Sunday, July 18, 2010

No more Swiss chocolate for me (Suzie)

And I'm taking all my money out of Swiss banks. Oh, never mind, I don't have any money. But I wish there were some way to protest the Swiss letting Roman Polanski go free.

His lawyers say they didn't expect this, but many of us did. After all, Swiss women couldn't vote on the federal level until 1971, only six years before Polanski raped a 13-year-old.

In a search, up popped a 1981 People article that refers to statutory rape as a "morals charge." The article is about Nastassja Kinski, who said her sexual relationship with Polanski started in 1976, when she was 15, which was legal in both Germany and France, where they were. Later, he got "demanding and possessive." This quote is in a 1997 article that paints her as a Lolita: "Then as now, she wanted to be watched, and then taken." The writer's approach absolves any of the much older men who "took" her. Her relationship with Polanski ended in 1979, when she completed her role in "Tess."

In the middle of this relationship, he raped Samantha Geimer in 1977. Maybe Kinski was too strong for him, and he wanted a younger girl he could control more easily.

The Washington Post has a great editorial on Polanski. The NYT quotes Guido Balmer, a spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry, saying that extradition procedures will be changed to allow for "larger judicial considerations and political considerations.” He added that there was no political pressure in this case. I'm not sure what that would look like if political leaders voicing their opinions doesn't count.

Entertainment Weekly has an awful piece, with the headline: "Roman Polanski: Is his legacy affected?" I wonder if there are editors who say: Make your column stupid and offensive so that we can drive up traffic. If so, they got to Dave Karger, who recalls the excitement in the auditorium when Polanski won an Oscar for "The Pianist."
But Polanski’s detractors can also be forgiven for thinking he’s a criminal who never really had to pay for his crime.
I'm not so forgiving of the celebrities who support Polanski. In case you forgot, they include: Woody Allen, Jonathan Demme, Harvey Weinstein, Sam Mendes, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, John Landis, Debra Winger, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Pedro Almodovar, Alfonso Cuaron, Isabelle Adjani and Salman Rushdie.
For some good journalism, read the Portland Tribune on its research into the allegations against Al Gore. Unfortunately, websites simplified the story once again with headlines such as: "Al Gore accuser 'not credible' fails lie detector test‎," even though the Trib explained that failing a polygraph test ...
would not have dissuaded the Tribune from publishing the story; polygraph machines detect physiological changes, not lies. Their findings are inadmissible in most courts. And, according to three polygraphers the Tribune contacted, the machines are least reliable when administered to sexual assault victims.
I hope Judge Alison Floyd in Cleveland got this memo. She was the one who ordered young rape victims to take polygraph tests after their rapists had been found delinquent (i.e., guilty). She later backed off her plan.