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HuffPo: Shame On Swiss For Polanski

From the always despicable Huffington Post:

A general view shows the chalet ‘Milky Way’, which is, according to Swiss newspapers, the chalet of Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski in the Swiss mountain resort of Gstaad September 30, 2009.

Polanski’s Arrest: Shame on the Swiss

Co-founder, Women Overseas for Equality (Belgium)
September 27, 2009

I’ve had it with the Swiss.

I used to admire them — their clean, orderly, decorous way of life. Their stubborn independence and self-reliance. I forgave them for the years they never joined the United Nations, and even now, not joining the European Union.

When I learned, years ago, that they had blithely allowed German military trains to transit their country during the Second World War, while claiming Swiss "neutrality," I was shocked, but tried to excuse them on grounds that they were protecting their country from invasion and armed warfare.

I was glad when they finally gave women the vote not so long ago. And I was glad when their banks initially balked at American demands to release the names of their American clients. Swiss banking secrecy, after all, has not been a ploy to launder dirty money; it has been a time-honored tradition to respect the privacy of their customers.

(May I add that Europeans have always been, and still are to a large degree, much more discreet about their money than Americans are.)

But now, not only are the Swiss bankers caving in to America’s bullying, so are the Swiss police and Swiss jurisprudence.

Arresting Roman Polanski the other day in Zurich, where he was to receive an honorary award at a film festival, was disgraceful and unjustifiable. Polanski, now 76, has been living in France for over thirty years, and has been traveling and working in Europe unhindered, but the Swiss acted on an old extradition treaty with the U.S. and seized him! The Swiss Justice Ministry will decide whether to extradite him to the United States.

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.

Now, three decades later, the long arm of Uncle Sam is grabbing this man and hauling him back to California, thanks to the complicity of the Swiss. There are surely more important issues in the world, and more villainous rogues at large that we should be attending to. Why does America always get sidetracked by sex and scandal?

I suggest, in the finest American tradition, we protest this absurd and deplorable act by smashing our cuckoo clocks, pawning our Swiss watches, and banning Swiss cheese and chocolate.

And let them yodel all they like.

We don’t usually post articles about the sordid doings of celebrities. But this is a great example for what passes for journalism at the Huffington Post, which the media holds up as an model for the internet age.

And for that matter it tells us about the old media as well, since our reporter brags that she once worked for the CBS News bureau in Paris.

Just to look at one paragraph:

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!)

So the Co-founder of Women Overseas for Equality believes that statutory rape is fine as along as your mother wants to get you into pictures.

Moreover, our intrepid reporter is misinformed about the age of consent in California.

According to the California Penal Code (Section 261.5) the age of consent is 18, with a misdemeanor if the minor has 3 or fewer years of difference with the major.

Penalties increase if the minor is under 16 and the major is above 21 or if the minor is more than 3 years younger. A prison sentence is possible if the difference in age is ten years or more. (Polanski was 44 years old at the time of the incident.)

And Section 261.5 also defines statutory rape (actually, “unlawful sexual intercourse”) as sexual intercourse with any alleged victim under the age of eighteen. — Even if their mother wanted them to be in the movies.

But perhaps my favorite line from the article is this:

[T]he Swiss acted on an old extradition treaty with the U.S. and seized him!

Imagine enforcing musty ‘old laws.’ What is the world coming to?

But in the fine tradition of leftist journalism (which is to say, journalism) everywhere, the ultimate shame should be placed on the US of A:

Now, three decades later, the long arm of Uncle Sam is grabbing this man and hauling him back to California, thanks to the complicity of the Swiss. There are surely more important issues in the world, and more villainous rogues at large that we should be attending to. Why does America always get sidetracked by sex and scandal?

The only real crime here is that Americans are such damned prigs about 44 year old men having sex with 13 year old girls.

By the way, if this reporter is any example of the rigorous thinking of women, maybe the Swiss were right to balk so long at giving them the vote.

(Thanks to ATLien for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “HuffPo: Shame On Swiss For Polanski”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    Does Marc Rich underwrite the Huffpo’s operating costs?

  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Goes along way to explain the left’s love affair with Islam.

  3. Tater Salad says:

    The Swiss might be able to play hockey real good but as a socialist country they are at the bottom of the ple in morals and “having balls”!

  4. Tater Salad says:

    The Swiss might be able to play hockey real good but as a socialist country they are at the bottom of the pole in morals and “having balls”!

  5. proreason says:

    The only thing that could make Polanski a bigger hero would have been if he he had raped a boy rather than a girl.

  6. Celina says:

    So he wasn’t a monster but “charming”, “sober”, and “intelligent”. These people must be willfully stupid. Ask just about any person who has been victimized by predators like this. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Do they really expect us to believe that that they believe that all child predators wear trench coats and hats that cover their eyes?

    I read a great article titled something along the lines of “What if it was Father Polanski?” They would be calling for his head on a platter. Why the disconnect? Why does Mr. Polanski get a pass? Because he makes good movies? Hypocrites, the whole lot of them.

    • caligirl9 says:

      What if he were Jamal Polanski from Detroit or Oakland, or Juan Polanski from the barrio? He’d still be guilty.

      At first I thought, “Let it go, the victim isn’t interested in pursuing this anymore, she feels the civil court was justice enough.” Meaning “the money was good so it’s cool.”

      Jamal and Juan may not have a nice fat bank account to buy their way out of this.

      And Polanski has had a bit of a tragic life, but the accounts of the rape (the girl was sodomized after she told Polanski no and that she was not on birth control) are shocking, the work of a depraved person.

      So what’s fair is fair.

      If Polanski walks because of a judge’s order, fine. But he must expect to face the same justice for a crime that happened on American soil, just the same as Jamal or Juan or Father Polanski would. Justice is supposed to be blind and she doesn’t carry a wallet or purse full of cash.

  7. MinnesotaRush says:

    Morally bankrupt people just protecting their own.

    Ya’ just can NOT expect rational behavior from irrational people!

  8. patricko says:

    “I met Polanski shortly after he fled America and was filming Tess in Normandy. ”

    “Tess” you’ll recall, starred a young sex kitten named Natasha Kinski.

    From Wikipedia –

    “At 15, Kinski began a romantic relationship with director Roman Polanski.”


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