September 30, 2009

Anne Applebaum Plays (Get This) the Feminism Card
— Ace

Caught agitating for Roman Polanski's release without disclosing she's married to a Polish diplomat also agitating for his release, Applebaum decides that outrage is the best defense:

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.

Offensive? This is Conflict of Interest 101. A Conflict of Interest charge does not, in fact, charge you are selling out to someone else. It states, rather, that you have, um, a conflict of interest, which is usually resolvable (for pundits at least) by simply disclosing the conflict.

Applebaum didn't do that -- and here lays down what is clearly the Feminist License card. How dare you accuse me of being a spokesman for my husband! I am a woman! I think for myself!

Well... sure. But the thing is, if a male senator just happens to have a wife who's a lobbyist for green energy, we accuse him of having a conflict of interest, too. And he is not permitted to get all offended and say "How dare you accuse me of letting a woman do my thinking for me!"

How Applebaum imagines that simply by virtue of her sex she is entitled to get offended at a standard (and quite strong) charge of conflict of interest escapes me.

In fairness, she offers another defense -- basically, "People who read me know all about this conflict (at which I bristle in offense at the mention of) and so I didn't think it necessary to mention."

1, she's wrong. She may have mentioned her husband in passing a week before, but her husband was of particular and direct importance in her Polanski post, and that conflict should have been disclosed. I say this even knowing I am exposed as an anti-woman hater for suggesting that a woman can ever have a conflict involving a man.

2, she points out that Patterico himself didn't mention his conflict -- he's an LA Prosecutor -- in his post, except in an update. Well, she's kinda right -- same rule, I guess -- except a) he did mention it when he thought of it, and b) Patterico is really, really, really known by anyone who's ever read him to be an LA prosecutor. This is not some passing reference like Applebaum casually mentioning her husband once in a while. Patterico is known, basically, as the "LA Prosecutor Blogger." In his case, it really is an example of "Well of course you know this, I say this twice a week."

Her defense has evolved, by the way, into the claim that because (she says) the victim called her mom to get permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi, this is somehow proof it wasn't rape. Or something.


1. A parent's letter of permission, even if secured, cannot change the law that you cannot rape 13 year old girls. In the Michael Jackson pedophile case, there was much talk that the parents "must have known" and perhaps facilitated the abuse. Okay, that is a possibility. That is not a defense against child rape; rather, that is a new charge of pandering and child endangerment against the parents. A parent cannot agree on behalf of a child to rape -- not with any legal effect. Or else the child-sex industry in America would be legal and flourishing, for any number of diseased parents would gladly sign over their children into prostitution.

2. The girl was there, she thought, for a modeling shoot. If the mother agreed that in a modeling shoot to let a professional lensman who offers the opinion that a jacuzzi-shot would be helpful -- well, one can object that the mother shouldn't have said yes, but I am damn sure she wasn't actually giving the secret wink-wink-nudge-nudge to go ahead and rape her daughter.

Assume Appelbaum is right: Polanski suggested the jacuzzi, the daughter called the mom to say "Is that okay?" As far as the mom knew, Polanski was behaving within the confines of the law -- acting perfectly lawfully -- because he was diligently securing new permission from the mother to take a shot that wasn't already permitted by the signed waivers. This would tend, at least in many, to give the reassurance that He's following all the rules to the letter so I guess he's "safe."

Either way I don't get how "Yes you may photograph my daughter, in a modeling shoot for a fashion magazine, in the jacuzzi" translates to "Go ahead and have sex with her, and if you're in the mood for a little ass-play, feel free to indulge that impulse as well."

The fact that Applebaum is even suggesting such stupidity ought to be a red light flashing in her mind that maybe she really does have a conflict of interest, and maybe more than just a conflict, too. As offensive as that suggestion might be.

She's also offended that some think that her defense of Polanski means she thinks it's okay to rape 13-year-olds. Where people could get that idea I can hardly even imagine.

Maybe it has something to do with their constant implication that This is no big deal.

One more thing. Applebaum claims:

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...

No idea? Really? The Poles and the French have long protected Polanski but you had "no idea" they would lobby for his release? None? Not even an inkling of a glimmer of a spark?

I'm going to do Applebaum a favor and save her the time and go ahead and just mark this "A BIG FAT LIE" on her behalf. Just so she doesn't have to get out the red pen herself.

Also in Ed's link: The French peasants are revolting.

Well, they've always been revolting. Now they'e rebelling:

fter two days of widespread expressions of support for jailed filmmaker Roman Polanski, from European political leaders as well as leading cultural figures there and in the United States, the mood was shifting among French politicians Tuesday about whether the government should have rushed to rally around the Oscar-winning director.


The mood was even more hostile in blogs and e-mails to newspapers and news magazines. Of the 30,000 participants in an online poll by the French daily Le Figaro, more than 70 percent said Mr. Polanski, 76, should face justice. And in the magazine Le Point, more than 400 letter writers were almost universal in their disdain for Mr. Polanski.

That contempt was not only directed at Mr. Polanski, but at the French class of celebrities — nicknamed Les People — who are part of Mr. Polanski’s rarefied Parisian world. Letter writers to Le Point scorned Les People as the “crypto-intelligentsia of our country” who deliver “eloquent phrases that defy common sense.”

Credit the democratic power of the internet for that, which allows, finally, a public to talk back to its insular and insulated political class. A French schoolteacher blogged about the European Union Treaty and riled up public outrage about it -- outrage that was actually long present, but which no one had the power to express, as the only people allowed to speak publicly were of course part of the ruling class and shared all its assumptions.

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