinion on the case because "your husband was in Africa and you were in Budapest" was hysterical. Yes, it must have been so difficult to choose from all the forms of communication available in 2009: e-mail, instant messaging, Skype, fax, telephone, texting.

Too overwhelming of a choice for you? Please ...

Here is a decision I will make for you. Do the right thing and stop writing anywhere!

Posted by: aprilny | October 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Ann

While I do not believe you ever hurt a child,I would never,ever allow you near my own sons. You are defending a pedophile,man who committed a crime against a child. A child. If you find nothing wrong with the actions of this man, how can I know you would not allow someone else do to the same to my 13 year child? If I feel this way and I never met you,I wonder how those around you feel?

Posted by: lalablue03 | October 1, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Here is a blog by someone who has done the research,
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/bookcase/2009/10/02/polanski-just-another-man/

Well Anne, I think you have united America. Can you do the math? That is, at this time only 2 out of the 390 comments on this blog support you. So, I don't have to reiterate everyone's sentiments on Polanski or the rape. Most comments here are better articulated than your blog anyway.

On freedom of speech:
I love this country for it. You have a right to voice your opinion, as long as you are not causing harm of any kind.

Journalism on the other hand, is completely different from a mere lay person expressing an opinion. Newspapers and the journalists employed by the newspapers have responsibilities to the reader (the credible ones anyway)report all of the facts, and to report the facts in an unbiased manner. Granted, this is a blog, but this is a blog owned by the post, which makes it the voice of the post and it is unacceptable.

Anne:
You were, it seems, considered merit worthy. To me, your past and future works will forever be overshadowed by your lack of responsibility in conducting proper research, improper and harmful interpretation of the facts in front of you, and by the lack of disclosure that should have been integral to your blog. Why should I trust you and any piece commentary, article, book that you have written or will write? This is the age of information Anne. People will check the facts, we are not all completely brainless as you seem to think we are. As a young female, I have to say lady, you let me way way down.

You have betrayed me and countless others. I equate you to the mother of that raped child. You have betrayed and disgraced your profession. I hope all journalists are not like you.

Maybe, someone out there want to fact check Anne's book? Anyone?

Posted by: sciencegirl | October 2, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

"Gulag" was a pretty good book, dear sciencegirl.

Anne's capacity to lie and deceive in order to allow the raping of a child is not necessarily related to her Pulitzer prize winning work. Kind of like how Polanski's capacity to rape a child and break a promise to a judge to show up for sentencing is not related to his capacity to make great films. Pedophiles and their defenders are people too. They're just people that believe that it's OK to rape children and then lie and fabricate facts in order to defend the raping of children.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 2, 2009 3:19 AM | Report abuse

Anne, it has come to the attention of many of us that your husband's political party just approved of a law that makes attempts to justify pedophilia a criminal offense. Seeing that you live in Poland, where can we best report you?

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/09/28/poland_tries_to_pass_harsh_sex_crime_laws_decries_polanski_arrest

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 2, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

I just read the girl's testimony that Applebaum linked to and it's incredible that she believes this somehow minimizes Polanski's culpability or makes it less than a "straightforward and simple criminal case." It absolutely does not. In fact, it is extremely damning to Polanski.

Applebaum seems to be implying that some kind of consent was given by the mother to Polanski to have sex with her daughter and there's nothing in the transcript that suggests that. And even if that were true, so what? The girl never gave her consent and was too young to do so anyway. Polanski provided the girl with both champagne and a quaalude to make her more pliable yet she still repeatedly said no and asked to be taken home. That's a "rape-rape" even if the girl had been thirty.

Also, in an e-mail to the blogger Patterico, Applebaum claims that the girl looked anywhere between 12-25 which is also false. I've seen pictures of her from that time and she looked exactly like what she was...a girl in her early teens.

I have respect for Applebaum's work relating to the Soviet gulags but she should've stuck with that. Her take on Polanski has been utterly dishonest and contemptible.

Posted by: rsrobinson1 | October 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thank you WaPo editorial board.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/30/AR2009093004245.html

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

To bigdick1:

Well, we know how Anne interprets her research now.

You should look at data to see the truth, not to see what you want to see. Professional integrity should be shown at every facet of the profession.
I was planning on reading Gulag, but I will not touch anything by this author again. Maybe, the Pulitzer should have gone to someone who presented the truth as it was, but maybe it was just less sensational.

How can you be sure that what she has written is the truth and nothing but the truth? If a scientist is ever, even once, caught misrepreseenting the facts, they are discredited completely, which means the entire body of work completed by that person is disregarded.

I hold Anne to the same standards.

Posted by: sciencegirl | October 2, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Okay,
Anne I just finished reading the transcripts from the links you provided. I'm going to stick with my original assessment of you
1. you're an over privileged idiot.
2. When thinking of you I steal this line from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids "you're like school on Sunday. NO CLASS!"

Posted by: clickums | October 2, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

sciencegirl,

you're right. I'm being to naive to give her any credit. she really is the new Judith Miller of journalism. the only difference is that Judith Miller was pathetic. Anne, on the other hand, is an arrogant jerk that approves of raping children.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What I have seen here is unremarkable, but also kind of sad.

Ms. Applebaum responds to only two of the comments, both of which were clearly inappropriate, easy targets if one is in a "fighting" mode and not in a listening one.

There were many good comments submitted, substantive ones. Why not pick out a few of those and show how their arguments perhaps made you wonder about your own opinion?

What does it mean that these two comments were the only ones "worthy of reaction?" They weren't. Actually, they were worthy of being ignored, and many of the others were worthy of reaction, and thought and reflection.

Your job as a columnist is to inform, but also to persuade. Are you persuadable yourself?

Posted by: dfgrayb | October 2, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Jack Webb rips Polanski's a new one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIZ_wEXiAoc

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release,..."

Are you serious? One of the bigger stories of the day, about a celebrity, and your husband doesn't mention that he's working hard on gaining Polanski's freedom to you? You only learned of his involvement because an editor added a news link? That seems a little odd.

While were at it, could you tell us if you and your husband have ever met, or personally know Polanski? And if so, how well do you know him?

If you have met Polanski or know him, it would seem doubly odd that your husband wouldnt mention his involvement.

Posted by: mike20169 | October 2, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting. The best response is to email hiattf@washpost.com as I did and neither buy the newspaper nor visit its website until this alleged mother of a 13-year old and elitist Euro-driveler is dismissed.

Utterly nauseating!

Posted by: eProducer | October 2, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Rape is not "salacious." It's a violent crime.

Polanski admitted to sex with the girl. She was 13. That was statutory rape.

I learned last year doing the campaign that women have a more difficult road in securing their rights than African-Americans. The reason is simple: African-Americans are nearly unified when an obvious case of racism makes it into the news. They tend to recognize actions that are a threat to all who are like them.

But women, even educated, prominent ones, will sometimes join in defending any level of abuse against girls and women. We saw the same thing with Rihanna and Chris Brown. It's sad.

Posted by: mypitts2 | October 2, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, What to say? I never read WaPo. They are a bunch of morally twisted idiots who think they are "elite".
They don't live the life the People of this country lives. Enough said.

Posted by: tissot21 | October 2, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Ms. Applebaum responds to only two of the comments, both of which were clearly inappropriate, easy targets ..."


dfgrayb: We all caught that. She took the easy way out. It further hurts her credibility, like not disclosing her ties to Polanski.

Posted by: mypitts2 | October 2, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Anne, I am not sure what your angle is in continuing to defend Polanski and then to turn the blame on the victim's mother for allowing her to be photographed by Polanski. Congratulations on turning your readership against you. But if this type of illogical stubborn defense continues to bring the Post online ad revenue then you deserve a raise.

Posted by: usf002 | October 2, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

We should all feel better knowing that Ann has a fellow traveler in the guise of Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" who as a high school and college student drank and did hard drugs, as a teacher was OK with an under age high school boy being raped by a man he met in a train station bathroom (never reported the incident to school or police authorities as required by law - and his only advice to the boy was to be sure to use condoms next time it happens). He also wrote about "gaying elementary schools" which includes indoctrinating our youngest children about gay culture and sex acts.

As a society we must stand up and say NO! to those who cheapen the lives of our children and want to excuse it as us being too puritanical for their tastes.

Posted by: in_awe | October 2, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Really, Ann? You are doing a diservice to women and girls around the world by continuing to defend Polanksi's actions. Permission given to take photographs, at any location for that matter, does not give Polanski the right to have sex with [RAPE] a 13 year old girl. After drugging her. And, scared he'd get her pregnant, he decided to finish the job off by sodomizing her. Now try to get that image out of your head.

He was 43. She was in middle school - he was middle aged. She said no, repeatedly. Even if she had said yes, she was a child, so it would still be considered rape.

Roman Polanski is a pedophile and should be prosecuted like one. You are a writer for one of the most respected publications in the world, and should be using your position to raise awareness of child sex abuse, not support it.

Posted by: SadSadCity | October 2, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Unreal. I read the ENTIRE transcript and was horrified. And you have the gall to chide the reader to read the whole thing and "not just the salacious bits".

What are the nuances? That her mother was too trusting? That she was a possible stage mother who put her kid in harms way? That she was not a virgin? That she had tried alcohol and qualuudes before?

Does ANY of that mitigate a 43 year old man serving alcohol and drugs to a 13 yo girl and the raping her? Enlighten us.

Posted by: jason734 | October 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum should be fired from Post as soon as possible for the following reasons:

1. cannot distingish between bad and good

2. is a hipocrit and tries to prove that her opinions are truthful although even stupid person can see how rotten is her mind

3. Does not have any morals, any "class" forget about knowledge of law(and her father is a lawyer!!!).

4. should not express her opinions in Washington Post because it makes a Post a tabloid not a world-class newspaper.

5. The last question is: who and why employed her??? You can find many, many talented journalists who are morally straight and who are aware of world problems without being cupboard Zionist.....and who live in US... not somewhere in Poland in previlege situation.

Posted by: Janczar | October 2, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I actually find Ms. Applebaum's possible conflict of interest to be somwhat mitigating.

At least that's a bit of an explanation. It's a lot better that her opinion was compromised by personal involvment in the case than that she independently decided that Polanski was the victim of persecution.

Neither is particularly flattering.

Posted by: JohnMcG | October 2, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Until Applebaum is fired, the Washington Post is sending a clear signal that it supports relativism in cases of child rape.

Posted by: OverworkedUnderpaid | October 2, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband -- while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless. "

IMO, that is less offensive than accusing you of independently apologizing for child rape.

Posted by: JohnMcG | October 2, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

I am almost as offended by the idea that all liberals are defending Polanski's conduct as I am by the position taken by Mrs. Applebaum. There aren't any real nuances here other than the ones that his apologists would like to cloud the issue with. It is very simple. He raped a child. He pled guilty to the crime. He then fled the country before sentencing. No amount of fame or talent should excuse somebody from their crimes. This particular flaming liberal is proud to have a governor that just stated that he will NOT pardon or commute the sentence of Mr. Polanski. Thank you Arnold!

Posted by: Pye42 | October 3, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Sophisticated balderdash. This is unworthy of your intellect Ms. Applebaum

Posted by: aloysius1 | October 3, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband -- while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless."

Applebaum on a nuanced inquiry into possible conflict of interests or failure to disclose: a moral outrage.

Applebaum on a clear cut case of raping an innocent child: totally acceptable.

Posted by: bigdick1 | October 4, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

"Of all the many and unexpected responses I received to my four-paragraph blog post on Roman Polanski...."

Ye gods, that the pile-on engendered by your blog post surprises you is almost as appalling as the irresponsible misstatements of fact you posited in the blog entry:

** There was no "evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial" because there was no trial. Polanski pleaded guilty to the crime of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse -- and did so knowing that he might be sentenced to a long term in state prison, not merely probation or a shorter period of incarceration in the county jail. Transcript of 8/8/1977 plea proceedings, pp. 11-12, 15.

** "There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age." I have no idea what "evidence" you're thinking of, but the fact is that Polanski, under oath, told the judge he knew that she was 13. Plea transcript, p. 14.

Moreover, victims under the age of 18 were within the purview of California's Unlawful Sexual Intercourse statute. Plea transcript, p. 10. Consequently, even if the victim had been 14 -- or 15, 16 or 17 -- that would not have exonerated him of the crime (which was not the only felony charged by the Grand Jury).

I'm aware that your screed denouncing Polanski's arrest as "outrageous" is your opinion, not reporting. And yes, a four-paragraph post does not permit an exhaustive exploration of the "nuances" of this case (altho' I'll note its length was your choice, not imposed by any editor). But neither its brevity nor its opinionated nature should excuse the blog entry's fundamental failing: certain so-called facts you posited in support of your claim bespeak of either shamefully shoddy carelessness on your part or purposeful obfuscation.

Posted by: PortiaOH | October 4, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

I anyone has not taken up Ms. Applebaum's suggestion to read the transcript of Polanski's trial, I urge you to do so immediately. It's on the web. No deep analysis will be required to show you that Ms. Applebaum's assertion that the transcript somehow shows something other than a brutal sexual assault on a 13-year old girl is an outrageous lie. Of course, note Applebaum's sly use of words about what she is parsing, "the original incident at the heart of this story." Let's see now. A teenage girl is asked out on a movie date. In the course of the evening, she is brutally raped. That, in Applebaum's reasoning, raises questions as to whether this was "a straightforward and simple criminal case."!!! And the lynching of a black man by a white mob? Let's parse the details before coming to a conclusion.

The transcript shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Roman Polanski, with malice aforethought, lured a 13-year old girl to a private home, got her drunk and drugged, and brutally assaulted her. Period.

Incidentally, I fully support those who use the analogy of Anne Applebaum's daughter being raped to make their point. Such comparisons seem to offer the only possibility of introducing some modicum of rational thought into the brains of people with her mentality, a mentality that somehow can rationalize brutal behavior if the perpetrator is a rich and famous celebrity. These people do seem to live according to a double standard, where the reality of an evil act being committed against someone else's child arouses less outrage than someone's raising the theoretical possibility of the same act being committed against their own child.

Try this, Ms. Applebaum. Imagine someone saying to a slave trader as he is about to throw a kidnapped African child into the hold of a slave ship; or to a Nazi as he is about to shove a Jewish child into a gas chamber, "What if that were your child?" Would that be appropriate, Ms. Applebaum? Think about it. But somehow, I believe you still will just not get it.

Posted by: tbarksdl | October 4, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Applebaum,

I have lost a considerable amount of respect for you and your judgment given your defense of child rape and flight from prosecution (so long as such offenses are committed by a member of the cultural elite).

Yes, I knew about your husband's job -- you mention it often in cases where the conflict of interest is far less direct -- but how was I to know that you were pushing the Polish Foreign Ministry's line if you didn't disclose it? Even if you didn't know the agenda your husband was pushing, you should known that the Polish government would be asked to take a stand and have checked.

As you suggest, I read the entire transcript and I came away realizing that this was both statutory and forcible rape.

What I expected by way of follow-up was an apology for the extremely poor judgment about child rape and failure to disclose an obvious conflict of interest. The unrepentant stance in this post shocks me, and makes me wonder about your honesty and professional integrity. I certainly don't believe that you want your daughter to be raped, but the failure to extend that same consideration to Polanski's victim either because he is more important in your eyes than his victim or his victim is not related to you reeks of "some animals are more equal than others."

I will probably still read your columns in the Post and Slate. However, I won't believe your representation of facts, and I will wonder about whose interest is being served by the opinions. In short, you have permanently devalued your credibility in my eyes.

Posted by: TomD1 | October 4, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Link to the transcript of the Grand Jury inquest (again, there was never a trial):
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0610081polanski1.html

Plea transcript here:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0928091polanskiplea1.html

Posted by: PortiaOH | October 4, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Vile and disgusting lies - froma vile and disgusting human being

She never asked for permission - read the the transcript - or else just think about what you're saying.

Posted by: neversaylie | October 4, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

It's true that I'm unappreciative of the nuances Ms. Applebaum tells us are there. I am sure that a small girl would have been screaming and crying in agony and humiliation while Mr. Polanski raped her. It's not just the lechery of the man that has been revealed, but also his cruelty. There is a nuance that Ms. Applebaum might consider.

Posted by: iandouglascoleman | October 5, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"However, I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa."

What does that have to do with it? You don't have discussions by phone or email? You may as well have said "I had no idea becasue I was in the bathroom and he was in the kitchen".

Posted by: JonM1 | October 6, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Admit you were/are wrong Ms.Appelbaum.Your nuance is so much nonsense.

Sanctuary is only sexy and thrilling in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Real life is very different than reel life.

Sex with a minor is always wrong.
No Anns, ifs or buts!

Posted by: adamnescot1 | October 6, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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