CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Turning Rapists into Heroes

Oct 1, 2009

The last few days I have been sitting around in disbelief, wondering if the world has gone mad – or at least many members of the artistic community. Leave it to our arty elites to seek to defend the indefensible. I refer of course to the Roman Polanski case, and how so many of our cultured bigwigs are seeking to turn him into some sort of noble martyr.

Sorry, but in my book the filmmaker is a low-life scumbag. Any 44-year-old man who plies a 13-year-old girl with drugs and alcohol, and then rapes her, is a stinking pervert and paedophile. He deserves no victim status or hero-worship. He deserves a long stint in prison.

He of course admitted his guilt back in 1977, but then fled America, and has been residing in Europe ever since. A few days ago he was detained by police while in Switzerland, and the US wants to bring him back to face the music. But our arty-farty types are all in a lather, actually defending this sleazeball.

Over 100 people have already signed their names to a petition demanding his immediate release from the Swiss jail. These include Woody Allen, Monica Bellucci, Martin Scorsese, Debra Winger, Terry Gilliam, and David Lynch. Incredibly, it seems the film community wants to turn this guy into some sort of hero.

Consider the remarks of one Hollywood left-trendy type. Whoopi Goldberg, speaking on a US debate show, actually defended the man, saying what he did really wasn’t rape. This is what she said: “It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and when they let him out he was like, ‘This guy’s going to give me 100 years. I’m not staying.’ We’re a different kind of society, we see things differently. Would I want my 14 year old having sex? Not necessarily, no.”

Not necessarily? Aren’t you sure Whoopi? And what is different about things today from thirty years ago? Does the mere passage of time mean that rape is no longer rape? Sorry, but I sure don’t see things differently. Then again, I am not an amoral Hollywood celeb – you know, those folk who seem to think they somehow transcend the law and mere morality.

At least I am not the only person who feels this way. For example, another member of the debating show, Sherri Shepherd, told Whoopi that this guy is a rapist, end of story. And so what if Polanski is getting on a bit in years? She rightly replied, “We hunt down 75 year old Nazis. We must protect our children.”

And today another voice of reason appeared, this time from Miranda Devine, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald. She got things right in her opening sentence: “How sickening is the chorus of sycophants and enablers defending Roman Polanski, the 76-year-old Polish director arrested at a Zurich film festival over a three decade-old statutory rape case.”

She provides more background to the case: “According to the girl’s sworn testimony before a grand jury two weeks [after the attack], he lured her to the house with the promise of photographing her for French Vogue and plied her with champagne and Quaalude before attacking her, despite her repeated requests for him to stop. He pleaded guilty to statutory rape – having sex with a minor – before fleeing the country.”

She continues, “I have not included the most graphic parts of her testimony, published on the Smoking Gun website. Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, now 45, sued him years later and won a civil settlement. She has said she does not want him pursued further because she doesn’t want the trauma of more legal proceedings and media interest.

“Polanski’s defenders make much of this, as if justice depended only on the attitude of the victim. They say he has been punished enough, that he suffered as a child of the Holocaust, or that the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson Family caused him grief. But bad people can have tragedies befall them. Bad people can be talented. It doesn’t make them good.

“Polanski was a sexual predator. Who cares if it was three decades ago? Who cares if his wife was butchered? Who cares if the victim has grown up and absolved him? None of that is the point. If he were a Catholic priest arrested for child sex abuse 30 years ago there would be no pleas for leniency, nor should there be.

“Polanski’s defenders complain those who think he should face justice are ‘shrill’. But the shrillness is from them. It is the same tone we heard from the defenders of Bill Henson’s right to photograph nude 13-year-olds, who branded those opposed to exploiting naked pubescent children as philistines gripped by ‘moral panic’. In this cowardly age, cultivated people seem terrified of being seen as unsophisticated on such matters.”

Quite so. It seems that many in the artistic community somehow believe they are above the law and above concerns about right and wrong which us mere mortals must observe. I don’t care how many Oscars this guy has received. He is a scuzzy rapist who deserves punishment. And the sooner the better.

www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/repulsion-polanskis-horror-story-20090930-gcov.html

[868 words]

23 Responses to Turning Rapists into Heroes

  • But bad people can have tragedies befall them. Bad people can be talented. It doesn’t make them good.

    Just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you can’t be a jerk (or in this case, a criminal).

    Louise Le Mottee

  • No matter how many years pass by, crimes need to be dealt with through the courts. Roman Polanski has a case to answer for. Let justice be done. No one should stop justice. The fact that the now lady he assaulted wants bygones to be bygones is fine as far as praying for his forgiveness to the Lord and if Polanski asks for forgiveness that would be good for him eternally. But as far as earthly justice, no matter what the now lady says, that is besides the point. Justice must take its course before the courts.
    Michael Webb

  • The same desire to overlook the destruction of children’s lives in the service of art can be found in the recent release from prison of the conductor, Robert King, after he had served only two years of a four year prison sentence. All the sympathy is on King, whilst his victims appear to be an irritating inconvenience.
    http://newyorklawschool.typepad.com/leonardlink/2007/06/the_news_about_.html
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/igortoronyi-lalic/3686751/Conductor_jailed/
    http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/6591.html

    Thank goodness that Benjamin Britten, the homosexual composer, was constrained by an age in which homosexuality was still a criminal offence.

    1. As paedophilia becomes more acceptable:
    http://www.tpuc.org/node/151

    2. And the age of consent is dropped lower and lower:
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/legalise-sex-at-13-says-prof-on-bbc/

    3. And compulsory sex education for children as young as five promotes homosexuality:
    http://www.massresistance.org/media/video/brainwashing.html
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=100806

    4. And When children can be forcibly removed by social services from the protection of their parents…..when we line up these ducks…. we realise that the sky is really falling. We are not imagining any of this.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Since when does being good at one thing, or famous for another, absolve one from actions, or set us apart from or above the law.

    Just as you said, Bill, if it were a Catholic priest it wouldn’t matter how long ago or what else the man had achieved in his life, everyone would be baying for his blood. Polanski always was, and still is, a deviant whose actions need to be shown for what they are. Those people who have petitioned reveal more about themselves than they do lend credence to Polanski’s case.

    Garth Penglase

  • Prosecute him by all means but this doesn’t deserve the media attention it is getting. He is guilty (as pleaded) so lock him up and move on to the next news story.

    This another tree huggers free caged animal story that has no basis in fact. Lock him up already and he can make movie documentary about life in gaol and give the proceeds to a victims counselling service.

    Peter Cosell

  • Amazing! Jill Singer has as opinion article in today’s Herald Sun that I completely agree with. I can’t find a link but it makes many of the same points about the Roman Polanski case that Bill does above.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • I won’t rehash the obvious, just point out that I couldn’t help but notice a few letters in The Age today having a go at the high pay packets that some company executives get here in Australia. I don’t know if they’re deserved either, but I couldn’t help but wonder if those same people are as outraged at the inflated fees demanded by movie celebrities and also how many company executives would publicly lend their support to a child rapist.

    I don’t know about others, but I would consider that a double standard.

    If you want a laugh, go read the actual petition for Polanski’s release. (I know it’s a translation from the French, but considering it doesn’t read like garbled text, I believe I can assume it’s accurate.) My favourite line is “His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.”

    I wasn’t aware that “a case of morals” was that serious…

    http://www.sacd.fr/Le-cinema-soutient-Roman-Polanski-Petition-for-Roman-Polanski.1340.0.html

    And for the list of individuals and organizations who have a warped conception of good and evil:
    http://www.sacd.fr/Tous-les-signataires-de-la-petition-pour-Roman-Polanski-All-signing-parties.1341.0.html

    The Age letters can be found here:
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/all-hail-our-god-the-only-god-20091001-gek0.html

    Mark Rabich

  • I’d agree in part with Whoppi’s sentiments. I don’t think Roman Polanski, or any child sexual predator should spend time in prison. That is a totally ridiculous punishment for such behavior, and I think they should be given extremely short sentences.

    After all, how long could it possibly take to assemble a firing squad?

    Jason Rennie

  • Those leftie celebutards would be screaming for his blood if he were Father Polanski …
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • The wicked face of the so-called progressives was seen recently in the private video sting on Acorn in the US by a couple of courageous young filmakers. What is so shocking is how nonchalant the Acorn interviewer was when asked for advice on how the couple were going to house and deal with the child prostitutes they said they planned to bring in from Central America. Not only was the interview completely unperturbed by being asked such advice they actually offered it as if it was the most natural thing in the world – which to them it seems it was.

    Where is all this headed? I don’t know but unless we show and teach a new generation the utter wickedness of such abuse and direct them to an objective standard of right and wrong (i.e the Bible) then we will remain on the slippery slope of moral relativism. The truth in the quote ‘what one generation accepts the next embraces’ is only too clearly playing out before us. We need to ask ourselves, what are we entertaining ourselves with and what are we allowing into our homes that is contributing to the problem. These fools in Hollywood scorn the moral standard that us Christians claim to hold so dear, yet we do not hesitate to pay them and welcome them into our lives – often for many hours at a time.

    I don’t think we need to shout too loud but we do need to walk away from these people. There are many films I will now not watch because of the immorality of the actors and the directors. They are not getting any of my money and hopefully in time if enough Christians get real and stop lining the pockets of these lecherous opportunists things may change. We could also quietly let them and their film distributors know what we are doing so the effort gains more leverage. Maybe this petition is a good place to start an excluded actors list!

    Phil Twiss

  • We can all pontificate but I feel that the Swiss should require the US to satisfy five criteria.
    1. Are there properly consituted courts independant of other forces.
    2. Can the US establish that Roman Polaski has a case to answer
    3. Is it a serious enough charge to warrent extradition.
    4. Roman Polaski will no be facing extra-ordinary punishments like wiping or the death penilty
    5. that Roman Polaski will recieve a fair trial.

    If these criteria are the criteria the Swiss courts apply to the case of Roman Polasky and it fails, then I have no difficulty. Though from your essay and my knowledge, these criteria should easily be meet. If there are other criteria, I will have problems.

    My problem with essays like this, is that they are a denial of justice of the accused. those you spoke in his favour are also denying justice to both. But when did two wrongs make a right.

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Michael

    But I fail to see how the desire of American authorities to punish this guy for a horrible crime he has already admitted his guilt to is in any way a “denial of justice”.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Michael

    I think that Polanski will get justice in the USA. No matter how many years pass away, all people who have a case to answer for should be brought before the courts. Justice must be served for everyone.

    Michael Webb

  • Michael Boswell’s post is unfortunately typical of an ever-increasing acceptance that there is something unsophisticated (and therefore, wrong) in a simple proclamation – ie. he is guilty of child rape and should face justice. The reality is that all other issues are secondary – especially since Polanski has already admitted to the crime.

    Another frightening example of this kind of obfuscation is this article published in The Age today.

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2009/10/02/1254418712657.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

    The only purpose of this overlong article is to cloud the issue; it certainly doesn’t enlighten. It boggles the mind that something as heinous as taking advantage of a child sexually can ever be countenanced on the basis that the issue is somehow “riddled with complexities.” And no-one who has read the relevant parts of the Grand Jury testimony can conclude that sex was “consensual” – which would not matter anyway – Samantha Gailey was 13! Never mind the alcohol and drugs… What darkness have people embraced to have this kind of attitude that allows predators to take advantage of children? People obviously don’t consider legal precedents seriously enough either.

    And, yes, Phil – I have thought about going through that list of artists I linked to earlier and mining through IMDB and other sources to make up a matched list of movies for a similar purpose. Bit busy for that at the moment, it could take several hours. People certainly need to consider what they watch.

    Mark Rabich

  • Another great commentary, BIll. Thank you. Yes, I also find it repugnant that these people can defend this rapist/child molester. Polanski also had an affair with Nastassja Kinski when she was 15. His refusal to curb his desire for underage girls was not isolated to the one incident.

    I watched Whoopi say that this wasn’t rape-rape on youtube and watched her condemn the girl’s mother for permitting her daughter to be alone with Polanski. I don’t have enough information regarding the mother, but it’s clear to me that rape is rape– whether their was parental involvement or not.

    The entire culture has lost its moral compass and it’s more disturbing with each day. 30 years ago we would have called these people insane. Seriously– how else could we describe a people who cannot process facts, believe there are no absolutes, believe that truth is subjective. A few months ago, one of these multiculturalists said, “Kendra, you may have the facts, but that doesn’t mean you have the truth”. Um, hello? Yes, if I have the facts then i have the truth. To her, truth was her opinion on the matter.

    This person is also a voice of reason: http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?page=/hamilton/20091001.html

    Kendra Adams, USA

  • Thanks Kendra

    Yes you are quite right. And thanks for the link – that is another good commentary on this sad story.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I must say I was gobsmacked to see Whoopi Goldberg and her boofhead associates discussing the Polanski scandal on US television. The tape was run on the Bill O’Reilly show, When Whoopi’s silly silly “rape rape” comments were made, two female attorneys commented to Bill O’Reilly what sentence Polanski should receive. Apparently I expected too much. I think Liz Wiehl said he should be given a year, the other woman Margaret Hoover must have said something similar. The reason I am in doubt, is that these two women speak so hysterically quickly and often both at the same time, I often can’t follow what they say. However they must have quoted minimum jail terms, because Bill O’Reilly threw his head back, gave his usual dismissive sniffle and said, to my amazement, “I’d give him 5 years”. O’Reilly usually does a good job on targetting soft judges, but 5 years for this crime? I’d put the Polanski creep in jail and forget he was there, until burial time. As for the Hollywood mob, they are so dumb that their usual caper after snorting cocaine all night, is to wake up at the crack of noon and start wondering whether they are supposed to be Queen Victoria or Wyatt Earp for the day.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Like you Bill, I’m in disbelief that anybody can support this criminal. Before his arrest, I was not really aware of what he had done. Now I think I must be missing something or is it just more proof of the moral decline of our society?
    Steven Eldridge

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Polanski did a plea bargain for carnal knowledge rather than rape.

    BTW, E. Michael Jones does a superb job in his book ‘Degenerate Moderns’ on this extraordinary ability of people to justify their sexual sins by constructing elaborate “scientific” theories. I think, given that it’s the Hollyweird celeb crowd who are primarily defending Polanski, Jones’ book gives a great insight into this phenomenon.

    Marc Kay

  • Thanks Marc

    You may be right about Polanski – I would have to check. But either way, what he did was inexcusable.

    As to the Jones volume, yes it is excellent. See my review of it here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/1996/03/15/a-review-of-degenerate-moderns-modernity-as-rationalized-sexual-misconduct/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Yeah, the whole Polanski-Kinski affair was pretty sordid. As a pretty typical father, I fail to see how anyone could allow their daughter to become enmeshed in such a situation in the first place, but with a man so much older than herself is, as I said, just sordid. Initially I was thinking of posting the comment “everyone sees it differently when it’s their daughter” but I then realised that there are many warped sensibilities in the artistic circles/Hollywood and different cultures etc that would countenance it.
    Garth Penglase

  • This case yet again underlines the corruption, the rottenness of the Hollywood “elite”.

    Their perverted way of thinking declares that there is no morality, and the only thing to rave and rant about is “racism” which they see wherever it politically suits them.
    They are “the pits”, the dregs of the Western world.

    Alan A. Hoysted

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