Patterico's Pontifications

10/6/2009

Tom Shales: I’m Shocked to Be Told I Minimized Polanski’s Crime!! Here, Let Me Do It Again!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 pm

From a Washington Post chat with Tom Shales today (thanks to several readers):

Dunn Loring, Va.: Just wondered if you’ve noticed your habit of apologizing for media figues? For example, Polanski rapes and sodomizes a drugged 13-year-old and you write a flattering article that falsely understates his crime; Letterman jokes about the statutory rape of the teenage daughter of a conservative politician and you call the joke inartfully phrased but otherwise fine; Letterman admits to affairs with subordinate employees and you state it’s alright because he’s just a media personality. Do you ever condemn anything done on TV unless it’s done by a conservative?

Tom Shales: Hello, Dunn Loring, I didn’t want to sign off without trying to answer your question. I didn’t realize I had written a column defending Roman Polanski and minimized his crime – are you sure it was me? I mean, I? There is, apparently, more to this crime than it would seem, and it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.Do I ever condemn anything done on TV unless it’s done by a conservative? Honestly – I don’t think you could build a very strong case against me on that particular charge. I’d have to go back and read dozens and dozens of columns from the past several years – UGH! You can do that if you want. But remember, I am a critic, I don’t have to be “fair and balanced” and critize every faction equally. I swear to you I do not do it on ideological or political grounds, not consciously. I would hate to be that predictable. Thanks for dropping by…….

I’m sure it was you, Tom Shales. Evidently you need the citation, so here it is, from a column of yours dated June 9, 2008:

Polanski, diminutive director of “Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and other creepy classics, did indeed have sexual intercourse with Samantha Gailey, who was 13 at the time, back in 1977. He was never charged with rape but with “unlawful intercourse.”

That is, of course, false — as I demonstrated in this post from the following day, which linked, and published a screencap from, Polanski’s indictment charging him with rape by use of drugs:

polanski-indictment.JPG

It took about three weeks and half a dozen e-mails to the ombudsman (then Deborah Howell), but the Post finally ran a correction, which you can see at the tippy-top of the linked Shales column:

Correction to This Article
This preview of the HBO documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” incorrectly said that Polanski was never charged with rape. The charges against Polanski included rape; he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

So Shales not only wrote an article minimizing Polanski’s crime, but he even suffered the professional rebuke of a correction. But he doesn’t remember it! Let’s further remind him of his portrayal of Polanski as a man “hounded” by my employer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney:

Polanski belongs to a rarefied subculture: celebrities hounded by the state. His case brings to mind that of Charles Chaplin, pestered for years with sexual allegations, including a phony paternity suit, and otherwise hounded by authorities for his political beliefs.

Let’s quote Shales again from today: “I didn’t realize I had written a column defending Roman Polanski and minimized his crime.”

Realize it, Shales.

P.S. I can’t end this post without making an observation about the other portion of Shales’s comment from today, for this is perhaps the stupidest thing he has said yet on this topic: “it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.

You know what? That, to me, sounds like more than just a “hollow defense.”

To me, that sounds like a quote that, in a year or so, Tom Shales will not remember even having made.

164 Responses to “Tom Shales: I’m Shocked to Be Told I Minimized Polanski’s Crime!! Here, Let Me Do It Again!”

  1. A 13-year-old is not a 13-year-old. She had it coming. Her words said ‘no’ but her eyes said ‘yes.’ The defense of this guy is so creepy, I find myself wondering if we are really living in a Western Democracy in the 21st Century. Apparently, only Chris Rock and a couple of bloggers get it.

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  2. Is there something in the water over at the WaPo, or what? First Applebaum, now this inane moral equivalency masquerading as criticism. Too bad – in spite of my problems with Shale’s obviously lefty viewpoints in nearly every review he puts out, his book on SNL was actually quite good.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  3. You know what? That, to me, sounds like more than just a “hollow defense.”

    To me, that sounds like a quote that, in a year or so, Tom Shales will not remember even having made.

    Well…to me it sounded more like a, how do I put this, a quote that he really, really would have been wise to leave the “I” out of. It just sounds….creepy.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  4. Pathetic of Shales.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. ITAR/TASS would have loved having Shales write for them.

    NavyspyII (df615d)

  6. Comment by carlitos — 10/6/2009 @ 7:59 pm

    Posted before saw your comment. Was wondering if I’d taken this the wrong way so was almost a relief to see your “creepy” too. All this depravity lately’s messing with the brain – even innocent things have the taint of mud.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  7. I’m not exactly sure why Shales has a job at the WaPo, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Sorry, Dmac, I just don’t think he’s that good of a writer or thinker.

    Nonetheless, he does have a prominent job at an important newspaper. If someone at that newspaper doesn’t take him to task for his vile opinion, then the Washington Post is nothing more than it’s most valued attribute — bird-cage liner.

    I hear crickets chirping in Andrew Alexander’s office now.

    Ag80 (09b618)

  8. Shales is disgusting.

    JD (ad5f4d)

  9. “it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.”

    No, to me, this doesn’t sound like a hollow defense, Tom Shales, it sounds like a pre-emptive strike, you sick man. With this statement, he can rationalize anything. After all, the ends justifies the means, right?

    Apparently amorality is trendy, wearing a skirt means you’re just asking to be raped, and art and all in the name of it, is so divine that it justifies any sick perversion one can think of.

    Dana (863a65)

  10. I swear to you I do not do it on ideological or political grounds, not consciously.

    “And, Dunn, I’m not a liberal. I’m a progressive! Big difference!”

    Mark (411533)

  11. Why do we spend so much money enriching a place that turns 13 year olds into sex objects? Like, not even figurative hannah Monata style objects, but actual objects for elite film makers to destroy sexually?

    Let’s just stop. We have video games and the internet now, and we just plain don’t need to go to theaters and buy DVDs very often. These media empires are seriously bleeding cash these days, and I am freaking delighted.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  12. “I do not do it on ideological or political grounds, not consciously”

    LOL, Dana. This is not the most sad part of his column, but it’s still pretty sad. He knows he’s a bigot against conservatives. It’s practically a requirement in his business. Why not own it? Take your side like an adult.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  13. I think he drinks. A lot.

    I really do.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  14. What does this moron Shales know about the 13 year old girl? Did he ever meet her? No! Did he know what her past conduct had been? No!

    To this moral defective any 13 year old girl in Hollywood is just a street slut and fair game for any 44 year old pervert who, in his own words,
    likes to F@#^ young girls.

    I’ve never met the 13 year old girl–either as a 13 year old–or in her current 45 year old persona. But I am willing to grant a presumption of innocence to any 13 year old girl of whom I know naught but the fact that she is 13.

    What is wrong with these people?

    Mike Myers (710e8b)

  15. This may sound like a hollow defense but at The Washington Post I am not sure a writer or journalist is really a writer or journalist.

    Lanettetay (5406ea)

  16. Where is husky New York boy Asher Yosef? If that kid can drag himself away from Prison Break long enough, I thought he’d be all over this thread. Maybe his thighs caught on fire from rubbing together.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  17. Beating to a pulp a repulsive, immoral newspaper columnist is not really assault either I guess.

    … I mean …. to use his line of reasoning.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  18. A hard-left WaPo writer repeatedly lies and distorts in defense of a pedophilic scumbag?

    Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.

    Cinco Jotas (8aca80)

  19. Shales is correct when he states that “in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.”

    Confirmation of this comes from the fact that in Hollywood having sex with a 13 year old “is not rape-rape” [Whoopi Goldberg]

    Ramon V. Martinez (6ef394)

  20. #19, um, Whoopi clarified her rape-rape statement,

    Goldberg claimed she was only trying to get the “facts straight”.

    She said, “Some people got the idea that I was condoning what he did. I’m going to be very clear: I was trying to make sure we had our facts straight because that’s my job – particularly about what he was arrested for and what he was charged with, which was unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, not rape, which was my point.”

    Get it?

    Nah, me either.

    Dana (863a65)

  21. But what about the actual documents Patterico already posted?

    It would behoove even Hollywood parakeets like Whoopi (brainless, loud, and vain) to get their facts straight. Particularly a “child advocate” like Ms. Goldberg (excuse me, Caryn Johnson, I mean).

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  22. I just sent the Washington Post the following email.

    “From his chat today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/10/02/DI2009100204260.html), the statement “but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old” may be the single creepiest thing I’ve read about the Polanski case. Is the Washington Post condoning statutory rape as long as it occurs in Hollywood? How in any way is this acceptable, whether in print, in a chat, or frankly anywhere outside of a NAMBLA convention?”

    ds (49eadd)

  23. I just sent the Washington Post the following email, the subject was “Tom Shales”

    “From his chat today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/10/02/DI2009100204260.html), the statement “but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old” may be the single creepiest thing I’ve read about the Polanski case. Is the Washington Post condoning statutory rape as long as it occurs in Hollywood? How in any way is this acceptable, whether in print, in a chat, or frankly anywhere outside of a NAMBLA convention?”

    ds (49eadd)

  24. It would behoove even Hollywood parakeets like Whoopi (brainless, loud, and vain) to get their facts straight.

    Well, yes, and one would have assumed that would have been taken care of *before* going in front of millions of viewers and making an ass of oneself.

    Dana (863a65)

  25. Not thirteen thirteen in Hollywood apparently.

    Topsecretk9 (ab69ad)

  26. You know, Dana, I heard a story that, in the early days of the 20th Century, good hotels had a sign in the lobby stating that they would refuse service to prostitutes and actors.

    Hmmmm….

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  27. Hmmmm….
    Comment by Eric Blair — 10/6/2009 @ 9:43 pm

    What? Redundant? ;)

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  28. Pretty typical of the “Porcelain Press” conveniently not recalling their own words. It’ll soon bite them in the @$$ at the wrong (or right, in this case) moment… Hey Shales, I’m sure you’d change your tune if some creep did the same to a 13 year old female relative of yours (or of other Liberal/Hollywood Polanski defenders). Wouldn’t be so quick to defend him, huh?

    DVS1 (53cca4)

  29. I dunno if AY will be back, or at least not with that sock on. He got his lunch handed to him, a la the movie “Christine” but without the back-up.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  30. Asher Yosef is a good and valuable person. He is also a deranged paranoid schizophrenic what sees racism and anti-semiticism hiding around every corner. Oh, and it is a violent liar.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  31. Is that the kind of mean I cannot be to that guy that writes for feministe? Plus, he has an angry band of hatey haters that will hate on his behalf, which makes him kind of creepy.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  32. JD, you called someone a liar. I denounce you for your racism.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  33. JD – I think you can be his Facebook friend.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  34. Polanski is a sick MF–then and now.

    Any arguments to the contrary are BS.

    jb (3533c5)

  35. When twenty year old street thugs go to war over drug turf that’s ‘children dying from gun violence.’

    When an ideologically select forty year old rapes a thirteen year old ‘she’s not really a child.’

    Orwellian doesn’t begin to describe Shales and his ilk..

    ThomasD (56a6b4)

  36. What are we missing here? Well, let me offer up a meat cleaver to cut through the smoke. And, yes, that is a mangled metaphor.

    Roman Polanski, in entering his plea of guilty to a (severely) reduced charge in this case, in open court, ADMITTED that he was aware of the girl’s ACTUAL age AT THE TIME of the offense.

    What Tom Shales (whoever he is) might think a 13 year old girl in Hollywood looks like is irrelevant — unless it should come up in his own trial — and immaterial to anything having to do with Roman Polanski and the charges against him, which included more than the single rape charge listed above, by the way.

    IndieDogg (10dea2)

  37. In Hollywood a 13 year old is not a 13 year old?

    What does that mean? Kid at a party? Walking down the street? Kid on a TV show? An extra on the set?

    If he tried that with my kid I’d be amused to see him attempt the witty banter after I’d cut out his tongue with tin-snips. Mmmmmm – I love Lingua.

    Californio (55068d)

  38. 13 is not 13, not rape-rape, and so forth. Pathetic. The charge–which Polanski admitted–was getting a 13-year old drunk and drugged, then raping her. He plead guilty. What part of this does Shales, Whoopi, and others not get?!

    Matthew Weaver (db3f9d)

  39. Looks to me like Polanski pled guilty to one count of bangin a tree, which is unlawful in some places. Nothing about girls in the guilty plea itself. (Chat with judge on-the-record after the plea is different from plea, methinks.)

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  40. There’s this movie where a guy named, um, Shills gets killed by a mugger on the street, and the only way his spirit can communicate with his WaPo buddies is to inhabit the body of a panelist named, um, Whoopee! The conversation goes something like this:

    “It wasn’t, like, rape-rape, you know. And she wasn’t, like, 13-13, either, like, you know.”

    CO2Maker (1bf80e)

  41. I’ll bet any 13 year-old in Shale’s family who happens to visit Hollywood is still a 13 year-old. What an indefensible, irresponsible thing to say. Luckily, less and less of us read crap like that nowadays. Only if we are alerted to it by the vigilant few.

    dfbaskwill (2c7f7f)

  42. Shales has been in love with Obama since the campaign and biased libs for even longer. He is capable of writing stuff like this (from April):

    “Obama doesn’t want to run car companies or banks, he said late in the session: “I’ve got enough to do.” He was deflecting criticism from those who contend he wants to grow the government. The disbelievers will still be unconvinced, but there appear to be relatively few of them, and many are just the predictable strident voices of the kind of partisan pedantry that Obama has said he abhors.”

    and

    “MSNBC showed its strengths — at least two of them, anyway — by going to ravaging Keith Olbermann and ravishing Rachel Maddow. Two smart people are a lot better than an arsenal of computerly contraptions.”

    this is grade-A shill

    (hat tip Newsbusters)

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2009/04/30/despite-stumbles-wapos-tom-shales-still-calls-obama-smartest-kid-class

    harkin (f92f52)

  43. “Comment by HeavenSent — 10/6/2009 @ 9:13 pm”

    It’s not ‘assault-assault’ HS :)

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  44. I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old

    What is she then?

    Dash (125d4a)

  45. In post-modern Hollywood a 13-year old can be any age you want.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  46. Fortunately, these sort of things stay on the Net forever. I’m sure someone will dig up the “in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old” statement one year later.

    Lola LB (67396a)

  47. Wow, who would have known there is so much democratic division over… sex with children. i mean Acorn thinks it is kosher, hollywood thinks it is kosher… the governments (but not people) of europe think it is kosher (embarrassing everyone who says the europeans are more sophisticated)… it just goes on and on…

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  48. Disgusting (Shales’ “I’m bragging about being stuck on stupid-stupid”.)

    htom (412a17)

  49. It fits the narrative. The narrative — with which, by the way, I fully agree — is that the law is lousy about putting in gray zones instead of bright lines, and that a guy who really doesn’t have reason to think he’s committing a crime could commit statutory rape; the slightly-underage girl could look and act like a young, but adult, woman, etc.

    The problem with that as a defense for Polanski, of course, is that the victim was only thirteen, looked and acted like a little (albeit not prepubescent) girl, was actually (unless she lied through her teeth, which seems, in this situation, to be at most vanishingly unlikely), and it was, manifestly, rape-rape (or whatever Whoopi Goldberg’s euphemism is for forced, nonconsensual sexual intercourse), and lots of reporters and Hollywood types prefer their narrative to anything resembling the truth.

    Which is pretty disgusting.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  50. I remember when the Washington Post was a real paper, with real editors, competent reporters and something called standards and ethics.

    Kathrine Graham would not have let Shales remain employed by the Post.

    Ex-Washingtonian (2b1d37)

  51. ravishing Rachel Maddow

    I’m gonna frowup

    bandit (36701c)

  52. it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.”
    Yes idiot. It is a hollow and stupid non-defense. And I am not sure a human being is really a human being.

    The Emperor (1b037c)

  53. What we want to protect is a state of innocence. What we have to measure is age. A 13 year old that has been hooking on the street for 2 years is not in the same state of innocence as a 13 year old that has not held the hand of her first crush, much as the 18 year old high school senior shortstop may not be as mature as the 18 year old soldier that has gone door to door in Ramadi infiltrating enemy strongholds. The latter I trust with a beer or two, the former not so much. Our laws (and protections, and morals) are based on what we want to be, and what we are afraid of, and not what is. The fact is not all 13 year olds are the same, to act as though they are is to ignore the truth.

    Brahma (476192)

  54. [...] 13-year-old girls aren’t really 13 in Hollywood, said the moral midget. [...]

    You Know, These People Really Are Digusting « POWIP (e3a4cc)

  55. If I were a wife or sister to any of these men who defend Roman Polanski I would start considering the possibility that perhaps I should watch very closely their contacts with my young sons, daughters, nieces or nephews.

    It’s very creepy and does make sense for us moms to be pro-active in protecting our young.

    Kristen (4a0d2b)

  56. If I were a wife or sister to any of these men who defend Roman Polanski I would start considering the possibility that perhaps I should watch very closely their contacts with my young sons, daughters, nieces or nephews.

    It’s very creepy and does make sense for us moms to be pro-active in protecting our young.

    Kristen (4a0d2b)

  57. I’m not sure journalists are really journalists either – anywhere, not just Hollywood.

    And these people wonder why we loathe them.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  58. Typical Shales. And if he doesn’t realize he does things on ideological grounds, he should, because I’m constantly pointing it out to him in his comment section. :-) Seriously, he’s so blatant about it, he probably has Bush and Palin dartboards (not to mention an Obama doll to take to bed every night!). I’m so tired of him and Lisa de Moraes as the TV critics in my daily paper.

    Gina (2fea62)

  59. I bet Shales was absolutely convinced that the Duke hockey team accused of raping a ‘dancer’ … one I might add that was well over the age of consent, ‘experienced’, and there to dance naked for a bunch of young guys.

    What ever happened to the liberal view that “No means no!!!!”” Remember??? That translates to no matter how ‘far’ a young woman has gone, if she says “NO” at any time ….. and the male doesn’t stop, he’s guilty of rape. Apparently that doesn’t apply to people like Polansky or the others involved who seemed to enable his behavior on that particular night. strange we never hear about why he brought her to Nicholson’s house and that Huston was there at the time…. what the hell is wrong with them?

    Polansky admitted to raping a 13 year old…. he said he did it….even if he hadn’t, she was not of the age of consent. That’s the law …. for everyone…no one is excluded regardless of star quality…whatever that means these days.

    A society’s laws are based on a consensual belief in what is right, acceptable, and what is not. We have now come to a place where a small minority like those in Hollywood are undermining our laws and our values in order to justify their own behavior. It is outrageous, unacceptable and beyond the pale. It is time the majority stands up and tells these people NO…. we don’t agree, you’re ideas are sick and we won’t stand for this. Let them call you ‘right wing’ ‘evangelical” “right wing nuts” who the hell cares…… sex with children is wrong.

    The most recent “School Safety Czar” in the White House believes that sex between a young boy and an older man is justified. He has supported members of NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Association).

    One can’t help but wonder if that is what this Polansky affair is all about, the advocation of sex with children by Hollywood and the left.

    L. G. Davis (86cd67)

  60. Not only is a 13 year old in Hollywood not a 13 year old but California should have a penal code that does not apply at all to Hollywood and the menagerie that makes its inflated living there.Requiring consent, altogether, to sexual intercourse can only deprive Hollywood degenerates of their jollies so remove that requirement altogether.Shales is more proof that you don’t even need a pulse to have access to bandwidth

    Karen (549169)

  61. Kathrine Graham would not have let Shales remain employed by the Post.

    Don’t be too sure about that – the sainted Graham basically looked the other way when her paper was exposed for their fraudulent story regarding the teen – aged drug addict that won a Pulitzer. I don’t believe any editors were fired over that one, and if that’s not a hangable offense in her world, I can’t imagine this would have barely caused a ripple.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  62. I believe a 13 year old was a 13 year old in 1977.

    Rodger West (b2c1b0)

  63. Forget Hollywood.

    I’m beginning to wonder if a 13 year old is a 13 year old in DC.

    MayBee (34a54a)

  64. 13 is not 13, not rape-rape, and so forth. Pathetic.

    That’s what I thought of. Shales, like Whoopi, is only making excuses for vile, criminal activity, treating it like it’s no big deal.

    I hope people remember who stood with rape when some of these same people speak out later on other issues, particularly the Hollywood-types.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  65. It depends on who the press is trying to screw, MayBee.

    JD (c26e0b)

  66. He said in Hollywood. There is a simple explanation.

    She traveled back in time.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  67. C’mon, guys, you know she wanted it, they all want it. Especially from famous directors. And important liberals. And their defenders.

    Jeffersonian (5363b6)

  68. “#

    What we want to protect is a state of innocence. What we have to measure is age. A 13 year old that has been hooking on the street for 2 years is not in the same state of innocence as a 13 year old that has not held the hand of her first crush, much as the 18 year old high school senior shortstop may not be as mature as the 18 year old soldier that has gone door to door in Ramadi infiltrating enemy strongholds. The latter I trust with a beer or two, the former not so much. Our laws (and protections, and morals) are based on what we want to be, and what we are afraid of, and not what is. The fact is not all 13 year olds are the same, to act as though they are is to ignore the truth.

    Comment by Brahma — 10/7/2009 @ 5:48 am

    You do have a point, that some people are more mature than others, but that does NOT apply to this particular case. No matter what her age was…be it a mature or immature 13 or 31…rape is rape. This is a simple case of a female being plied with alcohol…given drugs to attempt to break down her resistances…and then have sex forced upon her as she continually said no. End of story. Rape IS rape. What makes this particularly nasty is, of course, that the girl WAS only 13 years old, and reading the transcripts of her responses to questions seemed like a regular, young 13 year old girl to me. I don’t care if she had been having sex on her own already (which it seems like she was) or not. The fact here is that a grown, “mature” 40+ year old MAN forced himself onto a 13 year old girl when she said no. And that act just cannot in any good conscience way be defended.

    Highlar (190f44)

  69. heh, JD. I really am wondering, though.

    You know, the girl’s mother was beautiful, young, and a stage mother. If Roman had wanted to seduce someone of age he could have tried with her. That obviously wasn’t what he was after.

    MayBee (34a54a)

  70. He is loved by people is France and the rest of Europe, MayBee. Don’t you understand that?!

    JD (c26e0b)

  71. In Hollywood they must use dog years

    quasimodo (4af144)

  72. On the one hand, Tom Shales asserts differences most observers find somewhat elusive… “I’m not a liberal. I’m a progressive! Big difference!”

    Yet, Shales can’t bring himself to acknowledge a distinction between normal adult consensual sex and the forced rape of a 13 year old under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Polanski’s unlawful flight to avoid the consequences of his contemptible misbehavior also fails to register on Shales radar.

    Maybe the “Big difference” Scales sees is really only the flip side to his inability to distinguish between the normally sanctioned and the criminally perverse, both convenient illusions in service to his compulsive attention seeking…

    ropelight (8ab8e3)

  73. Look at the difference between how the media has covered Polansky and how they covered Foley, who wrote some naughty texts and emails, and Studds, who was cornholing them.

    JD (c26e0b)

  74. Kids do grow up too fast these days, and there’s probably some 13 year old out there (in today’s world at least) to whom, very sadly, Shale’s description may apply.

    But he has no basis whatsoever to apply such a view to this particular 13 year old at that particular time. That he would do so without any basis indicates a wish to see things a certain way.

    Further, the public testimony of the girl from the time makes it pretty apparent that in this case Shales’s “13 going on 30″ idea isn’t just baseless, but its wrong. And cruel.

    Jbarton (146dc5)

  75. I just think all the people traveling to Cambodia as sex tourists tell themselves the same thing.

    MayBee (34a54a)

  76. The laughable thing about people like Tom Shales (ie, “leftys”) is they believe their sentiments rest on a foundation of wonderful compassion and decency. That they’re so humane and just. But to claim and believe that without ultimately being both a phony and fool, one has to be able to at least separate the good guys from the bad ones. To accurately judge good situations from bad ones.

    Shales isn’t even truly open about his leftist biases, so he certainly won’t be honest with himself and others that he’s no more humane than anyone else, if not actually less humane than the average person (“the girl raped by that guy?! Not a big deal!”). The biggest joke about people like Shales is that I’m sure in their warped mind they see themselves as being far more generous and humane than their political opposites.

    Mark (411533)

  77. Is a man, a man in Hollywood? Just asking.

    The Emperor (0c8c2c)

  78. If you know a thirteen year old alcoholic, is it acceptable to buy them a bottle of whiskey?

    The relative “innocence” of the 13 yo would not mitigate the crime of the purchase. Adults have responsibilities to young people.

    The 13yo is still unable in law, and indeed a physical way (the state of brain development, all else notwithstanding) to make an adult decision.

    SarahW (692fc6)

  79. Okay, if you don’t think a 13 year old girl can consent under the influence of booze and Quaaludes to anal sex, then I guess this makes this a rape. Not a rape rape. The girl was passed out! Whoopee is a hypocritical idiot. I think they should have not let Polanski out on bail for such a reprehensible crime. According to many, this was not the first time he had done this either.

    Rudemeister (f0fed9)

  80. Also I wish Whoopi would “clarify” that her understanding of what Polanski was charged with is erroneous. He was charged with “rape rape” and pled guilty to a lesser charge.

    SarahW (692fc6)

  81. In Hollywood, how young does someone have to be before they qualify as a child? Is an 8 year old and 8 year old in Hollywood?

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  82. Lemme see here, if I, a naval officer, did what Roman Polanski did, I would be facing the death penalty. I’m pretty sure I’d get it.

    I shoulda gone to film school…

    open_channel_d (d8e0e5)

  83. Duh! 13-year-olds are like 36 in “regular person” years. Stupid Wingnuts!

    Monty (0fedae)

  84. Tommybabe is using the oldest defense in the book. “I don’t remember” Sad part is he’s probably telling the truth. And the last thing he’s going to do is go back to his old columns and refresh said memory. Might not fit the narrative.

    glenn (757adc)

  85. “in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.”

    He’s got it backwards. Judging from their level of intellectual, ideological and moral development, everyone in Hollywood is 13.

    schizuki (2e876e)

  86. At least in marketing.

    AD - RtR/OS! (108af0)

  87. All fairness aside, to a layperson, since the other charges were dropped as part of the plea bargain, it appears that he wasn’t charged with the other offenses in the end. I mean finally.

    So Shales may not have intentionally minimized the crime when he wrote, erroneously, that Polanski wasn’t “charged” with rape.

    Would he have considered the later correction to indicate that he “minimized the crime,” or just that he got a detail wrong?

    He may be arguing in good faith.

    On the other hand, “I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old” is just hands-down creepy.

    Sam (c71bb1)

  88. Sam – I could extend the benefit of the doubt to Goldberg, as long as she corrected (since she states her object was to be accurate about the charges filed against Polanski.)

    Shales, no. He wrote Polanski was NEVER charged with rape. That is another kind of assertion, a frank falsity, resulting from either an inexcusable laziness on his part, or a complete disregard for the truth of his assertion, or a deliberate attempt to persuade with a false “fact”. I tend to go with the first and second explanations.

    He was just wrong and didn’t care if he was wrong.

    Again, Goldberg could redeem herself by admitting that he was at some point charged with “rape rape.”

    SarahW (692fc6)

  89. Another point, Sam (and I feel confident that the lawyers here will correct me if I’m mistaken on this), but, since sentence has never been imposed on this matter, it is still open, and a new judge could (conceivably) reject the plea agreement and direct the case to trial on the full indictment.

    AD - RtR/OS! (108af0)

  90. That would be a really interesting point if true, AD, if they could get this slime over here and try him for what he was REALLY guilty of. How the judge could have let him plea-bargain down in the first place is beyond me.

    Highlar (ae24a6)

  91. Watch the videos posted at http://jezebel.com/5369395/whoopi-on-roman-polanski-it-wasnt-rape+rape to hear Whoopi at her finest trying to “correct” everyone else on the show about “being right about this” – “he was never charged with rape”. The final 30 seconds of video 1 is where she elevates herself to expert on the case. The second video is where she is adamant about him not being charged with rape and how they need to be careful about “getting it right”. Then someone whispers into her earpiece that Polanski was charged with rape-rape – a true Emily Latella “never mind” moment.

    in_awe (a55176)

  92. What I can’t figure out is why wouldn’t we have an extradition treaty with France for this kind of thing? Can Amereicans just escape justice by booking flights to Paris?

    Anyone know why this particular case France is safe haven?

    EdN (3864e9)

  93. Polanski’s biggest mistake, apparently, was not performing his rape while working for a military contractor: http://bit.ly/4G9BxI

    Drew (d587d9)

  94. Apparently amorality is trendy, wearing a skirt means you’re just asking to be raped, and art and all in the name of it, is so divine that it justifies any sick perversion one can think of.

    No, the bit about Chaplin being “hounded” for his “politcal beliefs” suggests that Shales is backing Polanski for his politics and not for his art.

    Which leaves me wondering, what are Polanski’s politics?

    Subotai (eddf9d)

  95. Drew – I think that choosing to drug and then assrape a 13 year old is exponentially worse than not choosing to work for a contractor. YMMV.

    JD (aff952)

  96. re: “Forget Hollywood.

    I’m beginning to wonder if a 13 year old is a 13 year old in DC.”

    You may remember Mel Reynolds, who Chicago send to Washington DC. Money quote (when informed that he was being set up with a 13-year-old who went to Catholic school and wore the plaid skirt) :
    What, did I win the lottery?

    Bill Clinton commuted his sentence for tax evasion and underage sexual relations.

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  97. [...] Polanski and minimized his crime – are you sure it was me? I mean, I? [Simon says: Yes, Tom, it was you.] There is, apparently, more to this crime than it would seem, and it may sound like a hollow [...]

    Letterman Can Always Go Back to Doing the Weather in Indianapolis at Deceiver.com (971796)

  98. Shales’s comment obviously implies that the victim was sexually precocious. To paraphrase an old Benny Hill gag, that she was a girl of 13 summers and 30 winters.

    Got evidence? (I’ll admit that, IF there WERE evidence of the victim’s throwing herself at Polanski, that would be at least somewhat mitigating. But there is no such evidence. All the evidence is quite to the contrary: he drugged her, gave her champagne, and through fear raped her.)

    Shame on Tom Shales.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  99. [...] squad rallies to defend a child molester, replete with Obama cheerleader Tom Shales hinting that 13-year-olds should be fair game in Hollywood. Now here comes this guy treating subprime borrowers who took out mortgages they [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Socialist millionaire: People who default on their mortgages are like rape victims or something (e2f069)

  100. I see the makings of a deal here.

    If we’ll agree to prosecute old charges of statutory rape by Hollywood producers, you’ll agree to prosecute old charges of torture by the Bush administration?

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  101. Amused,

    What an idiot moral equivalence. Even if it was torture (and if you actually read the laws involved, it is far from clear), it was done for noble reasons: to protect this nation. you might dispute the effectiveness of it, but not the motives.

    By comparison Polanski did it because he is a perv.

    And yeah, the definition of torture is unclear. When the statute says things like “severe emotional pain and suffering” well, what the hell does that mean? how severe is “severe?” We have a God given right to know ahead of time what is legal and illegal so that we are on notice how to conform our conduct to the law. that is why, for instance, ex post facto legislation is banned under the constitution. If i was a defense attorney in that case, the first thing i would do is challenge the law as unconstitional for vagueness.

    But it is cute for you to use the rape of a little girl as a cheap political football.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  102. Epic Shales, Part Deux…

    “Tom Shales: I’m Shocked to Be Told I Minimized Polanski’s Crime!! Here, Let Me Do It Again!”
    Click here for yesterday’s post on Shales defending Polanski and Letterman.
    ……

    Ed Driscoll (a3d746)

  103. What jurisdiction has charged anyone with torture, amused? Good to know the assraping of a 13 year old amuses you.

    JD (0a26e4)

  104. [...] week, Roman Polanski; today, the perversion du jour, at the Church of [...]

    Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Bringing down the Celebrity Dysfunction Complex (a98aa5)

  105. you’ll agree to prosecute old charges of torture by the Bush administration?

    OK, but with one caveat – we get to display fools like you in the public square, replete with stocks and a circle of your citizens pelting you with eggs and insults.

    Sound good, precious?

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  106. Conservatives love torture, especially sexual torture, but they hate vanilla sex.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  107. P_R_O_J_E_C_T_I_O_N

    AD - RtR/OS! (108af0)

  108. As an 18-year old in 1977, I would have been crucified for committing this act on a 13-year old, and rightly so. But I can also assure you that if Polanski had done that to my daughter we wouldn’t even be having some conversation about where he’s going to spend the rest of his life. I do hope that every woman in the world realizes that liberals are neither their friends nor their champions!

    wesman58 (3879a5)

  109. Yeah, wesman, but if you had sexually tortured a bunch of people in Cuba, Iraq, or Afghanistan, the American right wing would have given you the Medal of Freedom for your patriotic perversion. You people are into that.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  110. Good to know that assrape amuses you, amused. That really makes you kind of a sick twist.

    JD (3399c0)

  111. Amused:
    a – false equivalence
    b – non-sequitur

    Take your pick and move on, asshat.

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  112. carlitos, so which is it for you? Sexual torture, or just plain old torture? Pick your pleasure!

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  113. “you’ll agree to prosecute old charges of torture by the Bush administration?”

    I’m confused, is Amused saying somebody has actually brought charges or is this the same old fringe lefty bedwetting losers whining again and the pop fashionista human rights jihadi fanboi shills looking for attention?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  114. Arguing with idiots on the internet is a form of torture, yes.

    Look at the top of the page. That’s the ‘subject’ of the post.
    Look at the words you wrote. Those are comments on … something else.

    Do you have something to add about Roman Polanski vis a vis Tom Shales?

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  115. Daley – It is the latter. Prolly ilurvamerikkka or one of them.

    JD (e64f1a)

  116. Carlitos – How goes it, non-friend? Business good?

    JD (e64f1a)

  117. Vanilla sex?

    Where to begin with that description/ analogy of what Polanski did.

    I was going to crack, “that must be some kind of FRENCH vanilla,” but that’s unfair even to the French.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  118. The idea that a 13-year-old in Hollywood is abnormally experienced in sexual matters only indicates a belief in the depravity rampant in that town. Having grown up nearby, I can say it simply isn’t true. There is no shortage of men in the film industry who’d have sought Polanski’s or at the least, castration, if he’d done that to one of their daughters. It only takes a small core of lawless individuals to run amuck and get away with it because they were on a hot streak in a business where you’re only as good as your last movie.

    Has Shales forgotten that just a year earlier, the film ‘Taxi Driver’ featured Jodie Foster portraying a 12-year-old prostitute and was considered the height of shocking and outrageous. So having sex with girls that young went from the most forbidden crime imaginable, the one that caused Travis Bickle to go from spectator to vigilante, to become a mere faux pas, in the course of a single year?

    What the hell is wrong with these people?

    epobirs (770c9f)

  119. Yeah, wesman, but if you had sexually tortured a bunch of people in Cuba, Iraq, or Afghanistan, the American right wing would have given you the Medal of Freedom for your patriotic perversion. You people are into that.

    Amused as Hell, you so easily throw out a false equivalence while not condemning the rape of a 13 year old and you ignore Tom Shales, the actual subject of this post. And then you make utterly absurd and untrue accusations against “you people”, while again not condemning the rape of a 13 year old and ignoring Tom Shales, the subject of this post.

    It’s just so telling.

    Dana (863a65)

  120. [...] 0 Comments He’s moved on from cooing over the president to making excuses for Roman Polanksi: [...]

    Tom Shales Manages To Write Something Worse Than His Obama Press-Conference Reviews | America Watches Obama (4ab9a2)

  121. I see the makings of a deal here.

    If we’ll agree to prosecute old charges of statutory rape by Hollywood producers, you’ll agree to prosecute old charges of torture by the Bush administration?

    Comment by Amused As Hell — 10/7/2009 @ 1:34 pm

    Thanks for the offer, but no “deal” required because Polanski already pled guilty. Then fled before sentencing. That’s two things he should have been in jail for long ago. No more prosecuting needed anymore.

    JD made a pretty good point that I see you’ve yet to deny. So you do think drugging and raping 13 year olds against their explicit objections is funny.

    So much for conservatives loving sexual torture. Projection, projection, projection. Does liberals in every time.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  122. Does liberals in every time.

    Should have said: does extreme liberals in every time. Apologies to Leviticus et al for the misspeak.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  123. Sounds like americanus rightwingus nutcassus is okay with the sex only if it includes the torture.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  124. I see the makings of a deal here.

    If we’ll agree to prosecute old charges of statutory rape by Hollywood producers, you’ll agree to prosecute old charges of torture by the Bush administration?

    It takes talent to pack so much stupid into so few words.

    Tell you what. You refuse to “agree” for us to “prosecute” Polanski all you like. Since we don’t have to prosecute him, but merely sentence him, we’ll manage to do it without the “agreement” of some annoying anonymous commenter.

    Meanwhile, care to share which prosecutorial agency filed torture “charges” against anyone in the Bush administration? I’ll answer for you: none.

    So, as the idiots say on that Howie Mandel game show:

    NO DEAL!!!!!!

    Patterico (64318f)

  125. Sounds like americanus rightwingus nutcassus is okay with the sex only if it includes the torture.

    Comment by Amused As Hell — 10/7/2009 @ 5:30 pm

    *rechecks comments by the conservatives*

    Oh.

    Am so sorry you’re hearing voices. That is treatable, you know.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  126. Amused – We don’t get many 13 year old ass rape supporters around here. I think you qualify for a prize.

    Patterico, tell him what he won!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  127. Patterico, tell him what he won!

    Comment by daleyrocks — 10/7/2009 @ 5:40 pm

    LOL

    Please oh please oh please…

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  128. The problem arises though, that the voices are the sane side of the conversation.

    AD - RtR/OS! (108af0)

  129. Sounds like americanus rightwingus nutcassus is okay with the sex only if it includes the torture.

    Disturbingly fixated on sex and torture. Ew.

    Dana (863a65)

  130. Hey nonfriend JD, business is pretty good. I am finally commercializing that product, and turning it over to the entrepreneur who started it. Then, I start a ‘real job’ with a paycheck and insurance and stuff in November. Mrs. Carlito likes the security. I will be traveling to Germany instead of Mexico, so that is different…

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  131. Amused As Hell does not even realize how disturbed he looks to normal people.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  132. There is a lot of that on the internets, SPQR.

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  133. Sounds like americanus rightwingus nutcassus is okay with the sex only if it includes the torture.

    Comment by Amused As Hell — 10/7/2009 @ 5:30 pm
    What the f…?

    The Emperor (0c8c2c)

  134. I understand that Germany is a great country to travel to – Dusseldorf seems to be a particularly cool place, it would appear, not to mention unified Berlin. And although it sounds trite, the travelers I’ve talked to do in fact comment often on how well the trains run on time.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  135. Nobody can condone vigilantism. However the old adage that if you want a job done right you have to do it yourself comes to mind. Knowing what I know now, if my 13 year old daughter or relation was plied with drugs and alcohol and raped Polanski’s plea bargaining to a lesser crime and subsequent flight from justice would have all been theoretical, I mean it’s not like he was really killed killed, he just died.

    Amused Observer (694f28)

  136. Americanus rightwingus nutcassus hates plain old sex. He wants Polanksy to go to jail. Americanus rightwingus nutcassus loves sex with torture. He wants to hand out Freedom Medals for those responsible for the U.S. military’s sexual torture of prisoners.

    None of this surprises me. Conservatives have always been this country’s most energetic perverts.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  137. Americanus rightwingus nutcassus hates plain old sex. He wants Polanksy to go to jail.

    Functionally illiterate (Polansky?), fake Latin for faux-intellectual cover (didn’t work so well: see above) AND thinks child rape = “plain old sex”.

    The combination of perversion and stupidity isn’t surprising I guess. But the leval of depravity re: child rape those two sentences reveal totally explains the other projection re: conservatives. And all in 14 words. Concisely done.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  138. Ignorance + Arrogance = college student.

    He will probably grow out of it, but I hope he gets those “no means no” seminars while still in school. His understanding of sex vs. rape is honestly frightening. If drugging 13 year olds for sodomy is ‘plain old sex’ I’d hate to see what he does for exciting sex.

    carlitos (e4a83c)

  139. Amused,

    Torture and rape a wholly different crimes. i will say that anyone who raped anyone should be prosecuted. But so called “torture” is such a vague concept. i mean seriously, can you define it with any certainty? The left seems to take an “i know it when i see it” approach, but when it comes to the criminal law, that won’t do.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  140. “…hates plain old sex. He wants Polanksy to go to jail”

    That is kind of sick, and by kind of sick I mean disgusting and scary, that you equate plain old sex with the drugging and assrape of a 13 year old.

    You are not amusing.

    JD (ce1a92)

  141. He Tom, let me know when you have a 13 year old daughter. As long as she doesn’t look like you I would like to snake her and see how you feel about it afterwards. You are a disgusting bastard…and probably a petiphile yourself, which is why you apparently don’t see a problem with Polanski’s rape of a young girl. Drop dead you sicko.

    John (b3e854)

  142. C’mon it’s not like what he gave her was “drugs” drugs. They were just mild chemical inducements to get her to relax. In fact, we should laud Polanski for allowing her these chemicals as they probably reduced her physical discomfort, which I’ve been told is significant during one’s first anal experience.

    Asher (dbb9fe)

  143. Amused as Hell thinks that rape is sex.

    And that tells us everything we need to know about his depravity.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  144. I just love the comments here, especially the ones who say that “torture” is vague.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  145. I think the ones from you, amused, where you equate plain old sex and rape. That is amusing, and by amusing, I mean you are a sick perverted twist disgusting b*stard.

    JD (45da85)

  146. JD, I’m not part of the americanus rightwingus nutcasses fringe who only approves of sex when accompanied by torture. That’s your crowd, pervert.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  147. Really? Prove it. You have objectively equated plain old sex with drugging and assraping a 13 year old. Your words.

    JD (c87796)

  148. JD, your and your rightwing nutcase crowd are all in favor of the U.S. military’s use of sexual torture ordered by the Bush administration. You people have made this clear on many, many occasions. It’s your crowd’s thing. Perversion becomes you.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  149. So many disingenuous phrases in one small comment …impressive.

    JD (6a02c8)

  150. I sure would like to know what acts comprised this “sexual torture ordered by the Bush Administration”?

    Could you elucidate?

    AD - RtR/OS! (814db9)

  151. BOOBIES !!!!

    JD (6a02c8)

  152. AD, look in your porn collection. Yeah, I know your keyboard is sticky, but you’ll find it all. But here’s one that I’m sure got americanus rightwingus nutcassus up and standin’ at attention: the Gitmo detainee who was stripped naked, wrapped in the Israeli flag, shown the gay porn, threatened with sodomy, and told that all the other detainees knew he was gay.

    Eventually that one went insane. You can go relieve yourselves now, wingnuts. I know you can just barely contain yourselves.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  153. You call that torture?
    That was no more than a frat initiation.
    You better thank your lucky stars that there are better than you who are willing to take the field upon your behalf and engage the evil that is attempting to destroy us.
    You disgust me!

    AD - RtR/OS! (814db9)

  154. There are 2,000+ pictures of the U.S. military committing sexual torture in Abu Ghraib. Congress has seen them, Obama has seen them, some reporters have seen them, and military investigators have seen them.

    “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency,” said Gen. Taguba, the author of the official report on Abu Ghraib.

    americanus rightwingus mutcassus is a pervert who denies the existence of all of this when not secretly jacking off to it. But he really hates ordinary sex. Too boring for you perverts. If there’s no torture, it ain’t fun for you.

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  155. AD just looooooooooooves his torture. Nastier the better! Must have be quite the frat house you were in, pervert!

    Amused As Hell (66858c)

  156. Sorry Chum.
    USAF!

    Oh, BTW, of those who were convicted of “detainee abuse” at AG, which ones where charged with “sexual torture”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (814db9)

  157. Sheesh, can we have a cleanup of this thread?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  158. Amused, don’t forget the guy who saw some red ink and thought it was menstrual blood!

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  159. Oh good Allah.

    Coming from someone the equates the drugging and assrape of a 13 year old to plain old sex, that is rich.

    JD (6cce87)

  160. [...] And do you want to know the ultimate audacity? Hume’s major critic here, who decries his mention of Christ with regard to the adulterer Tiger Woods, is the same journalist who once defended director Roman Polanski, a man wanted by American authorities for drugging and raping a 13 year old girl (see here). [...]

    The Audacity of Hume « Gairney Bridge (ea9e19)

  161. [...] …Will the last blogger out the door pick up Patterico’s jaw from the floor? [...]

    Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » The ICK factor rides again. (43f70a)


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