WaPo Columnist Has Undisclosed Conflict of Interest on Roman Polanski Matter
In an earlier post I noted substantial inaccuracies and omissions in a post by Washington Post pundit Anne Applebaum in support of Roman Polanski. (For example, she said Polanski fled during his trial; in fact, he pled guilty and fled before his sentencing.) But I think this is worth its own post: Applebaum failed to mention that her husband is a Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for Polanski’s case to be dismissed:
In Polanski’s native Poland, President Lech Kaczynski and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said they would appeal to US authorities to drop proceedings against Polanski.
The PAP news agency said Sikorski was consideri[ng] a direct appeal to US President Barack Obama to end ‘once and for all’ the proceedings against the filmmaker.
Radoslaw Sikorski is married to Anne Applebaum:
Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. . . . Her husband, Radoslaw Sikorski, is a Polish politician and writer.
Applebaum failed to mention this little fact.
So at the same time that she was giving readers a fact-challenged screed in support of Polanski, she was failing to disclose that her husband was a Polish official who was lobbying for Polanski’s freedom.
I work for the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, which is seeking Polanski’s extradition; that is no secret to anyone who reads this blog (nor is it a secret that I do not speak on behalf of my office on this blog). By contrast, it is not well known to Applebaum’s readers that her husband is a Polish official actively involved in the effort on Polanski’s behalf.
This is reminiscent of the episode where Linda Greenhouse repeatedly reported on the facts of a case in which her husband was involved. The New York Times‘s ombudsman opined that Greenhouse should have disclosed that connection.
This is no different. Applebaum should have disclosed this connection.
UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Applebaum does know how to disclose her marriage to her husband, as she did it in a column published five days ago:
Last week, the Czech prime minister was roused from his bed after midnight to be informed by the White House of a non-urgent decision many months in the making: the cancellation of the missile defense program. The Polish prime minister refused to take a similar call (and the foreign minister, to whom — full disclosure — I am married, was asleep).
Thanks to a reader, who agrees with me that the disclosure should have been made here as well. The point is not just the identity of her husband — but, additionally and more importantly, the fact that he is advocating on behalf of Polanski in an official, governmental capacity.
[…] by Patterico’s Pontifications » In Advocating for Roman Polanski, Anne Applebaum Fails to M… — 9/27/2009 @ 7:33 […]Patterico’s Pontifications » WaPo’s Anne Applebaum Botches the Facts as She Whines About Polanski (e4ab32) — 9/27/2009 @ 7:35 pm
Reporters, editors, and columnists ought to have to register all their associations, connections, and biases. When they’re caught lying about their objectiveness, then they should be fired and jailed.PCD (2870d5) — 9/27/2009 @ 7:36 pm
[…] interesting: In Advocating for Roman Polanski, Anne Applebaum Fails to Mention That Her Husband Is a Polish Polit… Posted in: Hollyweird Printer Friendly comments (3) trackbacks […]Michelle Malkin » Lecherous fugitive director indignant about 30-year-delayed arrest (e2f069) — 9/27/2009 @ 7:38 pm
She should have disclosed, and having failed to do so she should publicly be sacked.Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 9/27/2009 @ 7:41 pm
It would also be important to inquire how much of Polanski’s money made its way into Radoslaw’s Sikorski’s bank account and by joint ownership or transfer into Anne Applebaum’s bank account.nk (df76d4) — 9/27/2009 @ 7:43 pm
Their sense of exceptionalism is unbounded.Patricia (c95a48) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:06 pm
[Comment by nk — 9/27/2009 @ 7:43 pm]
In any event, I’ll be interested in seeing if the President — you know, the one joined at the hip with an non-profit organization that gives free advice about hiding child prostitution — will have the nerve to pardon a rich, Hollywood celebrity child rapist that admitted his guilt, but fled the country in order to avoid serving his sentence.Dusty (7bba43) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:07 pm
Well, what can you really expect ?
They know they are the only virtuous ones. We are the plebeian readers who should be grateful for the crumbs they toss to us when they remember their obligations as the elite.Mike K (2cf494) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:09 pm
It will be interesting to see what happens to this columnist, if anything. She knew what she was doing. I hope they take action. Journalism needs to rid itself of the corrupt for all concerned — the only problem is that the level of tolerance on this kind of thing is so high that it’s shameful. Good get and good going Patrick.Anita Busch (fc416d) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:16 pm
I’m ignorant here – can the President pardon someone for a state crime?steve miller (c56ca1) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:20 pm
The comments are pretty lively over there. Sadly, Polanski does have some defenders. The most common meme is that there was judicial misconduct.Pat (366dd8) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:20 pm
I continue to be appalled after all these years the free pass a child rapist gets due to being a Hollywood elite.
There are two ways he’s excused by the liberal press:
1. They allow him victim status due to Sharon’s murder or his mother’s murder in Auschwitz. Both are horrific acts that deserve understanding, but those acts cannot justify overlooking his crime. He raped and sodomized a child.
2. He’s “done his time” by living in exile. This is the laughable excuse they use often. How is living in France like a superstar and continuing to be able to live his life as before any punishment whatsoever? Because he couldn’t continue his debauchery in Hollywood, it was “punishment”?
He is a cowardly child rapist who has been afforded nearly 40 years of living his life without having to pay for his crime.Bill (f4c4a8) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:21 pm
I was thinking the same thing. Shouldn’t they ask the California Governor for a pardon, not the President?zmdavid (fd4b15) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:30 pm
The President can, I understand, pardon anyone.Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:34 pm
Don’t you understand, simpleton, that Polanski is an artist? It’s OK for him to rape 13 year old girls.Brian (952f3a) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:36 pm
Here is the mutt Sikorski who is married to Applebaum
Here is the mutt deceiver Applebaum
[note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]Paul A'Barge (14825c) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:39 pm
She should have disclosed, and having failed to do so she should publicly be sacked.
Comment by Scott Jacobs — 9/27/2009 @ 7:41 pm
Send her to France. Apparently that’s punishment enough for any crime. (only half joking)
Comment by Bill — 9/27/2009 @ 8:21 pm
Very well said. Must say, all due respect to those saying it would be good enough for them to leave him in France, that that statement’s baffling to me. The man should pay for his crime, and living the good life in France while being praised and feted around the world for 40 years just doesn’t seem like quite the proper punishment for violating a child.
I’m serious about not understanding that. Can someone who holds that view explain why they think his possible continuation of evading his sentence, in France, is OK with them? Thanks.no one you know (1ebbb1) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:39 pm
Patterico, for what it’s worth, I passed this article on to the Washington Post’s ombudsman. I’m probably not the first. Hope you have a reply.Corky Boyd (4e8f68) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:40 pm
First, by way of preface, let me say that I think Roman Polanski is a terrible piece of work, that I’m pleased to hear about his arrest, and that I think he should be extradited and prosecuted. Justice has waited too long in this case.
That said, to criticize Anne Applebaum, the Washington Post columnist, for her blog entry is pretty silly. It is true that she did not mention in this blog post that her husband is Radek Sikorski. Probably a great many of her readers already know that fact. It’s not a secret, after all: it’s in her Wikipedia entry, it is mentioned on her personal homepage, their wedding was announced in the New York Times, and on and on.
The pertinent question here is: When should she mention in her writing that her husband is actively involved in an issue? Surely, Patterico, you would agree that there are some subjects that her husband might opine on (say, global warming) that Ms. Applebaum can write about without having the duty to announce that he’s said something? Where should she draw the line between announcing and not announcing her husband’s interest, opinion, or involvement?
I wouldn’t draw the line at the same place where Patterico does. Ms. Applebaum is an independent writer; she was a writer before she married Mr. Sikorski, and I would be loath to force her to add silly disclaimers to the things she writes just to eliminate the mere appearance of impropriety. As Ms. Applebaum wrote in 2006 not long after her husband became Poland’s defense minister, “But I doubt I’ll write again about my husband’s job: After all, my views about most things were formed long before he had it.”
Patterico should take a deep breath and reconsider. There’s no scandal here. And Mark Hemingway, too, who calls Ms. Applebaum’s blog post “egregious,” ought to retract that word. Ms. Applebaum is just as entitled to have and voice her own opinion, independent of whatever her husband says on a subject, as Mark Hemingway’s wife is entitled to have opinions without consulting or announcing what Mark thinks on a subject.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:49 pm
[…] lives. Incredibly, midway through writing this piece, I discovered this bombshell over at Patterico’s, In Polanski’s native Poland, President Lech Kaczynski and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said […]Gazzer’s Gabfest » Wait…you can’t drug and rape a thirteen year old? Since when is that a law? (b98ad6) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:55 pm
Doesn’t matter. When she writes about the man, she should note – Every. Single. Time. – that she is married to him.
It would be the ethical thing to do.Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:56 pm
Abner – Remarkable comment. How are you related to Mr. Polanski or the situation described? What are you not disclosing?daleyrocks (718861) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:57 pm
O,stuff and nonsense, Abner Gromble. Such overwhelming stuff and nonsense it is not even necessary to argue the point.vanderleun (c69c24) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:58 pm
From the WaPo’s Standards and Ethics page:
A. Conflict of Interest
This newspaper is pledged to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest, wherever and whenever possible.
We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business. In particular:
We work for no one except The Washington Post without permission from supervisors. Many outside activities and jobs are incompatible with the proper performance of work on an independent newspaper. Connections with government are among the most objectionable…
We make every reasonable effort to be free of obligation to news sources and to special interests. We must be wary of entanglement with those whose positions render them likely to be subjects of journalistic interest and examination. Our private behavior as well as our professional behavior must not bring discredit to our profession or to The Post.
We avoid active involvement in any partisan causes – politics, community affairs, social action, demonstrations – that could compromise or seem to compromise our ability to report and edit fairly. Relatives cannot fairly be made subject to Post rules, but it should be recognized that their employment or their involvement in causes can at least appear to compromise our integrity. The business and professional ties of traditional family members or other members of your household must be disclosed to department heads.
B. The Reporter’s Role
Although it has become increasingly difficult for this newspaper and for the press generally to do so since Watergate, reporters should make every effort to remain in the audience, to stay off the stage, to report the news, not to make the news.
In gathering news, reporters will not misrepresent their identity. They will not identify themselves as police officers, physicians or anything other than journalists.
(Emphasis added)Dana (863a65) — 9/27/2009 @ 8:58 pm
A journalist whose story matches a hidden agenda. Who knew? Shocking.HeavenSent (01a566) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:01 pm
Dana, how dare you quote, well, the actual ethics guide for a journalist! Don’t you understand that Anne Applebaum is a nice progressive who means well, and that means silly distractions like her husband’s connection to the person about whom she wrote are just that: distractions from the meta-truth?
After all, what is one 13 year old girl against “Chinatown“?
Why, I’ll bet that the young woman would welcome her assault if it made Polanski’s genius possible.
Oh, I’m sorry: I was channeling Kennedy apologists for letting a young woman drown. My bad.
More seriously, Dana: I’m glad you posted that. Good old Abner will not likely be back to defend his sophistry.Eric Blair (184ac1) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:09 pm
On the issue of a pardon my understanding is that the president only has power over federal cases. However my understanding is also that extradition requests must go through the feds so they could in fact drop it.Soronel Haetir (2b4c2b) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:10 pm
P.S. – A quick follow-up to my previous comment: Patterico writes that Ms. Applebaum’s situation vis-a-vis her husband and the Polanski story “is no different” from “the episode where Linda Greenhouse repeatedly reported on the facts of a case in which her husband was involved.”
That, too, is silly. Let us count the differences:
(1) Ms. Greenhouse was purportedly reporting. Ms. Applebaum is opining. That certainly changes where the bar needs to be set.
(2) Ms. Greenhouse was writing a long piece for the New York Times; Ms. Applebaum was writing a short blog post for WashingtonPost.com. Readers have different expectations and standards for what appears in newspapers (whether in print or online) and what appears in blog posts.
(3) The incident involving Ms. Greenhouse capped a long career in which her bias was widely debated and criticized; Ms. Applebaum, as an opinion writer, has not been so criticized. (In fact, even though it is beside the point, conservatives and other defenders of freedom have a great many reasons to admire her.)
There are other differences, but those, at first glance, seem to be the most germane.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:11 pm
I predict the great Obama will not get involved in this especially after the recent ACORN tapes. We would have a field day with him tied to child rape. The only thing he may do is state that he can do nothing about it.As for the journalist, she omitted several facts to “make” her case. If this is an example of the press, it’s no wonder the MSM has become the Irrelevant Media.Bill R, (3a67e2) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:13 pm
Sadly, I spoke too soon.Eric Blair (184ac1) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:13 pm
How would these people feel if this happened to THEIR 13 year old daughter? Do they think it’s okay as long as it’s someone ELSE’s 13 year old daughter? I have two daughters, and can’t imagine this happening to them when they were that age. It’s appalling.
Honestly, I don’t get it.Jenn Oates (5762dd) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:17 pm
I think that Abner Gromble may have stumbled upon a point that he did not intend.
The East and West Coast power elites are an amorphous clique, for want of a better word and modifier.
I tend to think of them as an Appalachian clan, though.
Everyone in the clan knows, or is related to, or is married to someone else in the clan. I could go into a long list of all the different groups and who belongs to each one.
But, I can make my point simply: Pick someone in power, be it government, media or industry and trace their families, jobs, allegiances and past associations.
I can give three examples to get anyone interested started: The current governor of California, the past President and the current President.
They’re so intertwined that “disclosure” is a joke. So, really, why bother? It wouldn’t make a difference anyway.Ag80 (592691) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:30 pm
[Comment by Abner Gromble — 9/27/2009 @ 8:49 pm]
You started out well but it went down hill from there.
There is a glaring conflict of interest vis-avis the issue she writes about this time. If she were writing about Obamacare, it wouldn’t matter. That she is speaking on an issue that the Polish government is taking an intense interest in and it falls on the Polish foreign minister to take charge of pushing that issue, it is absolutely incumbent on Applebaum to divulge that conflict.
Actually, it probably wouldn’t have been an issue if she had made a cogent argument, but I have to tell you it was pitiful, especially her parting argument, “If he weren’t famous, I bet no one would bother with him at all.”
Sarah Jane Olson.Dusty (7bba43) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:30 pm
Susan LeFevre (Yeah, that famous Susan LeFevre????)
I got a million of ’em. It’s called Google, Mrs. Applebaum.
Patterico writes that Ms. Applebaum’s situation vis-a-vis her husband and the Polanski story “is no different” from “the episode where Linda Greenhouse repeatedly reported on the facts of a case in which her husband was involved.”
That, too, is silly. Let us count the differences:
You missed one, Abner (if that is your real name).
Ms. Greenhouse’s favorite color is green, whereas Ms. Applebaum is widely reputed to favor yellow.
The differences are indeed extraordinary.Patterico (64318f) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:40 pm
By the way, to comment on the point of the original post:
Polanski is the scum that that slime wipes off its shoes.
And Abner’s disgusting feint away from the issue at hand, as well as mine, simply paints a picture of how iconoclasts so often miss the point.
And the point is: Mr. Polanski has been able to walk free for years after raping a 13-year-old girl. His guilt is without question, because he admitted so, but he fled the country to escape sentencing.
And despite his victim’s laudable forgiveness, the laws of the State of California say he must pay for his crime.Ag80 (592691) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:46 pm
So in two days we have had two MSM apologists, the first (Foo Bar) who states that newspaper blogs are just as important as the print edition and count as coverage, and the second who states that blog posts are so unimportant and irrelevant that they do not have to comply with the papers own ethics standards.
Or do both just support what ever the Obama media reports.Have Blue (854a6e) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:46 pm
What makes it acceptable is that Polanski is a famous artist, and laws don’t apply to him.
Too bad about the girl, but that’s the way it goes.
Personally, I think it’s like this:
Polanski was convicted of the crime and was waiting to be sentenced. He fled. The sentence still stands. A sentence, to the best of my knowledge (I am not a lawyer), doesn’t go away because someone flees incarceration. Polanski was caught and now faces extradition. If he is extradited, he faces incarceration for a sentence that still exists.
Question: can *only* the President pardon crimes? (I mean, in a federal sense. I realize the Governor can also pardon state crimes.) Is it possible for someone in the executive branch, but not the President, to issue a pardon? What I’m getting at here is that perhaps the Administration will find a way to pardon Polanski without sullying (pardon the pun) the hands of the President.steve miller (c56ca1) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:49 pm
Dana and company – The Post‘s ethics rules for reporters don’t apply to its opinion columnists. Even though the line between reporters and pundits has blurred in the last twenty years, the line still exists, and it still matters.
The Post‘s opinion columnists still often do reveal entanglements (a better term than “conflict of interest,” which I don’t think applies when we’re talking about opinion writing), but only when the situation calls for it. Ms. Applebaum writes about Europe frequently, including about Poland; I disagree with those who think she needs to mention her husband’s job every time she writes on a subject that intersects even glancingly with his public life.
Ag80 – Your first point actually a fine one. Without getting into the populist/elitist debate that I think you’re trying to stoke, I’m certainly happy to agree with you that there’s lots of intermarriage in the world of politics. Maybe we can even find lessons in that fact, if we look to the past. An example that comes to mind is Clare Boothe Luce: Was she under an obligation to mention in everything she wrote that her husband was the publisher of Time, Life, and Fortune? It’s not an exact parallel, of course, and it was a different time. But she was an opinion writer, she had her own career, and her marriage to her prominent husband was widely known. I don’t think she had a duty to announce the fact of her marriage time and again.
Dusty – I see where you’re coming from. I still disagree, for the reasons I’ve described — but yours is the strongest argument against mine.
All that said, let me repeat that I hope that Ms. Applebaum’s wish does not come true: I would very much like to see Polanski prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law. Dude’s a creep.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:52 pm
People, people, we’re forgetting the most important thing about this for the WaPo – what kind of revenue can they generate by selling Applebaum’s column space? This is a potentially very lucrative revenue stream that they’re looking at here, we can’t be getting distracted by minor details like ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘objectivity’. Those kinds of things are what the Little People worry about.Salons For Sale (fcb2b5) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:54 pm
By the way, I’m not upset that the Polish government is protesting – I think it’s right for the Polish government to act as defense agent for anyone Polish citizen or perhaps even someone of Polish extraction. They are presenting their best case.
I do mind Applebaum not disclosing this because it’s entirely germane – her husband is the one who is speaking for the Polish government in this case. And while I think it’s acceptable for the Polish government to present a very strong case, I also want to remind us of the facts of the case: Polanski was convicted of a crime (a conviction he apparently agreed to as part of his plea bargain), and that crime was while he was in his 40s and he drugged and raped a 13 year girl.
13 years old.
And some defend that.
Odd.steve miller (c56ca1) — 9/27/2009 @ 9:58 pm
I wish everybody would get off of their ‘morality’ high horses. I can’t believe this case is even still being sought after. People like to type ‘child rapist’ in cold internet font to make Polanski sound like some vile monster. Yeah she was underage, but THIS IS HOLLYWOOD we’re talking about! Sleaze central! The place with all the celebrities that people seem to worship these days! Look back at what the girl’s mom told her to do! Look, if this was right after it happened, then yes, give him the trial.. but it’s 30 years later! Let me just ask you people, with all the scumbag day-to-day sexual favors for position, date-rapes, prostitution, underage sex, all the stuff that we KNOW goes on in this world day in and day out, why do you find it so important to see THIS man punished? This man, who has at least been one of the last remaining TRUE filmmakers? This man, who was a victim himself, when Manson’s followers slaughtered Sharon Tate and the fetus she was carrying? I bet the majority you didn’t even really know who Polanski was or his works or his history until you read this news. So shut up and get back to at least appearing productive in your miserable pathetic excuses for lives and stop trying to judge someone for something that happened nearly three decades ago and had NO effect on you whatsoever. Sheesh.Ilpalazzo (ae97e0) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:07 pm
Here are the top 2 most read articles at reuters online.
1.Anger in France and Poland after Polanski arrest
2.Poland okays forcible castration for pedophiles
That’s kinda hypocritical!!Rand (b62152) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:07 pm
I hope Bradley Fikes weighs in on this issue of opinion writers and conflicts of interest.Dana (863a65) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:11 pm
steve miller – I see what you’re saying (and again, I agree with you about Polanski, who should be punished). But I just do not agree with those who say that Ms. Applebaum has to mention her husband every time she writes on something that he has spoken about in an official capacity.
For example, if Mr. Sikorski talks about NATO, Ms. Applebaum (as an opinion columnist) can’t write about NATO without mentioning her marriage? If he talks about the Obama administration’s execrable decision to terminate President Bush’s necessary missile-defense program, she (as an opinion columnist) can’t write about that decision without acknowledging her marriage? Even though that marriage is already widely known about? That seems like an unnecessary restriction to me, and to make a big deal out of her blog post seems just silly.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:11 pm
if this was right after it happened, then yes, give him the trial.. but it’s 30 years later!
That argument didn’t work for Kathleen Soliah and it won’t work for Polanski.j curtis (baef6f) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:16 pm
I’m not trying to “stoke” anything. It is what it is.
When we invest our attention to a politician, a media maven or a CEO, we should be able to understand their commitment to their comments, opinions and actions. Invoking Clair Boothe Luce is an excellent example as well as a moribund example.
Since her time, the media has presented itself as the paragon of truth because of their “objectivity.” Yet, they still have the same implications of association.
In her time, everyone who paid attention understood exactly what she represented because they did, indeed, know who she was.
When the post-World War II American media decided to give up their partisan past to invoke objective standards for reporting, they invited “full disclosure” that only has been possible since the early ’90s
And now that they have to face the real implication of what that disclosure means, they continually fumble the ball.
I think you made my point without realizing it.Ag80 (592691) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:19 pm
Ag80 – I agree with some of what I take you to be saying in your most recent comment. For instance, you seem to be criticizing the supposed “impartiality” of the media, and calling for a return to the days when the press was more openly partisan. Fine by me. But I don’t see how that applies in this case.
Anne Applebaum is an opinion columnist; her marriage to Poland’s foreign minister is known far and wide; she had a career before they were married; she should be free to write without disclaimers about things that he has spoken about, even in an official capacity. If she were writing about Mr. Sikorski himself — his career, his job performance, his prospects for higher office — then I would be of a different mind. But she’s way over in the safe zone with this 400-word blog post.
To patterico, whose repeated updates suggest that he’s not giving an inch on this, let me ask a question: What does it even mean to claim that Ms. Applebaum has a “conflict of interest” in this case? If she were reporting this as a news story and didn’t disclose that her husband was calling people in D.C. to fight the extradition, then maybe you might reasonably suspect that Ms. Applebaum allowed some bias to seep into her reporting. Then there would be a conflict between her duty as a reporter and her private life.
But she is not a reporter and this is an opinion piece, from start to finish. So what are the interests that are in conflict here? I am not asking this to be snarky; I would really like to understand what you believe to be the conflicting interests in this case.
(I ask this as an admirer of your blog, and, again, as someone who agrees with you about Polanski.)Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:44 pm
Methinks the new poster protests too much. I smell Ahab’s prey. I could be wrong, of course. But we have some remarkably accurate identifiers of those who wear many socks, and who fly a Melville flag.
Time will tell.Eric Blair (184ac1) — 9/27/2009 @ 10:49 pm
Oh. So it’s OK to drug and rape a 13-year old, so long as I do it in hollywood? Neat!
Because he was convicted, and fled the country to avoid actually spending time in prison. I don’t care what the fuck he’s done with his life since then, made movies, driven a garbage truck, whatever. Those are things he only got to do because he fled the country. He should have been in prison.
He drugged and raped a 13-year old girl, and then plead guilty. He should BURN for what he did. Are the artistically talented exempt from the law?
I don’t think so. Apparently you do.
Yes, and that’s terrible. Does that make it ok to drug and rape a 13-year old?
Just because you only retain information for 10 minutes does not mean that the rest of us are not well aware of what this man did.
A couple of things here:
1) 31 years ago is more than “nearly” three decades. it would be, in fact, “more” than three decades. I know words are hard, but try to at least pay some attention.
2) You raise an interesting point. Should we ignore this only because the length of time and its lack of personal connection to us, or is one of the two conditions sufficient to warrant our dismissal?
Please answer point two. It has a follow up, depending on your reply.Scott Jacobs (d027b8) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:04 pm
On the issue of a pardon my understanding is that the president only has power over federal cases. However my understanding is also that extradition requests must go through the feds so they could in fact drop it.
Yep. If Obama wants to kill this, that would be the way to do it–he can dismiss any criticism of it by describing it as a judgment call by the Justice Department. Of course, the fact that things have gone this far might mean he’s not inclined to kill it. We’ll see.M. Scott Eiland (c552ec) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:10 pm
Is Ms Applebaum an advocate for all convicted felons awaiting extradition or just the famous ones?
Charles Ng needed her help years ago – where was she? Hmm…13times (54d85b) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:27 pm
As my daughter said when I copy-pasted that idiot’s statement, if she murders someone and waits long enough, can she get away with it? After all, the person she would have murdered would have no connection to that idiot. The idiot being Ilpalazo or whatever.John Hitchcock (3fd153) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:41 pm
Abner Gromble, you haven’t a leg to stand on. Her husband has a direct, official interest in the matter. That demands disclosure. It’s that simple.
It’s not a case of something her husband merely has an opinion upon due to his position. It isn’t that her husband has a little bias on the matter because Polanski is sort of from the old neighborhood and us Poles gotta stick together.
Her husband is trying to influence the outcome of a trial for a very serious crime, in which the defendant has not only fled punishment but enjoyed a life of wealth and luxury thanks to an international legion of willing accomplices. The same people who like to invoke the phrase ‘international law’ when objecting to US military action, demonstrate they care not a bit about such a thing when it comes to a child molester living openly among them. I mean, it wasn’t THEIR daughter, so what is the problem?
So yes, disclosure was very much called for in this instance. Polanski and his legion of accomplices after the fact have demonstrated a flagrant disrespect for the law and basic justice. If the law is to mean anything, this must be pursued until Polanski has served a sentence or is in the grave.epobirs (bec491) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:48 pm
I think it’s telling that she did disclose the marriage when she could do so in a cutesy, self-promoting way, but failed to disclose it here. The “full disclosure” as self-promotion is all too common in journalism, but it only makes the lack of disclosure here look all the more sleazy.Karl (246941) — 9/27/2009 @ 11:56 pm
If someone wrote an op-ed for the WaPo arguing against taking any sort of action against Iran’s nuclear program, should the WaPo’s readers be informed that the author had been paid by the Iranian government to write it, or does calling it an op-ed absolve the author and the WaPo of any ethical obligation in the matter?Karl (246941) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:09 am
[…] But it’s worse than that. You see, you may not realize it, but Applebaum is married to a guy named Radosław Sikorski. Now, that’s pretty uninteresting, until you realize that Sikorski is the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Who just happens to be actively lobbying to have Polish native Polanski’s charges dismissed. […]Rape Apologists: Roman Polanski’s Rape of a Child Not That Bad | Blog of the Moderate Left (017442) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:29 am
[…] But it’s worse than that. You see, you may not realize it, but Applebaum is married to a guy named Radosław Sikorski. Now, that’s pretty uninteresting, until you realize that Sikorski is the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Who just happens to be actively lobbying to have Polish native Polanski’s charges dismissed. […]Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Rape Apologists: Roman Polanski’s Rape of a Child Not That Bad (70fd32) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:31 am
Maybe I’m missing something…but where is this conflict of interest? Her husband does not stand to gain in any way from Polanski’s release (at least not that I can see); I don’t see how his involvement in any way compromises the integirty of her opinion.
I think her opinion itself is questionable, to say the least. But I don’t see a conflict here…Brian (8ea943) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:07 am
If he were being PAID to advocate on Polanski’s behalf, I would feel otherwise.Brian (8ea943) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:09 am
L.A. Times Defends Monster Child Rapist Roman Polanski…
I heard about Roman Polanski’s arrest over the weekend, but I didn’t know the background and details and so the arrest of a Hollywerido didn’t really interest me. Now I see he was a fugitive, and just how sick his crime was and see justice…Stop The ACLU (dae8af) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:04 am
Brian, he is being paid. When I went to work and my boss told me to say something and I said it, I was being paid. This Polish guy is being paid to say “Leave Roman Alone!”, presumably so he can diddle more young women.
Funny, last I heard everyone was all exercised about that date rape drug. I reckon if you’re famous and had some kind of tragedy in your life you can get away with it, though. At least for a while. If he doesn’t get justice in this life he will in the next. Hope he likes heat.
[note: released from moderation by Stashiu]Peter (6085e8) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:52 am
What part of “he’s Poland’s foreign minister” and “the official stand of the Polish government is to ask for clemency” don’t you understand? It’s not the primary part of his job, but, yes, he’s being paid to advocate on Polanski’s behalf.Rob Crawford (837ad1) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:14 am
[…] Patterico notes that, besides the errors in her impassioned defense of Roman Polanski, Anne Applebaum neglected to note a glaring conflict of interest in the case. Switzerland arrested Polanski over the weekend, and may extradite him to the US, where he’s been wanted for decades. […]Some Things Neglected Over the Weekend « POWIP (e3a4cc) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:37 am
For the apologists:
I’ve never paid any real attention to Anne Applebaum, and know nothing of her personal life. Then I read her article/blogpost.
After reading, I then find out that she has a conflict of interest in that she is espousing the same arguments that the Polish Gvt. is making. Sorry, that her husband is making.
It IS a significant point.
Hell, it’s like Geitner giving tax advice or something…NavyspyII (df615d) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:42 am
[…] […]Columnist Has Undisclosed Conflict of Interest - Southern Maryland Community Forums (3c7ee8) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:44 am
[…] denied consent. Which, of course, a 13-year-old can not give under the law. (In a separate post, Frey notes that Applebaum’s husband is Poland’s foreign minister, who is lobbying for […]Roman Polanski Arrested, Fighting Extradition (139676) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:58 am
[…] Update: And don’t even get me started on the Polanski stuff, they are not covering themselves with glory over there today and the Washington post is covering themselves with even less. […]You know I like Morning Joe, really I do… « DaTechguy's Blog (725c82) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:00 am
[…] Patterico said she should have disclosed her relationship with the Polish government, as it were. Polanski is Polish. […]Defending Polanski? « Don Surber (df6652) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:15 am
[…] Update: It’s also worth nothing that Applebaum fails to disclose in her column that she is married to the Polish Foreign Minister, who ha… […]Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Roman Polanski Fighting Extradition While Apologist Choir Warms Up (b57243) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:31 am
But it’s the Washington Post for heavens sakes. They and their writers are above the rules of good and honest journalism. As for Polanski, why now!Charlie Varrick (743fd5) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:33 am
There’s a bad Applebaum in every barrel of bad apples.Fred Beloit (15d9a8) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:34 am
I wonder how these liberal celebrity worshippers would feel if their teenage children were raped by celebrities and then told to shut up and go away?
I see no difference between Polanski and Mumia, except race, and Obama supports release of Mumia.PCD (1d8b6d) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:00 am
This is from Wikipedia regarding George Will’s help of Reagan during the presidential debates of 1980. Italics added are mine.
“1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign
Will’s detractors complain about instances when Will has blurred the line between independent journalist and political advocate. Will helped Ronald Reagan prepare for his 1980 debate against Jimmy Carter, breaking with the journalistic tradition of neutrality. … Will “never made any secret of his affection” for the Republican candidate. Will did not explicitly disclose that he had assisted Reagan’s debate preparation, or been present during it. He went on to praise Reagan, saying his “game plan worked well. I don’t think he was very surprised.””
Should Will have disclosed his association with Reagan? Wikipedia lists Will as an “independent journalist.” My view of Will is that he is an opinion columnist first and foremost and that in this instance he should have disclosed his relationship with the Reagan campaign or refrained from commenting on the subject at hand. This also applies to Applebaum. Journalists fall into atleast two categories- those who are fact finders and those who spout opinions. They are both covered by the same ethical guidelines. While you certainly appear to be a serious commenter, you are dead wrong on Ablebaum’s lack of candor here.
One of the great services that the Patterico’s of the world are now doing is uncovering these type of conflicts. One more question, would Applebaum have even commented on Polanski if her husband had not been directly involved?BT (78b929) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:04 am
ACORN could hire him as an consultant on 13 yearPTL (a08255) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:28 am
I wonder if this scum was able to behave himself in France? Or did they just look the other way; the way They want us to do over here?
Never have liked anything He or Woody Allen have ever done…. anything. (both are freaks)claspur (581c0d) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:33 am
[…] is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." – John Wayne Click Here for More Broken News WaPo columnist who wrote on his behalf neglects to mention her husband is a Polish diplomat lobbying… That smell isn't sulfur or hope, it's syphilis. Liberals who don't even acknowledge the death of […]Columnist neglects to mention her husband is a Polish diplomat lobbying for Polanski’s release. | Daily Danet (87daef) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:48 am
Abner, another thing: Ann Applebaum spent years on the editorial board of the WaPo (2002-2006). She, of all people, knew better than to not disclose pertinent information and knew to do nothing that would cast doubt upon herself as a writer for the WaPo. Heck, she may have easily been on of the editors establishing said guidelines.Dana (863a65) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:53 am
answer: no.Paul A'Barge (14825c) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:54 am
“That said, to criticize Anne Applebaum, the Washington Post columnist, for her blog entry is pretty silly. It is true that she did not mention in this blog post that her husband is Radek Sikorski. Probably a great many of her readers already know that fact. It’s not a secret, after all: it’s in her Wikipedia entry, it is mentioned on her personal homepage, their wedding was announced in the New York Times, and on and on.”
I didn’t know about it before I saw Patterico’s column, and it is useful that he called attention to this fact.Lugo (a7ec92) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:57 am
epobirs – That’s an excellent argument; as I said about Dusty’s 9:30 comment, it’s the strongest argument against my position. I still don’t agree with it for the reasons I’ve laid out in a few comments here, including: (1) the fact that Ms. Applebaum is an opinion columnist changes where the line needs to be drawn; (2) her marriage to Poland’s foreign minister was already known far and wide; (3) I don’t feel that she should have to add a disclaimer every time she writes about something in her husband’s immense portfolio.
BT – You’ve raised two questions, both very good. I’ll try to answer both (although they each deserve longer answers than I can give them now).
First, on the George F. Will debate incident, I do think George F. Will should have disclosed more. As a Washington Post opinion columnist and an ABC News commentator, Will was understood by readers and viewers to be commenting on the Reagan/Carter debate as a conservative — and those readers and viewers who paid attention understood that Will was chummy with Reagan. But he should have gone further and disclosed that he also gave Reagan a little coaching for the debate.
I don’t think that situation is analogous to the present situation. Anne Applebaum is not herself personally involved in the Polanski story she has commented on; perhaps she and her husband discussed it and griped to one another about it, but she’s not involved herself. The fact of her marriage to Poland’s foreign minister is widely known; if that’s the only thing she didn’t disclose, I don’t see how she did anything unethical.
(A more apt analogy might be to this George Will column from last year, in which he disclosed some work his wife was doing. I don’t think he needed to disclose it; I think he was erring on the side of caution.)
Which brings us to your second question, BT: “Would Applebaum have even commented on Polanski if her husband had not been directly involved?”
She sure might have. Why not? She writes frequently about news stories involving Europe and Poland, and the Polanski story is certainly in the press in Poland. As Ms. Applebaum noted three years ago, her “views about most things were formed long before” Mr. Sikorski became a government minister. We have no reason to think that she wrote this blog post at her husband’s behest, at his suggestion, or because of his job.
Karl – You make two excellent comments. I have no response to your first one (except to say that you go too far to use the word “sleazy” to describe Ms. Applebaum’s behavior). You then ask this:
That’s a great question, and it gets to the core of what I’m arguing, so I’m grateful to you for this chance to clarify what I’m saying. I don’t mean to imply that opinion writers should never have to divulge personal entanglements. I just think that the line is not as bright and clear for opinion writers as it is for “impartial” reporters. A newspaper has an obligation to its readers to disclose who its opinion writers are (whether columnists or the authors of guest op-eds; blogs are murkier territory). Generally, such things are revealed in bylines and bio-lines. So if a Post columnist were on the payroll of the Iranian mullahs and started opining on the nuke situation, the Post should tell its readers, and the author should, too. Why? Because readers deserve to be informed that the piece they a reading isn’t just the opinion of an informed expert, but was been paid for by the Iranians.
But, again, that’s not the case here. No one is suggesting that the Polish government is paying Ms. Applebaum to write what she has written. There is no reason to think that she didn’t come by her opinion on Polanski honestly, as wrong an opinion as it is.
I will happily concede this, though, in response to you (and to Dana and to Lugo): The Washington Post does have an obligation, separate from Ms. Applebaum’s, to disclose that she is married to Poland’s foreign minister. That fact belongs on her official Post bio page; the Post has failed by not including it there.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:17 am
Where on Ms. Applebaum’s bio page does it say that her husband is actively lobbying for Polanski’s release?
Because that, and not merely his position as the Polish foreign minister, is the relevant fact to be disclosed.Patterico (64318f) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:20 am
geez, i have to say in all this we are letting the really offensive part of the post without even a once over. specifically, the part when she tried to use the holocaust to get the guy out of a child rape beef. I was mortified to read that part.A.W. (e7d72e) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:28 am
[…] Patterico found out that Applebaum’s husband, Radoslaw Sikorski, is a Polish politician who’s lobbying for the dismissal of Polanski’s case, and Applebaum failed to disclose this […]WP Columnist Defends Roman Polanski (ca3b04) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:39 am
[…] Patterico, who actually works at the same Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has gone even more loco with the same law-and-order zealotry. […]Never Yet Melted » Conservatives Wrong on Polanski Extradition (683a21) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:41 am
Let us, if we may, stick to the facts. First, if someone has a conflict of interest, they should, for moral and legal reasons, divulge said conflict of interest and, more importantly, they should not assume that facts known to some are known to all. In this instance, I did not know of the relationship between Ms. Applebaum and the Defense Minister of Poland. Suffice to say, such revelation certainly gives more insight into the reasons behind Ms. Applebaum’s stance, IN MY OPINION, based upon being presented with said facts.
Second, regarding Polanski. Fact 1: He pled guilty to the crime. Fact 2: The ADA prosecuting the case agreed/submitted that Polanski’s sentence be time served. Fact 3: The judge in the case, as was his legal right, rejected said sentencing agreement and let it be known he thought it correct to make an example of Mr. Polanski. Fact 4: After this became known to Mr. Polanski, he became a fugitive from the law and has since lived abroad, mostly in France, hiding from justice. Fact 5: The, now grown woman, has stated in interviews that she doesn’t think Polanski should go to jail. Fact 6: Fact 5 is irrelevant as her desires have no bearing on the administration of the law. All of this is presented to support the following opinion: Polanski is a criminal, a sex offender, a child abuser, and a fugitive from justice and the sentence he so richly deserves. If he committed this same crime today, he would be listed on a Sex Offenders website and would have had, by now, the experience of being raped just as he did this young woman.
Let’s not forget the facts of this case, which he admitted to when pleading guilty, are that he plied the young woman with alcohol and drugs while doing a photo shoot with her for a magazine. He then raped and sodomized a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL. Anyone, and this is most certainly opinion, who wishes to defend this scum needs to do a serious re-examination of their moral compass. It is to attempt to toss a “red herring” into the argument when anyone attempts to bring up the mutually exclusive occurrences in Mr. Polanski’s life that his mother died in a German Concentration Camp and the tragic circumstances of the death of his wife, Sharon Tate, and their unborn child. The first event, the rape, has nothing to do with the latter two events. And, if someone wishes to make the illogical leap that the latter two events somehow give cover for his rape of the child in question, then we need to open the doors of the prisons to anyone who can point to a traumatic experience in their lives that “caused” them to make the error in judgment that resulted in their incarceration. Once caveat, though, I want said released miscreants to live next door to someone who holds such opinion(s).
Fortunately, this time the LA D.A.’s office had enough forewarning, from what I’ve read, that Polanski was going to be in Switzerland and was able to send the request for his detention through the proper channels. I don’t care if someone has made the finest art in the history of the world, or is the greatest mind in the history of the world, or whatever “greatest” assignation they have added to their name…IT DOES NOT PLACE THEM ABOVE THE LAW! Polanski is a common criminal; he may be an uncommon film maker, but he is a rapist, a sodomite and he is a convicted criminal who still has a sentence to be passed on him in a court of law and said sentence to be served in satisfaction of his crimes. NO other facts need be presented in this case. Extradite the criminal and let him serve his time; register him as a sex offender and let him go back to making films after his sentence is served.Gator (274f21) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:45 am
Hi, Patterico – As I’ve said repeatedly, I do not think Ms. Applebaum is obligated to announce that she is married to the Polish foreign minister every time that she writes about something that is part of his vast portfolio. Mr. Sikorski has made a few statements and phone calls about this pedophile Polanski, but it is hardly the core of his job. Ms. Applebaum tends to stay away from directly addressing Poland’s interests in her column (in the same way that Andrea Mitchell usually shied away from commenting on the Federal Reserve when her husband, Alan Greenspan, was the Fed chairman). When Ms. Applebaum does talk about Mr. Sikorski’s core responsibilities, she does tend to mention her marriage.
I suspect that you and I actually agree on the bigger picture here. We both think there are times when Ms. Applebaum should have to disclose her marriage, and times when she should not. We just disagree on where the line should be drawn.
What about when Mr. Sikorski talks about European trade policy? Or Vladimir Putin’s authoritarianism? Or NATO and the future of Europe? Or his unhappiness with President Obama’s stupid missile-defense decision?
If Ms. Applebaum wants to write about those subjects in a general way, she should be free to do so without disclosing her marriage every time. If she wants to write about Poland’s specific policies on those subjects, then she should disclose her marriage. I think this Polanski case (for various reasons) is well on the side of no-need-to-disclose. You think it’s on the side of must-disclose. I guess we will just have to go on disagreeing about this case.
Meanwhile, on a lighter note: What if author bios were brutally honest?Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 7:51 am
I love the mental gymnastics and contortions people like Abner will go through to defend people like Applebaum.JD (2ed087) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:00 am
You’re going to have to explain how this is a “conflict of interest”, and not merely an “undisclosed fact”. What kind of “conflict of interest” is involved here? Appelbaum’s role here is bringing information to light. And that’s in conflict…how?RickD (912768) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:03 am
[…] By the way, Anne Applebaum, the Washington-Post "journalist" who wrote this last ditty, didn't disclose that her "ubiased" look at Polanski's case is tainted by a rather interesting conflict of interest. […]Award winning director and fugitive rapist, Roman Polanski, is captured in Switzerland | culturekitchen (6d25d0) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:06 am
Brother Bradley – Should this relationship be disclosed? If so, in what manner? If not, why?JD (2ed087) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:12 am
Though you would do better to read the prior comments that bring this out, the fact that Applebaum’s husband is a politician actively lobbying for Polanski’s release raises questions about the relationship between Applebaum and her husband with Polanski — the most obvious scenario being that Polanski may be a financial benefactor of Applebaum’s husband (and, indirectly, Applebaum).Karl (fdee8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:22 am
Abner, you say that there is no conflict. The Washington Post says explicitly that there is.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:33 am
[…] Patterico notes that Applebaum left out another pertinent fact in her blog post: Applebaum failed to mention that her husband is a Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for Polanski’s case to be dismissed … Radoslaw Sikorski is married to Anne Applebaum[.] Applebaum failed to mention this little fact. […]Hot Air » Blog Archive » Arresting a child rapist “outrageous”, says columnist with axe to grind (e2f069) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:38 am
[…] WaPo Columnist Has Undisclosed Conflict of Interest on Roman Polanski Matter, namely that she’s married to Poland’s foreign minister, who was lobbying for Polanski’s freedom. In her WaPo column, Anne Applebaum finds Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland “outrageous.” […]Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » What the WaPo didn’t say about the Polanski apologist (a98aa5) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:41 am
Coming from Friend Abner, that is both ironic and funny. Or so I suspect.Eric Blair (184ac1) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:44 am
Hi, SPQR – I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say “the Washington Post says explicitly” that there is a conflict of interest. Where has the Post said that?Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:49 am
Abner, in their own ethics rules.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:52 am
[…] some background to Anne Applebaum (of the Times) and her defense of Polanski (namely, Applebaum fails to mention that her husband is the Foreign Minister in Poland, who has been pushing for the charges to be […]Morning Report, September 28th: A World of Rattling Sabers, Catching Polanski, Obama: Muslim Community Organizer or Olympic Champion (?), Covering Illegals, Fawning over Clinton, and the Michael Moore Alternative « Evangelical Gateway (5381c6) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:59 am
I disagree with you Abner. You could more than likely call 10,000 people taken randomly from phone books across the country and 1% would not know about the relationship of Applebaum and Sikorski. In fact, they would probably say … WHO? I didn’t know and I read a lot.
BTW, Polanski should have 40 years added to his sentence for fleeing. Let him rot behind bars and not be able to enjoy his millions.PatAZ (9d1bb3) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:59 am
[…] said writer willfully neglects to inform her readers of a major conflict of interest in her ‘opinion’ on the subject. Her husband, Foreign […]COMMENTARY: The Curious Case Of Roman Polanski | Infidels Paradise (7b23e8) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:15 am
Ah, SPQR, I see. But those ethics rules that Dana quoted earlier apply to reporters and news editors. They do not apply to opinion columnists. Anne Applebaum is not a reporter or a news editor. She is an opinion columnist; different (and necessarily murkier) rules apply to them.
PatAZ – Fair enough. I’m sure that, even though it has been widely publicized, there are plenty of people who do not know about Ms. Applebaum’s marriage to Mr. Sikorski. (I likewise suspect that there are lots of intelligent people who do not know that Post columnist Michael Gerson worked in the Bush administration, or that Post columnist Colbert King worked in the Carter administration. Sometimes we just read what columnists write without knowing much about their backgrounds or qualifications or personal lives.) The question I’m pressing on is this: When is it necessary to disclose a relationship? Patterico and some of the others here draw the line in a place that I would not.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:15 am
Abner would not require a columnist to disclose that his/her spouse was representing a government and advocating the same position as that contained in a column?
Bizarre. Comedy Gold.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:28 am
AFAICT, this is not true. (Van Jones supports release of Mumia, but it doesn’t make sense to assume Obama supports everything his subordinates do.)Andrew J. Lazarus (fc4d62) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:36 am
OT, doesn’t Sikorski have bigger fish to fry, between withdrawing the missile shield, revealingbishop (4e0dda) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:38 am
the secret prisons, priorities, priorities
Something that no-one seems to have touched upon:AD - RtR/OS! (4994e0) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:55 am
Roman Polanski, in fleeing the jurisdiction of a Los Angeles County Superior Court, crossed state-lines, thereby making him a Federal Fugitive From Prosecution, and making him subject to a Federal prosecution for that crime.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1073 – Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution…
It looks like Mr Polanski is facing up to five years of Federal time on top of whatever a LACo judge is going to give him.
It is time for the Obama DoJ to “step up to the bar”.
Lazarus, don’t be so sure. Obama hasn’t officially thrown Mumia under the bus, yet. While, look at Obama’s support of Black Panther voter intimidation in Philadelphia. Think Mumia isn’t part of that?PCD (1d8b6d) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:04 am
SPQR – Heh. Put that starkly and abstractly, my position can indeed sound pretty ridiculous. But context matters in discussions like these, and some of the facts in this case push against Ms. Applebaum’s having any obligation to mention her husband, including the fact that their marriage has been widely publicized, and the fact that this was a short blog post and not an opinion column in the Post proper.
A thought experiment: Do you feel that she would have a responsibility to write a disclaimer about her husband’s involvement in this story if her view were the opposite of his? That is, if she wrote a 400-word blog post on WashingtonPost.com saying that she was glad that Polanski was arrested, that she hoped he’d be extradited, and that she wanted him to be punished — do you think that in that case Ms. Applebaum would still have an obligation to say that her husband has spoken out against Polanski’s arrest and extradition?
If your answer to that question is yes, well, I guess that you err much more on the side of disclosure than I do. If your answer is no, then you have to explain why the two situations are ethically different.
(I have to confess that, even though I don’t think Ms. Applebaum was under any ethical obligation to mention that her husband has spoken about the Polanski case, I am increasingly of the mind that she should have mentioned it for prudential reasons — if only to preempt discussions like this one. And let me say that, if the facts of this story change in any substantive way, then my view about disclosure might well be different. If, for instance, it turns out that Ms. Applebaum and her husband are personal friends of Mr. Polanski, or that, to mention a possibility to which Karl darkly alluded, Mr. Polanski donated to Mr. Sikorski, then she should have disclosed those facts — or better yet, stayed silent on the matter altogether.)Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:17 am
Even if Polanski never is brought to justice, this sordid episode will serve to smoke out some really reprehensible moral nihilists in Hollywood and elsewhere in public life.
When some Polanski-loving high-school dropout actor opens his yap about any public issue from now on, I will make sure that any comment I make about him will be prefaced by something like this: “Oh yes, the guy that believes that if you’re an acclaimed artiste, you should be allowed to ply a 13 year old girl with booze and drugs so she won’t resist you so much when you rape her in the ass. So what did he say about single payer health care again?”John Skookum (b6d433) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:20 am
Count me among those who had no idea who she was, who her husband was, or what he did for a living. If my wife works for Apple and I write an opinion column that says the new Ipod/Macbook/whatever is the greatest piece of technology I’ve ever seen, yet fail to disclose the relationship, I trust you might see an appearance of a conflict there. Ms. Applebaum’s husband is paid by the Polish government to espouse the same position that she did in her article. To me, that’s critical context, not “a subject that intersects even glancingly with his public life”. You appear to contend that it’s okay for Ms. Applebaum to assume her readers have knowledge of their relationship. If that’s okay with you, why would she make the disclaimer when the context is truly glancing at best?Stashiu3 (8cadeb) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:28 am
[…] Lawyers Guns and Money has an excellent take on this. Ann Applebaum’s conflict of interest. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Why Roman Polanski belongs in JAILAnother […]Roman Polanski arrested « D2 route (fb05f5) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:45 am
Hi, Stashiu3 – I’m afraid you have taken slightly out of context my reference to subjects that “intersect even glancingly with” Mr. Sikorski’s public life. But I’m very interested in your hypothetical question, thanks for asking it. Let me answer it by fiddling with the parameters a little bit, to make your hypothetical more neatly parallel the current case:
You have been writing about computers for two decades. You have enjoyed a respected career as a reporter about computers and a historian of computer technology (and author of Silicon Valley: A History). You are now an opinion columnist who writes about a wide range of high-tech subjects.
During that time, you meet, fall and love with, and marry a woman. She works in the world of computers, and for a while even works at a nonprofit where she writes about high-tech subjects. Your marriage is reported far and wide, and while everybody doesn’t know about it, certainly most people in the computer world know about it. In time, she takes a job in the computer industry, even becoming a corporate vice president at Apple with responsibility for product development for the iPhone.
Since it’s your vocation and you’re good at it, and the money doesn’t hurt, you still continue to write opinion columns about computers and other high-tech subjects. The magazine you work at is happy to have you keep writing such opinion pieces. In fact, they think that your marriage might occasionally give you connections that could make your column more insightful and interesting for your readers.
When you write about iPhones, you mention that your wife works on them. When you mention Apple, you still sometimes mention that she works there — although not if you’re mentioning Apple in a very general way.
You occasionally write blog posts for your magazine’s website. They are different in content and style from what you write for the magazine itself — shorter and less substantial. They are also edited by different people. While your pieces for the magazine are seriously worked on by two editors and at least one copy editor, your blog posts are usually only glanced at by just one lowly web editor who rarely has the time to change anything you write.
One day, your wife makes public remarks about a policy that Apple cares about at least a little bit — something about network neutrality, say, or Skype. It’s not a big part of her job at Apple, but since it isn’t completely unrelated to her work on the iPhone, she gets involved a little bit. You, meanwhile, outraged by that policy on network neutrality (or Skype), jot off a 400-word blog post about it. The blog post is clearly an opinion piece.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 11:39 am
So in this hypothetical, have you, as the writer, behaved improperly by not mentioning your wife’s employment? I think not, because many of the facts of the case put you on the no-need-to-disclose side of the line. But I could see how honest people of good intention could disagree.
If it takes you 8000 words to come up with an alternate reality, you are prolly obfuscating. The facts in the instant matter are quite clear. I am interested where this idea that people that write opinion columns are not subject to ethical boundaries. Sounds like an asspull to me.JD (3af77e) — 9/28/2009 @ 11:51 am
It wasn’t taken out of context at all. He represents the official position of the Polish administration. She advocated the same position without acknowledging her relationship. This gives the appearance of collusion, although not necessarily the fact. He is paid for his position, she is paid for hers. When she writes an opinion piece in direct support of her husband’s official government position, she should make readers aware of that relationship whether it would be her position anyway or not. This is not a glancing connection to her husband’s job. If it were, I would agree with you that a disclaimer may not be necessary. This is a direct connection to her husband’s job and the relationship should have been made plain for those of us unaware so we could better judge credibility.
Revising my hypothetical does not answer it. If my wife works for Apple and I fail to disclose this in an opinion piece (that I am paid for) extolling the virtues of Apple products, there is at least the appearance of a conflict. This is a direct parallel. The fact that she put in a disclaimer when the connection was truly glancing tells me that the omission was likely deliberate in this instance.Stashiu3 (8cadeb) — 9/28/2009 @ 11:54 am
I wonder if “Abner” has ever met Werner vonBraun?AD - RtR/OS! (4994e0) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:05 pm
This whole “ethics” are more relaxed for opinion columnists meme seems like a convenient way. In some regards, I would think disclosure should be even more stringent if one is advancing a position, rather than reporting facts, a practice rarely seen anymore.JD (3af77e) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:06 pm
The Polish government will probably demand a better quality of propaganda than the utter idiocy that Appelbaum spewed here…Scott Lemieux (4ca4d4) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:10 pm
I especially enjoyed how when Abner’s position is rephrased “starkly” by me, even Abner would concede it was ridiculous. But put in enough fluffy words and voila! It wasn’t ridiculous anymore.
Or not.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:16 pm
So the little freak is in a “fighting mood” about his situation..The young girl couldn’t have been in such a mood after Roman drugged her in Jack Nicholson’s hot tub, then sodomized her…Maybe he’ll end up in a similar position as his unwilling victim.mks (a5a859) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:16 pm
[…] denied consent. Which, of course, a 13-year-old can not give under the law. (In a separate post, Frey notes that Applebaum’s husband is Poland’s foreign minister, who is lobbying for […]We Stay On The Subject Of The Mainstream Media And In The WaPo Offices For Yet Another Blogger Ethics Panel « Around The Sphere (054690) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:20 pm
Having read the article and majority of comments I have to say (with sadness) that America is full of hypocrisy. From one side easily accepting crimes committed by American soldiers, from the other side condemning Roman Polański 32 years after . Very relative!!! I agree with Anne Applebaum. Free Roman Polanski!!!Kuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:51 pm
120, Thanks for reinforcing the sterotype of the dumb Polack.
Having noted you idiotcy comparing soldiers in war to a common sex criminal is appalling.PCD (1d8b6d) — 9/28/2009 @ 12:58 pm
Almost any real-life situation can be stripped of its context and abstracted to make it seem cut-and-dry, black-and-white. That’s the rhetorical trick sometimes used in the debate over waterboarding. One side (the side Andrew Sullivan, for instance, is on) grossly oversimplifies the debate and throws around words like “torture” without clearly defining the terms. The other side (the side I’m on) wants to be clear about the factual context, about ethical limits, about morally licit behavior. I’m not trying to confuse things with “fluffy” words (or obfuscate with flocculent verbiage, as it were). Nor am I trying to make excuses for Anne Applebaum; as I’ve said, I can see how someone could disagree with me. I just think that the full moral complexity of the situation should be acknowledged, and that accusations of “conflicts of interest” should only be made with care.
That’s an interesting point. I guess the question I would ask is where you would draw the lines. Every time that Michael Gerson writes about the Bush administration, must he mention that he served in it? Every time that Colbert King writes about the Carter administration, must he mention that he worked for Carter? Every time that George Will talks about Reagan, must he mention that they were friends? Why or why not?
In real life, we must draw lines about such things; we can’t go about spouting our entire autobiography every time we sound off on something. You and I just disagree about which side of the line this Applebaum incident is on.
Which brings me back to Stashiu3 –
My apologies for the confusion: When I wrote that Ms. Applebaum doesn’t need to “mention her husband’s job every time she writes on a subject that intersects even glancingly with his public life,” I wasn’t talking about this incident. I was making a sort of straw man argument against those who might say Ms. Applebaum must disclose her marriage whenever she writes about anything that her husband has talked about. You took it out of context, I’m afraid — or, rather, I wrote unclearly; I didn’t mean to say that this specific incident is only “glancingly” part of Mr. Sikorski’s job. Sorry for being unclear.
As for your hypothetical, well, I think my revision rather made it much more parallel. I think there’s a vast gulf of difference between your original hypothetical and the present incident. We wouldn’t read Walt Mossberg‘s comments on Hewlett-Packard products the same way if we know that he was married to, say, Carly Fiorina. (To be clear: he isn’t.) But opinion columnists are not product reviewers. We don’t read opinion columns for impartial advice; we read them for interpretation, analysis, nuance, talking points, and ideas. At least to my mind, that undermines your original hypothetical — hence my revisions to it.Abner Gromble (bb5a4d) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:06 pm
Would those who believe Obama supports freeing Mumia present some evidence? Otherwise I think I’ll have to lump you with the loonies who think Obama is the Antichrist.Andrew J. Lazarus (fc4d62) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:11 pm
121, Thanks for reinforcing the sterotype of the dumb Yankee. Open your eyes (if you are able to do so…).Kuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:21 pm
Stankiewicz, we’ll wait until you have actually posted something based on fact, rather than false propaganda and bizarre fantasies.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:24 pm
Kuba, I’m a Polack and you’re wrong. Show where anyone here excused crimes by American soldiers. It’s been consistently said that crimes should be punished. Polanski is an admitted rapist. Why are you defending him? You’re the hypocrite.Stashiu3 (8cadeb) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:26 pm
[…] blogger Patterico reports: Applebaum failed to mention that her husband is a Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for […]Roman Polanski: What’s a Little Pedophilia Between Friends? at Deceiver.com (971796) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:27 pm
That must be an odd marrige. She lives and works in the US. He lives and works in Poland. How did their paths even cross in the first place?Subotai (b28b8e) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:40 pm
#124: thanks for reinforcing the stereotype of the partisan childish troll who just posts to argue. Good job!Eric Blair (57b266) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:45 pm
I know that you cannot write Washington Post without also writing the word “liberal”, but let’s get one thing straight: ANNE APPLEBAUM tends to be conservative, especially in foreign policy. Or neo-conservative, I should say. I know that you folks are out hunting for bear at WaPo and don’t care who you hit, even if it’s Gerson or Krauthammer. There are several other facts about Applebaum and Polanski which may have influenced her opinion on this matter. Both Applebaum and Polanski happen to have been raised in Jewish families. Polanski lost many family members in the Holocaust. I don’t know if Ms. Applebaum lost any relatives in the Holocaust, but even I, a gentile, have some sympathy for Mr. Polanski about this. Was Ms. Applebaum under any obligation to disclose her ethnic identity? (For the record, I don’t her husband happens to be Jewish).
Now many of you folks have raised some good arguments about the Polanski situation PRO and CON. To suggest, however, that Applebaum was doing her husband’s bidding when opining about Polanski is preposterous.Barbara (699273) — 9/28/2009 @ 1:59 pm
I am not sure you can draw a bright line for disclosure, but this one does not pass any rational smell test. It is telling that the visitor would prefer to talk about hypotheticals and alternate scenarios, than the instant example.JD (aeb697) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:00 pm
125, 126. Guys, looks like i have different opinion on this forum, don’t take me wrong. First of all it had to be done 32 years ago and not now. Second, he could not expect fair trial in “law-abiding” America. Laurence Rittenband wanted to his show. Polanski’s victim forgave him. But you guys already sentenced him. World is not only black and white. Media have great news, of course without paying respect to the tragedy of Roman Polanski family and even Samantha Geimer family… For you guys everything is simple and straightforward…See the Marina Zenovich’s movie “Polanski: Wanted and Desired”Kuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:03 pm
I am pretty sure that Barbara is arguing with positions not held here. I could give a flying fig whether or not she is Jewish, or a neocon (an idea that strikes me as preposterous). None of that has anything to do with the obvious conflict.JD (aeb697) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:05 pm
Stankiewicz, your opinion is not just “different”, its based on ignorance.
Polanski is not entitled to a “fair trial”. He already pled guilty. Get it? He already pled guilty and then skipped town. He becamse a fugitive to avoid the consequences of his crime and his conviction.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:18 pm
I see that Salon has linked here, and the salon piece is linked on the N.O.W. website. So, here’s 2 degrees of separation from Patterico to NOW.Kevin Murphy (805c5b) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:35 pm
[…] husband is a member of the Polish government who is advocating on Polanski’s behalf). See Patterico for more on that. addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poliblogger.com%2F%3Fp%3D16975'; addthis_title = […]PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » A Strange (Perhaps Outrageous?) Position to Take (ab24b9) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:36 pm
134. SPQR – I am not going to discuss with you, self-confident American who knows everything the best, using invectives. This level of discussion is not acceptable.Kuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:37 pm
Stankiewicz, only you are allowed to use invective? That’s rather typical. We have a saying in America about being able to dish it out but not being able to take it.
The fact remains that you are ignorant of the facts of the Polanski case.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:52 pm
Kuba, please address SPQR’s completely factual statement.
Polanski pled guilty. How could he have received an unfair trial as you claimed in comment #132?
Polanski fled the country. How does the fact that his sentencing occurred 32 years ago mitigate the need for it to be carried out?
Crime, meet punishment. Don’t let your appreciation of the man’s art blind you to the need for him to face the music he commissioned the orchestra to play.h2u (147639) — 9/28/2009 @ 2:55 pm
137. Just call me Mr. Stankiewicz, sir 😉 It’s much nicer… But seriously, I just simply don’t agree with you. And Mr. (or Mrs.) ???SPQR!!! Looks like it’s much easier to use invectives without revealing one’s identity…Kuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:02 pm
How does one disagree with facts?
Please, click that link — it contains news reports and legal information regarding Roman Polanski’s “arrest, plea bargain, guilty plea, conviction, flight from justice, and fugitive status on charges of drugging and raping a 13- year-old girl in 1977.”
And if you still disagree with the facts, please post your beliefs — and sources that support them would be nice as well.
[note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]h2u (147639) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:08 pm
The facts cannot be disputed, so your disagreement is entirely irrelevant. Please click the link and educate yourself.
[note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]h2u (147639) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:11 pm
If your sole point is to say you don’t agree, then you’ve said that. The point of comments is to discuss and debate. SPQR thinks you don’t understand the difference between a trial and pleading guilty. Would you care to discuss the difference?DRJ (b008f8) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:13 pm
[…] actions. The egregious Anne Applebaum goes for the hat trick in a recent column, with a scoop of conflict of interest on […]Forget it, Jake « The Soft Lobotomy (b093c9) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:28 pm
141. Sorry, It might have been a language issue. I am not very familiar with US law vocabulary. I know of course that Polanski pled guilty, but he was not sure if he could count on fair sentence in these circumstances. See this: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/arts/17iht-polanski.3187184.htmlKuba Stankiewicz (4c580e) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:30 pm
Unless Mr. Stankiewicz is telling us that the facts don’t really matter, he’ll disagree regardless.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:31 pm
I read the Salon article earlier and it’s quite good. It all boils down to … Roman Polanski raped a child.
Was just wondering if Abner is getting paid by the word.PatAZ (9d1bb3) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:40 pm
Thank you for the link. I’ve read that New York Times’ article. You may be interested in this reply by the former arts editor of National Public Radio for another viewpoint.DRJ (b008f8) — 9/28/2009 @ 3:51 pm
Reading Abner’s comments here has really given me food for thought on how I evaluate and research outrageous and idiotic columns by MSM columnists and op-ed writers. Reading Anne Applebaum’s piece, which even Abner admitted in his first comment here was silly, my immediate reaction was to wonder what could have possessed the woman to write that tripe. One of my first stops, according to Abner, should have been to research the archives of style section of the NY Times for wedding announcements, where it was widely disclosed to NY Times readers that Ms. Applebaum had married a Polish diplomat. I’ll keep that in my bag of tricks for future reference since I am not an avid reader of the NY Times or its wedding section, finding the paper deceitful, biased and offensive. Unfortunately Ms. Applebaum’s marital status is not discussed in her biography on the Washington Post web site, usually the first place I would look for the information about an author’s background, a fact which Abner now acknowledges. He agrees a correction should be made.
Abner also notes that her marriage is discussed on her personal web page and in her Wikipedia entry, all of which are fine and dandy. What Abner fails to note is where to find the heated opposition of the Polish government to the extradition of Polanski and the leading role of her husband in that process. I did not read the Times wedding announcement that was so widely read, but perhaps it was in there.
With all of Abner’s deflections onto other hypotheticals after suggesting Patterico take a breath after calling Applebaum on the carpet for not disclosing a conflict of interest in this case, I’m not even sure where Abner stands. Disclosures about prior employment for people such as Will, Stephanopoulus or Gerson are interesting, but do they represent actual present conflicts such as Applebaum’s. Steph’s daily calls from the White House with Rahm and Begala probably present much more of a current conflict.
Thanks for all the red herrings, Abner.daleyrocks (718861) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:16 pm
Mr. Stankiewicz, are you familiar with Polish law? Especially the one now being enacted which mandates castration of rapists of children?nk (df76d4) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:17 pm
Except that, it being performed in Poland by Poles, it will actually be a circumcision. 😉nk (df76d4) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:23 pm
Oy vey, NK! That joke on the day of atonement? It’s not sundown in Los Angeles yet. 😉h2u (147639) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:39 pm
As I understand it, the DIRE sentence that Polanski ran from was 48 more days in jail. He had been expecting “time served” of 42 days, and the vile judge was going to make him serve the whole 90 (ninety) days for raping a child.
It is true that this would have been a miscarriage of justice, but not the way it is being portrayed. In my book, he should be getting out about the time Phil Spector does.Kevin Murphy (805c5b) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:47 pm
In which I agree for quite possibly the first time ever with Salon.com…
Kate Harding at Salon.com has probably the best opinion piece I’ve seen on the arrest (in Switzerland) of famous/imfamous director Roman Polanski. In it, she reminds the apologists for Polanski, who are crawling out of the woodwork in condemnati…Sister Toldjah (c83140) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:52 pm
Well, we’ll never know if he could have received a fair sentence, BECAUSE HE RAN AWAY! You don’t plead guilty, and then try to avoid the results of that plea by fleeing the jurisdition, only to turn up in Europe, leading a life of luxury (although we must not forget, horror upon horrors, that he could not return to the US for his movie award).Rochf (ae9c58) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:54 pm
Rochf, and lunch at Maxim’s … oh, the horror.SPQR (26be8b) — 9/28/2009 @ 4:57 pm
It never ceases to amaze me that the Polanski’s, Kennedy’s and Clinton’s of the world can treat women like S**t (literally and figuratively) and get a pass from women who call themselves feminists. It happens time and time again. A 13 year old girl was raped by a 40+ year old man, yet the Barbara’s and Applebaum’s of the world will excuse this behavior and refuse to see the evil in it, or to cal a spade a spade. What sad and pathetic persons they are.BT (78b929) — 9/28/2009 @ 5:50 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case.There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]Roman Polanski arrested on 1978 US arrest warrant - Page 13 - Gossip Rocks Forum (4d23bf) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:11 pm
[…] worth, Applebaum today responded (in a message reproduced in a Washington Post chat) to my post noting that she had failed to disclose her Polish politician husband’s active role in seeking […]Patterico’s Pontifications » Your Evening Polanski Update, Part 1 (e4ab32) — 9/28/2009 @ 6:22 pm
Look. It is corrupt that WaPo’s Anne Applebaum pens a dishonest screed defending a child rapist without disclosing her hubby’s role defending the rapist. But let’s not lose sight of the MAIN SCANDAL: Anne Applebaum says it’s ok to rape, drug and sodomize a 13 year-old girl if you are rich and famous! THAT is the scandal. Anne is a disgusting person.Janice Lewiston (1e0d64) — 9/28/2009 @ 8:42 pm
She also claims that she did not know Polanski was polish citizen.
Trenton, N.J.: Your colleague Anne Applebaum has written an opinion piece voicing her outrage about the arrest of Roman Polanski. Do you agree with her? She did not disclose in the piece that her husband, who is the foreigner minister of Poland, has been working to have Polanski released? Does this constitute a conflict of interest? Does this violate WoPo’s ethic rules?
Karl Vick: Trenton, I passed on your question by e-mail to Anne. Her reply:andrew (5db6f8) — 9/28/2009 @ 9:54 pm
“I have disclosed that before, more than once. Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea that my husband, who is in Africa, would, or could do anything about it, as Polanski is not a Polish citizen. I am not responsible for his decisions and he is not responsible for mine.”
[end of quote]
What a lying peace of trash.
The United Nations has stepped in: the Bulgarian Director-Designate of Unesco, Irina Bokova, declaring that “Polanski is a world renowned intellectual… even though I am not aware of any details, this is shocking.”andrew (5db6f8) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:29 pm
[…] omission from Applebaum’s sob story is that she is the wife of Radislaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for the […]L’Affaire Polanski « Philosophy On The Mesa (b9b542) — 9/28/2009 @ 10:58 pm
[…] The Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum delivered a passionate defense of Polanski without disclosing the fact that her husband is a Polish Official who is actively fighting for Polanski’s defense, a fact uncovered by internet press watchdogs at Patterico. […]American Glob » Blog Archive » Roman Polanski Should go to Jail (d3e984) — 9/29/2009 @ 12:38 am
Patterico, you should go onto the http://www.washingtonpost.com and find the QandA a couple of their reporters did on this case yesterday. One person brought up this issue of Applebaum’s conflict of interest and the WaPo reporter texted Anne and asked her about it. Her response, and I hope you can find it on the website, was, and I quote from memory so please forgive me if I am not a 100% precise, “I had no idea that my husband was working for Polanski’s release.” He’s in Africa.” I wrote back in but it was too late to have the comment posted, but I wanted to know how you would find out what the Post Ombudsman said on this issue. As I found her answer to be naive at best and misdirecting at its best. She also makes some claim about Polanski not being a Polish citizen and therefore how is she to know that their government would work for his release despite the fact that his father was Polish, and his mother is half-Polish. Simply put, I call bullshit on her answer and in truth, find it almost more intriguing than the story itself. To say he’s in Africa implies that Africa is still the Dark Continent in Anne Applebaum’s world as it relates to technology. I’m sure there are no phones, no internet connections, no blackberry capabilities and thus when he travels to Africa, they can never speak. Howard Kurtz said it best yesterday, and it is his link that I found your website, Polanski the Plumber wouldn’t have a prayer of sympathy for what he did. All that being said, I am a Polish-American and quite proud of my Polish roots, Casimir Pulaski, my favorite Revolutionary War hero who died for this nation of ours.JC (a72d49) — 9/29/2009 @ 5:27 am
Maybe ACORN will be able to get Anne Applebaum and all these other left-wing child-rapist supporting freaks to work for them. ACORN can help them make it a legal, tax-paying business.Laura (b88e07) — 9/29/2009 @ 5:42 am
Sorry, I’m still with Abner. I fail to see how her husband’s job unfairly compromises her opinion writing in any way.
And yes, while her husband obviously gets paid to do his job, he does not stand to gain IN PARTICULAR from any result in the Polanski case. It is not even remotley similar to advocating a product of a company which employs ones spouse.
Simply put…they have the same interest here, which is Polanski’s release (as disgusting as that interest is…in fact, I only just realized that it wasn’t statutory, that she didn’t consent and was actually raped against her will…ugh, this guy can rot in hell…)Brian (8ea943) — 9/29/2009 @ 5:43 am
[…] Patterico reported over the weekend that lecherous child predator/director Roman Polanski’s Washington Post defender Anne Applebaum failed to mention in her latest pro-Polanski blog post that her husband is a Polish politician actively lobbying for Polanski’s freedom. […]Michelle Malkin » WaPo’s Applebaum still defending failure to disclose Polanski conflict (e2f069) — 9/29/2009 @ 6:47 am
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]Quick Hits « Earwicga (a49a80) — 9/29/2009 @ 9:16 am
[…] where the Applebaum sub-story gets interesting. Patterico (a blogger who works for the LA DA’s office) revealed that Applebaum’s husband is the […]Anne Applebaum: liar or laughingstock? « Internet Scofflaw (297b68) — 9/29/2009 @ 10:25 am
[…] quotes (but does not link), not the post where I actually discussed her omission, but rather an earlier post that I updated to include a […]Patterico’s Pontifications » Anne Applebaum: Patterico Is “Not Quite As Offensive” As Reader Who Expressed a Wish to Rape Anne Applebaum’s Daughter (e4ab32) — 9/29/2009 @ 7:21 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]ExtremeCentre.org » Rappel : Polanski a violé une enfant !: Blog Politique Francophone pour les Libertés Fondamentales et Contre Tous les Totalitarismes, qu'ils soient de Droite ou de Gauche (21f1d6) — 9/29/2009 @ 9:35 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]Remember – Roman Polanski raped a child – Salon.com « MovieDriver (964f17) — 9/29/2009 @ 11:39 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]“I Know It Wasn’t Rape-Rape” : NO QUARTER (c8d490) — 9/30/2009 @ 6:04 am
No wonder there is so much interest by liberals in seeing Hannah Giles nude.PCD (1d8b6d) — 9/30/2009 @ 6:54 am
[…] I mentioned earlier this evening, Anne Applebaum today defended her decision not to disclose her Polish politician husband’s official efforts on behalf of Roman P…, in a blog post she wrote on behalf of Roman Polanski: Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea […]Patterico’s Pontifications » Anne Applebaum: I Had Absolutely No Way to Know That My Husband Was Helping Polanski — That Is, Other Than by Reading a Story Which I Myself Linked (e4ab32) — 9/30/2009 @ 7:10 am
The people who want Polanski Realeased with out charge make me sick, I dont care what he has accomplished in the film industry! he was charged on March 12, 1977 with charges of luring a 13-year-old girl to the home of Jack Nicholson under the pretext of photographing her, then drugging and raping her. All which he pleaded guilty to “All stated in an official police report” Enough said! Polanski fled the United States on the eve of his 1978 sentencing, because he was facing up to 50 years in prison. Who ever signs the petition going around mainly celebrities should be ashamed of themselves, I hear some people saying if it was in another, country that age isnt so bad, Even if this girl was 25 its still rape he druged her and did it against her will, Imagine if that was your child.mitcho82 (8604d5) — 9/30/2009 @ 5:14 pm
[…] defense of Polanski and her failure to disclose that her husband, a Polish foreign minister, is lobbying for the dismissal of Polanski’s […]Apologizing for Roman Polanski? What is Anne Applebaum’s Problem? « Prometheus Unbound (fb05f5) — 10/1/2009 @ 11:28 am
[…] überlasse ich es lieber anderen, Artikel wie den von Anne Applebaum in der Washington Post zu beurteilen, in dem sich die Autorin gegen die „bizarre“ Verhaftung Polanskis ausspricht und dabei […]Roman Polanski | Spreeblick (573278) — 10/2/2009 @ 7:06 am
[…] wonder what the foreign minister’s wife thinks about […]Patterico’s Pontifications » Poland Recently Criminalized Justifying Pedophilia (e4ab32) — 10/2/2009 @ 7:08 am
“There are two ways he’s excused by the liberal press:”
Comment by Bill
Please note that Appelbaum is not ‘liberal’. I haven’t heard of one liberal journalist advocating for Polanski.Barry (9ef9c1) — 10/2/2009 @ 8:04 am
Applebaum is not conservative either. She’s just paid.happyfeet (6b707a) — 10/2/2009 @ 8:13 am
Just another useless Sidwell trollop. They make so many.happyfeet (6b707a) — 10/2/2009 @ 8:14 am
[…] Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and that the Polish government with Sikorski directly involved is lobbying the U.S. to dismiss the case against Polanski, an obvious conflict of interest. So much for her credibility.) Hollywood has also rushed to his […]The truth about Roman Polanski | Legal-Sleaze.com (2af704) — 10/2/2009 @ 9:08 am
Mr. Sikorski is really funny.
Poland is a country of strong catholic tradition. And conservative Goverment. An act on mandatory castration of sexual offenders has passed the Polish parliament’s lower house just recently: http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/3/33858/chemical-castration-may-become-law-poland.html#… but Mr. Minister for Foerign Affairs supports sexual offender escaping justice. Just because he is Polish and famous and artist.
What about US Ministry of Justice transferring the criminal proceedings to Poland – and Polish authorities castrating their famous citizen themselves and according to their own legal order?Olga (a61d84) — 10/2/2009 @ 10:21 am
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the […]Reminder: Roman Polanski raped a child « Nattering Nabobs (fb05f5) — 10/5/2009 @ 3:11 pm
Either my memory or my computer cache is failing me, or the NYT took down Patterico’s comment referring to Frederic Mitterrand’s support for Polanski.
Polanski Says Some Support Counterproductive
Wasn’t there a comment by Patterico just a few hours ago?John Sinclair (ef2c46) — 10/12/2009 @ 6:20 pm
[…] Applebaum was allowed to publish a blog post in support of Roman Polanski without disclosing that her husband is Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who opposes extradition. Richard Cohen, […]Gawker: The Washington Post Has the Worst Opinion Section in America | Climate Vine (5b22da) — 10/16/2009 @ 10:18 am
[…] Applebaum was allowed to publish a blog post in support of Roman Polanski without disclosing that her husband is Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who opposes extradition. Richard Cohen, […]My Pure Diet. Health News & Supplements. (111513) — 10/16/2009 @ 3:13 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]Roman Polanski raped a child « quintal do (5381c6) — 12/16/2009 @ 8:43 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the case. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. […]Remember – Roman Polanski raped a child – Salon.com « The Studio Gates (44368e) — 1/31/2010 @ 9:39 pm
[…] the tiny, inconsequential detail that her husband, Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, is actively pressuring U.S. authorities to drop the […]Reminder: Roman Polanski raped a child (270326) — 12/23/2010 @ 3:56 am
[…] at the Washington Post (whose husband is a Polish official lobbying for Polanski’s release, a fact she failed to mention), Joan Shore at the Huffington Post (who is a friend of Polanski), and many in the Hollywood […]What Kind Of Sentence Is Roman Polanski Facing? | Verdict (cf001f) — 6/27/2011 @ 4:14 pm