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

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 pm

As 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 Polanski, in a blog post she wrote on behalf of Roman Polanski:

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.

Odd. The very first sentence of her post reads as follows:

Of all nations, why was it Switzerland — the country that traditionally guarded the secret bank accounts of international criminals and corrupt dictators — that finally decided to arrest Roman Polanski?

Click on the link in that last sentence, and you’ll see a Washington Post story that contains the following passage:

Polanski also received support from Poland, where he moved as a toddler and avoided capture by the Nazis, who put his mother to death in a concentration camp. “I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency, which would settle the matter once and for all,” said Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, according to the PAP news agency.

Radoslaw Sikorski is Applebaum’s husband.

Yes, Anne Applebaum had absolutely no way to know that her husband would do anything about Polanski — unless, of course, she read all the way to the fifth paragraph of the story she herself linked on the issue.

Thanks to Dusty.

UPDATE: Applebaum responds, adding new inaccuracies to the mix. Details here.

136 Responses to “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”

  1. The “stupid” defense.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  2. Applebaum, you lie.

    Terry Gain (4045b4)

  3. Not very bright. Amusing how all the rationalizations for her lack of disclosure fall apart so embarrassingly.

    Sounds like she really does have something to hide.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. At first I just thought she was a lazy journalist…

    Dana (863a65)

  5. oh. Her days as a propagandy journalist ho are looking a bit numbered. All for a child rapist.

    What a stupid, stupid woman.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  6. Ahh. “Stupid”, “you lie”, “lazy” “no shame”. But are we sure that it wasn’t a stealth-edit done after her column was submitted in order to make her look stupid and evasive?

    Douglas2 (00657d)

  7. Clueless and stupid is a bad way to go through life.

    Mike Myers (710e8b)

  8. Douglas2 – Do you have anything to suggest that is the case?

    JD (e62f40)

  9. I posted a comment to that effect in her column comments. It posted. I have a screenshot. I doubt it will be responded to. I’m only interested in seeing if it stays there.

    Thanks, Pat.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  10. This entire “I had no idea” defense, when you know perfectly well they did know (or they were dumb as a box of rocks), reminds me of this:

    It’s the commercial for the New Democratic Party, I think.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  11. Democrats never read past the title, except president O’Dumbo who reads every word he speaks. Bring him back and hang him alongside all ACORN members.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  12. Maybe since she doesn’t share the same last name as her husband, she forgot they were married. After all, her cavalier attitude to Polanski (and presumably other Hollywood directors) having anal sex with a 13 yo girl seems right out of the Truman and Eisenhower eras.

    It must be the girl’s fault for leading him on or maybe it was what she wore to the party. Did she give him the look? Weren’t these excuses always used back when all married women took their husband’s last name?

    MU789 (9ab961)

  13. The First Rule of Holes strikes again.

    aunursa (0e5924)

  14. But are we sure that it wasn’t a stealth-edit done after her column was submitted in order to make her look stupid and evasive?
    Comment by Douglas2 — 9/28/2009 @ 7:58 pm

    I cannot imagine a viable motive for a WaPo editor to do such a thing.

    Dana (863a65)

  15. Five paragraphs down == power of the itsy bitsy puddle jump.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  16. I think I’ve heard the kids call this an EPIC FAIL.

    Karl (246941)

  17. Bitch lied. 2 word headline. Dayum, journalism is easy.

    sybilll (9faf4b)

  18. Karl – Maybe Applebaum is like Greenwald and she doesn’t bother to read her links.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  19. Maybe since she doesn’t share the same last name as her husband, she forgot they were married.

    [Comment by MU789 — 9/28/2009 @ 8:13 pm]

    LOL. Innovative. Refreshingly creative. Humbly disarming. I like it! Are you in PR?

    Dusty (7bba43)

  20. BTW, how likely is it that Applebaum has something like a Google News alert for “Radoslaw Sikorski” that brought up the Polanski story in the first place?

    If not, we are left to contemplate that somehow, the name “Radoslaw Sikorski” doesn’t leap out at her when she reads the news, despite being married to him.

    Karl (246941)

  21. Do you have anything to suggest that is the case?

    No, I’ve nothing to suggest that a stealth edit happenned.

    Douglas2 (00657d)

  22. Wow, the level of vitriol here is astounding, especially considering that Ms. Applebaum is, generally speaking, a friend of the Right.

    Her view on the execrable Polanski is, I think, wrong. But is her protestation of ignorance about her husband’s involvement all that implausible? Douglas2 asks about a “stealth-edit” to embarrass her; that sounds absurd to me. But it’s not all that far-fetched to imagine that (1) a web editor added the link to her blog post after Ms. Applebaum submitted it, a common practice to drive up intra-site traffic; or (2) Ms. Applebaum added the link herself but didn’t read the story, having gotten her coverage of the Polanski case elsewhere.

    Look, I think Ms. Applebaum:

    – is wrong about the facts of Polanski’s case;
    – is wrong about what should happen to Polanski; and
    – should mention her marriage on her bio page.

    But as I’ve argued (at admittedly too-great length) in the comments section of the previous post, this hardly amounts to a major media scandal.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  23. I don’t get to say this often. Well, yes I do:

    “Have you no know shame. Have you no dignity?”

    Because, op-ed columnists don’t have to play by journalism’s rules.

    They can say whatever they want, regardless of the facts, regardless of their associations, regardless of their spouses.

    However, their words appear in print, on the air and by cable and satellite.

    You can say that Tail-gunner Joe was an evil little shit. I don’t know one way or another. I only have what historians and journalists to tell me what I should believe about him. Based on what I know, they are correct.

    But the sword cuts both ways. And I’m getting a bit tired of the current evil little shits telling me what I should believe because they’re “right.”

    And, you know what else? I’m also a bit tired of them telling me I’m angry. I’m not angry about disagreements on policy, I’m not angry about people expressing opinions or policy I disagree with.

    That’s called discourse. Why should I get angry about the same old same old.

    I also saw today that the former President Clinton has once againg invoked the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

    Can someone point me in the right direction to get involved with that? I think there’s some money to be made and I’m missing out.

    Ag80 (592691)

  24. Pardon me:

    I also saw today that the former President Clinton has once again invoked the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

    Ag80 (592691)

  25. Yes, Abner. We know. All 78,934 words of your “look over there” debating. How does this level of “vitriol” compare to any random segment on Olbergasm? Any random comment thread @ Kos? Any random Bush is evil article over the last 8 years?

    JD (92fffb)

  26. Abner,

    Many people disagree with you. Your objection is duly noted. Get over it.

    Karl (246941)

  27. BTW, how likely is it that Applebaum has something like a Google News alert for “Radoslaw Sikorski” that brought up the Polanski story in the first place?

    [Comment by Karl — 9/28/2009 @ 8:32 pm]

    That’s a really good point. Five will get you one you’re right.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  28. Or, to put it more crassly, this blog currently averages about 11K visits (not pageviews) daily. Today it was more like 40K. And yesterday’s traffic was unusually high for a Sunday.

    Karl (246941)

  29. Abner just keeps admitting things, but not changing his opinion.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. Yes, Anne Applebaum had absolutely no way to know that her husband would do anything about Polanski — unless, of course, she read all the way to the fifth paragraph of the story she herself linked on the issue.

    These are the people who are constantly making idiotic condescending remarks about how the blogosphere is nothing but a bunch of idiots in their pajamas smearing people and pushing stories without any fact checking or professionalism.

    Everyday inept reporting like this is exposed in the MSM.

    It is like they are all trying to be an Olberman.

    Thinking if they just pretend they are smart, that nobody will notice the cut-and-paste drivel they serve up on a regular basis.

    Absolutely stuck on stupid.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  31. “Wow, the level of vitriol here is astounding, especially considering that Ms. Applebaum is, generally speaking, a friend of the Right.”

    Abner – Are you seriously suggesting that when a member of the MSM makes a major journalistic faux pas like this they should not be called on the carpet just because they hold views which might be sympathetic to the readers?

    Also, you seem to have a very high opinion of Applebaum’s notoriety and visibility and may have detected that others here are not as familiar with her work. Perhaps it is an East Coast/Beltway phenomenon.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  32. But as I’ve argued (at admittedly too-great length) in the comments section of the previous post, this hardly amounts to a major media scandal.

    [Comment by Abner Gromble — 9/28/2009 @ 8:37 pm]

    That’s irrelevant, Abner. Justice needs to be served for both little and big “crimes”. It’s high time that the “broken windows” strategy be applied to the media in that respect.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  33. Wow, the level of vitriol here is astounding, especially considering that Ms. Applebaum is, generally speaking, a friend of the Right.

    But you see, Abner, to me and perhaps many here, this is not a matter of Left or Right. (although I believe the MSM will politicize this. They can’t resist…) Rather, to me this is a matter of a man having committed a heinous act against a minor and escaping the legal consequences but now finds himself in a position to serve his sentence.

    You see, Abner, I don’t really care about the politics of one who rapes and sodomizes a young girl. And I really don’t care about the politics of a journalist who wants to defend such a person, and then obfuscates, lies by omission or patently lies in such a situation.

    There are far more important matters in life than the politics of a person.

    Dana (863a65)

  34. Abner:

    What are you, Anne Applebaum’s dad or something?

    Anne Applebaum is going to lead a very successful life. She will win accolades, awards and money for her cogent, insightful commentaries.

    She will enjoy the adulation of her peers and be rewarded with the undying gratitude of her readers.

    She should have mentioned her conflict of interest. But, she didn’t. Her choice.

    It’s really not that important to me, except in the sense that I have a 15-year-old daughter.

    Fill in the rest as you wish.

    Ag80 (592691)

  35. I hope some famous/influential Jewish people come out in favor of law instead of defending Polanski. I know minorities can get kind of tribal and circle the wagons on something like this. I see people with names like Applebaum, Weinstein and Goldstein so adamantly in favor of a rapist and I feel like things have the possibility of heading in an ugly direction that I’d like to throw a roadblock in front of before it gets out of hand.

    j curtis (baef6f)

  36. Other than Abner, does anyone else care if Applebaum is a “friend of the right”?

    JD (92fffb)

  37. This article at Slate does a pretty good job at putting the child rapist apologist in their place:

    (via Hot Air.)
    Monday, Sept. 28, 2009 06:29 PDT
    Reminder: Roman Polanski raped a child

    Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76,

    Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

    Seems to be a lot more details and facts that actually present this case in a realistic view than the view that Mrs. Ann (I don’t know what my own husband is doing even when I link what he is doing)Appplebaum presents.

    Imagine that.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  38. Journalism is powerfully magnetic to a lower class of people.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  39. She portrays herself as a righty? Well then! Conservatives must show their nonpartisanship by insisting the WaPo fire her spooky ass.

    j curtis (baef6f)

  40. [Comment by JD — 9/28/2009 @ 8:58 pm]

    Not me.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  41. JD asks:

    Other than Abner, does anyone else care if Applebaum is a “friend of the right”?

    I do. Given her overall record, the fact that Applebvaum is so fantastically obtuse here makes this incident smell all the more fishy.

    Karl (246941)

  42. Dana, I do think that there is a political dimension to this, but it come from the Left. Can you imagine a similar situation with a known Right wing person—drugging and raping a 13 year old, getting convicted, fleeing the country, and getting arrested in Switzerland for extradition back here?

    Do you think even a twee sophist like “Abner” would say it was not big deal then?


    Personally, I am with you: he is a child molester. He was convicted. He fled the country. Now he needs to serve some time.

    And you know the worst part? Ask yourself how old Polanski’s children are now?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  43. j curtis:

    Take it back to Kos, you stupid, infantile freak.

    I’ll take it a bit further: God Damn you and your stupid ilk.

    You have no worth in this world. Your words mean nothing and you are nothing. What kind of life do you live? It must be sad, and for that, you have my sympathy — wait a second — no you don’t.

    But, really, why do you even try?

    Thanks for your comment. It has been enlightening.

    Ag80 (592691)

  44. JD, Karl, and everyone else – I despise Olbermann, the Kossacks, and the madmen suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. But I don’t want our side to slide into a similar slough.

    I’m happy to see you take a whack at Ms. Applebaum for being boneheadedly lenient on Polanski. I join you in it. He’s sleaze; she’s wrong about what should happen to him.

    JD asks whether we should care if Applebaum is, as I’ve suggested, a friend of the Right. That certainly doesn’t excuse her wrong opinions on some things — like wanting kid-glove treatment for Polanski, or voting for Obama. She’s wrong on both counts, and surely on others. But shouldn’t we also remember that she’s right about Islamism, sensible on climate change, right about the Soviets, and much else? Is it smart tactics to call for the resignation (as I think some commenters have) of an often-friendly columnist? I just don’t see it. I guess daleyrocks is right: I’m too stuck in a Beltway mentality.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  45. Poland is also a friend of the right, generally. You just have to kind of look past that fondness what they have for baby rapers. Learned it from the French I guess.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  46. I am reminded of this director:

    True, “Jeepers Creepers” is no “Chinatown.” But should that make a difference?

    It seems to me that there is a very flexible set of rules at play here. Some people pay, and other flee and live with models in France. And yet Newsweek and various pundits will shrill at the “unfairness” of Polanksi’s treatment.

    If Polanski had been a Catholic priest, for example, would everyone be quite so blase?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  47. Karl – FWIW, I doubt that she is some “friend of the right”. If she is, my reaction to her mendacity is likely even more harsh, as I expect more from them.

    JD (88ca98)

  48. “…But I don’t want our side …”

    Oh, my.

    Thar she blows!

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  49. Let me be clear: I do not doubt the reality of climate change. I have long accepted that human use of fossil fuels has caused it, and I agree that great efforts should be made to reduce carbon emissions, as well as our politically risky dependence on oil and gas.

    Wowsers. She couldn’t be more reasonable I don’t think if she did oral favors for Nancy Pelosi. I have some rethinking to do.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  50. Comment by Ag80 — 9/28/2009 @ 9:11 pm

    You sound angry, but maybe you’d like to explain your anger so that I might understand what you are angry about.

    j curtis (baef6f)

  51. How can a friend of the right vote for Barcky?

    JD (88ca98)

  52. I’m with Mr. Feet on this one. You all see what Mr. Abner Melville is doing, right? Mirroring the commentary about Edward Kennedy, I suspect. After all, because he was “so correct” on so many progressive Left issues it excuses all of his tawdry and illegal nonsense.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  53. Jeepers Creepers was awesomely awesome, the first half especially. The second one was like a massacre at Abercrombie Fitch though.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  54. C’mon Abner.

    I have never seen a troll so secure in what he expects to illicit.

    Abner is without a doubt the stupidest “smart” person I have ever read.

    If I make a wish on my Christainist ouija board will you go away?

    Ag80 (592691)

  55. How is what happyfeet quoted evidence of a sensible “friend of the right” position? Let me guess, Abner, lifelong concerned conservative Christian voter?

    JD (88ca98)

  56. Abner, you have a crush on Ms Applebaum?

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  57. If Polanski had been a Catholic priest, for example, would everyone be quite so blase?

    Comment by Eric Blair — 9/28/2009 @ 9:14 pm

    Dam# good point.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  58. 51.How can a friend of the right vote for Barcky?
    Comment by JD

    The only way it could happen is if the “FOTR” feels that Obama would destroy the Democrat Party so completely that it would doom the Democrats for 100 years, and so therefore casts something of a machiavellian vote for that Democrat candidate.

    j curtis (baef6f)

  59. I think that we can call Abner a “Friend of Applebaum” (FOA) regardless.

    There is the distinct whiff of relativism and J-school all over his posts.

    Not to mention the whole Moby thing.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  60. Quick responses:

    PatAZ(#56) – No crush on her, no. I have seen Ms. Applebaum talk at a couple of events in D.C., though, and think she’s smart and funny.

    JD (#55) – If you actually read the article that happyfeet was quoting from, you would see that the sentence happyfeet quoted was proleptic. Here’s how Ms. Applebaum continues:

    But I do doubt the wisdom of assuming that eight or 10 politicians will ever solve this problem during a meeting at a conference center, in Italy or any other country. I also question whether even several hundred politicians — plus their scientific advisers, assorted environmentalists and lobbyists — will solve this problem at the Copenhagen climate super-summit scheduled for December. At that time, the original signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are supposed to renew their vows and the U.S. delegation is supposed to bow its head and rejoin the club. If everyone can agree, new emissions targets will be set. They will be as unenforceable as the emissions targets we have now.

    The truth is that carbon emissions will not be reduced by international bureaucrats, however well-meaning, sitting in a room and signing a piece of paper. They will not be reduced by public relations campaigns or by Oscar-winning documentaries. Above all, they will not be reduced by a complex treaty that neither the United Nations nor anyone else can possibly supervise, particularly not a treaty that effectively punishes those countries that abide by it and ignores everyone else. They can, however, be reduced by the efforts of entrepreneurs such as Pickens. If he and others can find economically viable ways to produce clean energy, then the problem will solve itself without the aid of a single international conference. To put it another way: The first solar power billionaire will have many, many imitators.

    That’s the kind of pro-growth response to the global warming crowd that, for instance, Jim Manzi of National Review has been arguing for.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  61. #

    Comment by Ag80 — 9/28/2009 @ 9:11 pm

    You sound angry, but maybe you’d like to explain your anger so that I might understand what you are angry about.

    Comment by j curtis — 9/28/2009 @ 9:17 pm

    Well, gee, Mr. Curtis:

    I have a daughter. Perhaps you do or do not. I don’t know.

    But, I do know this, I would not want her orally sodomized, vaginally raped anally raped by someone who is twice her age after being plied with alcohol and drugs.

    But that’s just me. You can beg to differ.

    And, actually, I’m not angry.

    Polanski has lived a “good” life, despite his personal tragedies. So, what exactly do you want me to say?

    I would like retribution to be visited on someone who admitted his crime. And when I say, “God Damn” a person who has committed a crime against a child, that’s not anger.

    But, you probably know better than I.

    Ag80 (592691)

  62. National Review is mostly pansies. Kathleen Parker used to write for those losers. On climate changeyness Applebaum sounds like she’s just trying to stay in good with everyone. She’s like Glenn Reynolds on the issue. Not very brave.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  63. FOA Abner – So she is a pragmatist that has bought into the myth. Hardly a friend of the right. But good job at deflecting away from her mendacity, and sophistry in service of a child-rapist.

    JD (88ca98)

  64. Abner,

    The mentality you are stuck in is the mindset that says because some center-lefty agrees with me on some important issues, I should not register strong disagreement when she untruthfully defends a child rapist and failed to disclose that her husband is a politician lobbying for the child rapist to get off scot free.

    Karl (246941)

  65. The ends justify the means, JD, especially when it comes to hiding your own role in cheerleading for “understanding” child-rapists. You know?

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  66. By which I do not mean YOUR role, of course, JD.

    But this whole subject is odious.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  67. Nicely put, Karl (in #64). But you will be accused of lack nuance. Me, too.

    At least we don’t defend child molesters.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  68. Lacking nuance, of course. I guess I am not sufficiently European and sophisticated.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  69. No Karl and JD, not at all: Please disagree with Anne Applebaum on this Polanski thing, and anything else she’s wrong on. I join you in that criticism of her and condemnation of Polanski. But I don’t think this disclosure incident amounts to a serious scandal, or even a misdeed.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  70. Then you are an amoral twit, just like Anne.

    JD (88ca98)

  71. Abner – Applebaum unethically failed to disclose a conflict of interest. When she was called on it, she lied.

    What else is there to say.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  72. With apologies to Hermann Melville:

    Call me Moby. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about the Internet a little and see the Right-leaning part of the blogosphere, claiming to be a part of it. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen of the dishonesty of this new administration and regulating the circulation I feel when I think of how I was misled as a voter. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth as I read the latest departure from campaign promises; whenever it is a damp, drizzly remembrance of November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before plummeting poll numbers, and bringing up the rear of every TEA party I meet; and especially whenever my second thoughts get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to the right wing blogosphere as soon as I can. Trolling is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to my false pretenses. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all Democrats in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the right wing blogosphere with me.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  73. Hi, Have Blue (#71) – We have no evidence that Ms. Applebaum lied (Occam’s Razor suggests that she didn’t). As for the disclosure debate, I don’t agree that she needed to include a disclaimer about her husband in this case (as I argued at excessive length here), although I can see how people would disagree with me on that.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  74. Would someone explain the AG80 psychotic moment at 9:44 PM and what exactly I said that he’s replying to?

    j curtis (baef6f)

  75. Abner – She linked an article that stated her husband’ position and the actions he planned to take in theis case!

    You can assume she did not talk about the case with her husband if you wish, however she linked an article in which his position was specifically outlined.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  76. Have Blue (#75) – As I noted above, it’s not unreasonable to believe that (1) a web editor added the link to Ms. Applebaum’s blog post after she submitted it, a common practice to drive up intra-site traffic; or (2) Ms. Applebaum added the link herself but didn’t read the story, having gotten her coverage of the Polanski case elsewhere.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  77. Um….I know you are just trolling and such. But still:

    “…Occam’s Razor suggests that she didn’t…”

    First off, I realize that you do know what the concept means, and are just acting out here.

    William of Ockham would suggest that the choices are simple:

    1. She did not know her husband was actively campaigning for clemency for the child-rapist.


    2. She thought she could misrepresent herself as being impartial on this topic to people reading the news, because of a compliant MSM.

    You keep telling everyone how smart and hip and all she is. Kind of suggestive of Hypothesis #2. Especially given how she actually quotes her husband in her own freaking article.

    Speaking of Ockham’s Razor, isn’t it time you get back to Daily Kos? I’m just sayin’.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  78. Um…and how does #76 fit with Ockham’s Razor, again?

    Thar she blows!

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  79. Abner – Thats your version of Occam’s Razor? Anne links an article containing information that proves she’s a liar and the solution must be – “Huh, some other dude did it”?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  80. Have Blue…this guy is just a troll. As with many of the trolls here (at least he is polite) he will have no trouble contradicting himself and trying to tie arguments up in knots.

    Patterico’s PS in the article about the moron at HuffPo says it all.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  81. Have Blue and Eric Blair – Heh. Fair enough. I surely can’t pretend to know with any certainty how the link got there. Maybe Ms. Applebaum is lying — maybe she knew all about her husband’s involvement before she wrote her blog post. But my hunch (based on my understanding of how web publishing works at magazines and newspapers) is that a lowly web editor added the link, which is consistent with Ms. Applebaum’s protestation of ignorance. At the very least, given her track record on writing about subjects her husband has been involved in, I suspect she would have been more circumspect if she knew he was involved.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  82. I think my comment from yesterday is on point here.
    In two days we have two MSM supporters, one (Foo Bar) who claims that a newspapers blog post is so significant it counts as coverage of a major event. And another (Abner) who states that blog posts are so insignificant that the barest standards of ethics are not applicable.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  83. So Patterico and DRJ, is this true? Do outsiders just pop up and add links to your posts? Is this how it works in web publishing these days?

    Abner, I think you will find that professional writers are fairly protective about what appears under their bylines. It is after all the product upon which their reputation is based.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  84. So Ockham’s Razor evaporates into “what I suspect,” based on personal knowledge of how “web publishing works at magazines and newspapers.” And hunches, by definition, are not…um…useful when airily telling educating others about the proper use of Ockham’s Razor.

    Following philosophy, this is a good example of Buridan’s Ass: the poster wants us to believe in the “simplest” explanation, but then is also drawn to Rube Goldberg explanations at the same time. Which is because the poster wants to believe in a certain conclusion, rather than look at the evidence.

    Thus, there is a certain agenda at play here.

    For all we know, Have Blue, FooBar and Abner Gromble are socks wielded by the same Greenbergian hand!

    It’s my hunch. Based on my understanding of how trolls operate around this blog. Hmmm. That sounded familiar.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  85. Eric, For the record I am not a sock of anyone. I comment here and at Ace’s but only under this nom de net.

    (Though I have to admire some of the inventive puppeting that goes on at Ace’s, and the hash system keeps it honest for the most part. Though it is hilarious when a troll tries to puppet a regular with out realizing what that code following his name means.)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  86. Though I should admit that it was my thought (unexpressed here until now) that the perfect climax to the Abner/Foo Bar dichotomy would be to find that both commenters were posting from the same IP.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  87. Have Blue, that was my poor syntax. I have seen you post before. I did not intend to lump you in with any socks at all.

    I could easily be wrong, but I share your thoughts regarding FooBar and the estimable Mr. Gromble, who reminds me very much of Hax Vobiscum.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  88. Not that I care deeply, or that you’ll take me up on the offer, but I’d be happy to disabuse you of your misgivings about me. (My email, should you have anything to say to me nice or otherwise, is abnergromble /at/ gmail.)

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  89. I don’t have any misgivings at all, sir. I think I have you well pegged. It’s that whole Ockham’s Razor thingee.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  90. More’s the pity.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  91. Eric – My apologies for going off half cocked. Re-reading your comment I understand your intended meaning. Blame a double shift and two beers.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  92. Or my lack of punctuation, Have Blue!

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  93. And give the new visitor this: he is not rude. That is a laudable thing.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  94. Let me be clear here. Anyone who defends a man who RAPES a 13-year-old (unless under legal obligation as defense attorney) is guilty of RAPING that 13-year-old in my mind. And that person’s side is the side of evil incarnate. And, despite my Christianity, and Providence help me, I can wish nothing but the most torturous future for Polanski and all who support him.

    Let me be more clear here. The Old Testament of the Bible gives a clear definition of the penalty for RAPE. A RAPIST must die. Roman Polanski has not even come close to paying for his crime.

    And, Abner Gromble, you are not “our side” by any stretch of the imagination. I would suggest an anatomically impossible thing for you to do, but you’ve probably already figured out a way to do that.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  95. John Hitchcock – If being on your side means having to associate myself with your remark (#95), then I am most definitely not on your side. To say that there is no difference between a rapist and the people who defend them is, I think, a rather blind equivalency. I think the people defending Polanski are very wrong, but I do not think their wrongness is remotely comparable to his heinous crime.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  96. John, please forgive me here, but this is the guy’s game: to get you all angry. Just ignore him.

    Or call him Hermann. Because that is the MO.

    Moby city.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  97. Heh, EB, you might find a personal story, fully thread-jack, ironic.

    My brother is now a newly-tenured professor at an off-campus “(city) campus” university. He gained a bachelors in Art and a bachelors in English at a Christian school and a Masters (English I believe) at Ohio U. He wanted to get into journalism but had to settle for being a prof of E2L, and then getting tenure. He has no real interest in teaching, but that’s all he could get. On the other hand, I failed in my attempt to get the college education necessary to get the job of my choice: Math Education major, looking at HS math. So I get to work in factories and maintain my CDL while he gets to work in a field I wanted.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  98. Maybe Radoslaw Sikorski is a common name in Poland, like John Smmith, and Ms. Applebaum just thought the Radoslaw Silorski advocating for Polanski wasn’t her Radoslaw Sikorski. Maybe the Polish Ministry is full of Radolslaw Sikorskis. And maybe the moon really is made of green cheese.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  99. So as I understand this, Anne Applebaum and her husband are little more than child rape enablers and defenders? Why would that surprise anyone? After all, the President of the United States supports ACORN, who we’ve just learned is an institution with a systemic proclivity for the appropriation of thirteen-year-olds as sex workers.

    How old was Polanski’s target when he enjoyed her? Thirteen? I wonder how old Obama was when he was Frank Marshal Davis’s understudy?

    Seriously, the right gets so worked up about normal sex between old men and young boys and girls. No wonder you also don’t understand Islam.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  100. The onus is on Applebaum to prove she didn’t know her husband’s role, and that link mentioning it was inserted by someone else, who also didn’t tell her. And her false statement that Polanski is not a Polish citizen is an additional strike against her. It’s really difficult to find an innocent explanation for Applebaum’s conduct, save for gross incompetence.

    Once again, a MSM type appears to be just making stuff up, under the delusion that others are not smart enough to find out the lies.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  101. You know, let me dissent a little from piling on Applebaum.

    Its not the conflict of interest that makes the column stink. Its the horrific morality and lack of factual information that does it. of course conflicts of interest should be disclosed, but ultimately the worst thing she did was the content of the post, not her conflict. arguing that “but she didn’t look 13!” was a defense, arguing that the holocaust and the murder of his first wife justified it, and on and on. That is the appalling part.

    I know why it is helpful to focus on the conflict of interest thing: because it is something that is almost like objective measurement. Appalling lack of morality is hard to measure, but a conflict? Well, its almost reducible to a mathematical formula. So its easy to focus on that. But if her column was well reasoned and not appalling morally, then her conflict would be of little consequence.

    So that is my defense of the conflict thing, such as it is.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  102. [Comment by A.W. — 9/29/2009 @ 5:50 am]

    While I wholly agree with you on which is the more important of the two issues based on affect, but I see the conflict of interest as being the seed that sprouted her sophomoric and repugnant column. Applebaum, it seems to me, has been an otherwise intelligent and ethical woman in her public exhortations, and I find it impossible to think of a reason to explain a lapse in both without it.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  103. […] up to defend said child-rapist (who, by the way, confessed to the crime) (via Big Hollywood); and Patterico’s observation that Anne Applebaum didn’t even read the stories that she linked to while defending the […]

    Moe Lane » Roman Polanski should have moved to Omelas. (da2344)

  104. #21 Karl – But of course. It’s implausible that she would not.

    SarahW (692fc6)

  105. […] up to defend said child-rapist (who, by the way, confessed to the crime) (via Big Hollywood); and Patterico’s observation that Anne Applebaum didn’t even read the stories that she linked to while defending the […]

    Roman Polanski should have moved to Omelas. - Redhot - RedState (8eaf85)

  106. Abner, Occam’s razor would suggest she keeps a news alert for articles mentioning her husband, and furthermore that she knows what articles have been linked in support of her own writing, even if someone else offered the link.

    Writers are vain creatures and it’s unlikely she would be completely incurious about the links in her story; more likely she herself linked it in support of her story.

    SarahW (692fc6)

  107. Dusty

    i get what you are saying. conflict caused the appalling lack of morality, etc. maybe, but…

    I am kind of the mind that Scalia had when it was claimed he was biased because he was on the same duck hunt as the vice president. His response was more or less “you can’t buy me that cheap.”

    Indeed, i would see a chick-egg connundrum there. I mean i doubt if her husband will lose his job if polanski goes to a “pound you in the ass” prison or even see any impact on his profession whatsoever. and if you have the proper moral perspective on child rape, most people would say, “you can’t buy me that cheap.” The only way i could imagine her being “bought” that cheaply, then is her morality was so compromised that it didn’t seem very wrong. but if that is the case, then its hard to say the conflict caused it.

    But I am just making an academic point. the real point is her post stank out loud for its appalling lack of morality.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  108. […] Er, except that, as Patterico points out, the very first sentence of her blog post links to a story mentioning that her husband was seeking clemen… […]

    Michelle Malkin » WaPo’s Applebaum still defending failure to disclose Polanski conflict (e2f069)

  109. You know, if I was a columnsit for one of the largest papers in world history, and my spouse was a major political player in a foreign government, and I wrote a story that had something to do with foreign relations, I would be proactive and ask.

    Anne didn’t, or is lying, but the onus was on her to be aware. That she forgot the rapist was Polish is irrelevant, but unlikely.

    Dustin (0bdb72)

  110. Methinks Abner has no clue about what Occam’s Razor is.

    Why is it that some people will do mental contortions to defend people, and create defenses (create was specifically chosen) that not even the party involved is advancing?

    JD (46cf2b)

  111. I agree with what I take to be A.W.‘s point. We’re all much better off concentrating on the profound idiocy of the content of Ms. Applebaum’s post.

    (That said, I hope that the paper’s ombudsman does take a close look at this incident. I would like to hear a fuller explanation from Ms. Applebaum. I continue to believe that it’s quite likely that the link in her post was added by a web editor. Contra the comments from Have Blue (#84) and SarahW (#108), many people who write for major magazines and newspapers, especially their blogs, churn out prose that is appallingly bad, even incomprehensible — not to mention linkless, or sloppily linked and formatted. Just ask Kathryn Lopez at National Review or Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard to describe to you off-the-record the quality of the first drafts of the posts they publish.)

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  112. Abner – Neither Anne nor the paper has claimed that someone else put that link in without her knowledge. Do you know better than they do?

    JD (46cf2b)

  113. Hey, JD:

    “…many people who write for major magazines and newspapers, especially their blogs, churn out prose that is appallingly bad, even incomprehensible — not to mention linkless, or sloppily linked and formatted…”

    Did you find that as funny as I did? This guy thinks he is so very smart, and everyone else is dim.

    You go, Hermann!

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  114. [Comment by Abner Gromble — 9/29/2009 @ 7:56 am]

    While A.W.’s argument is very persuasive to me, and I agree with it as it pertains to the argument over Polanski, it is also the case that there are two issues here and that has not been clearly defined, I think. The first is apparent, the Roman Polanski issue of which Applebaum’s argument has to be rebutted. The second is the relative, but separate, one being overlooked as such — Applebaum’s malfeasance in her own activities.

    You may not be able to multi-task, but don’t make that a requirement of all of us.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  115. JD (#115) – Fair point. I guess I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt — and so, assuming that Ms. Applebaum isn’t lying, I figured (in post #23 above) that there were alternative explanations for what happened. I certainly could be wrong: she might be lying about several things here in an effort to cover up either intentional malfeasance or rash stupidity. But to my mind, the simplest explanation is that this was an honest mistake, and it is the people accusing her of lying who are (to use your word from #112) engaging in contortions.

    Dusty (#116) – We hashed out those two issues ad nauseam on a previous post, where you made some very strong arguments about the ethics questions in this case. While you and I will continue to disagree about whether Ms. Applebaum’s failure to mention her husband was a severe ethical lapse, you and I agree that she was wrong on the facts of Polanski’s case and that her opinion about what should happen to him is profoundly wrong.

    Eric Blair – I stand in awe of your limitless capacity for substanceless heckling. Here’s a freebie for you: If you really want to make good Moby-Dick jokes, you should start with chapter 94.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  116. What if Polanski was a priest?

    Tertium Quid (9a6f76)

  117. Abner – How is it that we are engaging in controtions? We are not creating an alternate reality where we do not know the official position of our spouse, and we are not creating imaginary nefarious people who insert links in our writing that directly refute the points we attempt to make. Her words and actions show the fundamental dishonesty, it requires no contortions to arrive at that conclusion. The only contortions needed are those that choose to create alternate realities and defenses that not even the people involved are invoking.

    JD (0d131e)

  118. […] with her are evil), she then addressed the Sikorski angle. The most relevant portion (as quoted by Patterico) read: Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea that my husband, who is in Africa, would, or could […]

    Anne Applebaum: liar or laughingstock? « Internet Scofflaw (9c6bf8)

  119. JD – I guess I just have a different perspective on this. I know several people with professional spouses in the public-policy and punditry realm who don’t carefully track in real-time what their spouses say. I can understand how weird that might seem, but it’s not all that abnormal, for instance, inside the Beltway. And I know lots of people who have had their blog posts for major websites edited without their approval (and have even done such editing myself). So what you describe as an “alternate reality” seems to me pretty normal, and not at all nefarious. Sorry.

    Meanwhile, in your view (as I understand it; my apologies if I’m misunderstanding you), something like this is what happened:

    1 – Anne Applebaum tracks her husband’s public pronouncements so carefully that it’s unthinkable that she wouldn’t have known he was involved in the Polanski case.

    2 – She read the Washington Post article that mentioned her husband’s involvement in the case, and saw that it mentioned him.

    3 – Even knowing that her husband was involved in the Polanski case, she drafted a blog post about it, and included a link to that Washington Post article. But breaking with her past practice, she chose not to mention her husband.

    4 – When later asked about why didn’t mention her husband, she lied and claimed that she “had no idea” he was involved in the case.

    But to my mind: (1) It’s easy to believe she was ignorant of her husband’s involvement; (2 and 3) it’s hard to believe that she would break with her past practice by knowingly writing about an issue her husband was involved in without acknowledging her husband’s involvement; and given all that, (4) I don’t see reason to think she’s lying.

    If I’m wrong, and she’s shown to be a liar, I’ll happily retract all this.

    Abner Gromble (bb5a4d)

  120. Well, you sort of made a caricature of my position, but that is no surprise. It does not really take all that much to think that she may be aware of her husband’s job and stated position when opining on such an imporatant and current topic. If someone else put that link in there, why have she and the paper not claimed as such? Your in the beltway mindset allows this kind of crap to continue.

    JD (15293c)

  121. <

    i>”…I know several people with professional spouses in the public-policy and punditry realm …”


    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  122. I am wondering if the term “professional spouse” is intentional?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  123. I can’t imagine any circumstance where Ms. Applebaum wouldn’t know that her husband was taking some kind of position on behalf of a Polish citizen. Assuming she didn’t however, what does it take to pick up the phone or email and ask “Honey, was that you advocating for Roman Polanski?”

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  124. […] sweepstakes by heaping invective on Polanski. Others have turned their wrath on those who have attempted to defend […]

    Lean Left » Blog Archive » Roman Polanski: Dudgeon Magnet (ad7214)

  125. I clicked thru to the above tracback. My IQ dropped 10 points in the process.

    JD (d4c559)

  126. Abner – Anne Applebaum is living in Eastern Europe according to one of her recent columns. I think that makes it tougher for her to argue that she is unaware of what the Polish government and her husband are doing on behalf of Polanski.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  127. Racist

    JD (1e6306)

  128. JD – What can I say. I don’t edit blog posts for major web sites like Abner. He knows things.

    He also seems to enjoy f**king that chicken.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  129. I still am curious why an opinion journalist, especially an alleged “friend of the right” should not be subject to the same ethical standards as those that allegedly are fact-based reporters. Okay, it was hard to not laugh while typing the last part of that …

    JD (1e6306)

  130. […] UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is weighing in on Anne Applebaum’s blog post which failed to mention her husband’s political connection to this mess. Patterico has more on Applebaum’s dishonesty if you are interested. […]

    Roman Polanski’s Plight « Northern Thoughts And Reflections (bd1ac8)

  131. […] explains why she claimed ignorance of her husband’s actions in a post that linked a story about her husband&#82… — she says an editor added the link later. OK. I’ll take her at her word on that. Chalk […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Anne Applebaum: Patterico Is “Not Quite As Offensive” As Reader Who Expressed a Wish to Rape Anne Applebaum’s Daughter (e4ab32)

  132. This is just the left showing their deviant side. This is why Hollywood promotes pre-teen sexuality, this is why liberals want 5-10 year olds, to learn all about sex, this is the Nambla in liberals speaking. Its Rape-aqquidick. Fat Dead Ted Kennedy can kill someone and go on to be lionized. Why can’t Polanski rape and win an Academy Award? Oh wait he did. Polanski who no doubt suffered great tragedy still has no excuse. AND he’s done it before. He had a sexual relationship with then 15 year old Natassia Kinski…in France. If you ever had doubt about the depravity of liberals, I think you have your answer now.

    Armando (d3c2a7)

  133. Abner, you’re wrong. It was her responsibility to know the story she’s writing about, know that this man is polish, know what the polish government was doing, and know who her husband was. but if you really think she didn’t already know all that, I have a bridge in Kansas for sale.

    Read her awful column. She called the rape salacious, and blamed the victim. She’s obviously got an axe to grind, and obviously is not trying to inform, but rather to deceive. She knew damn well about her ‘potential’ conflict of interest because it’s not merely potential. She is actively engaged in lying about this story, and got caught.

    Dustin (0bdb72)

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