Patterico's Pontifications


Harvey Weinstein: Hollywood Has the Best Moral Compass

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:28 pm

The man who is organizing a petition for a guy who anally raped a 13-year-old weighs in on the astounding morals of Hollywood:

[Movie Mogul Harvey] Weinstein said that people generally misunderstand what happened to Polanski at sentencing. He’s not convinced public opinion is running against the filmmaker and dismisses the categorization of Hollywood as amoral. “Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion,” Weinstein said.

“Hollywood has the best moral compass.” Folks, I couldn’t make that up if you paid me.

Jack Dunphy nails it at NRO:

So it has come to this: Drugging and raping a 13-year-old is now a “so-called crime,” for which artistic talent, the approbation of peers, and the passage of time can coalesce to earn the rapist immunity from official sanction, if indeed any was called for in the first place.

“Whatever you think about the so-called crime, [Roman] Polanski has served his time,” says film producer Harvey Weinstein in The Independent. His piece is notable not only for its moral obtuseness but also for its sickeningly unctuous tone. “I was with him the day he won the Legion of Honour in France,” writes Weinstein, “which was a spectacular day. I remember the incredible love and affection that people have for him.”

He makes great movies, so why not let him drug and sodomize a scared child? After all, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs . . . or make mediocre movies without anally raping drunk and drugged 13-year-olds.

Here’s Allahpundit at Twitter:

Word on the street: Polanski’s next film is so good, Europe’s going to let him bang an eight-year-old. It’s THAT GOOD.


I think it’s time for the disclaimer.

Obama: Ambivalence or Arrogance?

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 9:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Instapundit links a RealClearPolitics op-ed by Ruben Navarrette on President Obama’s ambivalence as a leader:

Here’s the confusing part. Obama knows how to fight. During last year’s campaign, Obama would say: “We don’t throw the first punch, but we’ll throw the last.” Indeed, when Obama slugged it out with political opponents, he would take a blow and hit back twice as hard.

That kind of machismo might come in handy when dealing with the likes of Ahmadinejad. Obama still believes U.N. sanctions will pressure this tyrant into abandoning Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But, as Sarkozy points out, Iran has ignored five U.N. resolutions on that issue since 2005.

Instead, just like when he canceled missile defense systems for Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama seems to be doing everything he can to avoid conflict.”

Sometimes I wonder if Obama only commits to fight “safe” battles. He runs for President but consistently lets surrogates portray him as the underdog and a victim of racism, thereby making sure his reputation would survive a loss. He speaks long and often about health care but won’t offer specific legislative details whose rejection could be blamed on him. And he is boldly confrontational with domestic opponents and tiny nations like Honduras but meekly conciliatory when it comes to the threats posed by Iran, North Korea and Russia.

On the other hand, Pittsburgh newpaperman Jack Kelly reports some — like French President Sarkozy — have a more jaundiced view of Obama’s motivations:

“[Kelly’s two sources say] Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical, so egotistical that no one can dent his naivete. And he is very worried about what that means for the West, because the President of the United States is the leader of the free world and if the President of the United States isn’t going to lead the free world, it isn’t going to be led.”


Applebaum’s First Rule of Holes: Keep Digging

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:06 pm

Unbelievable. Anne Applebaum writes me to say:

Many thanks for the correction, I had not in fact seen it. I could dispute your other claims but I see from your email that you are in fact angry at “Big Media”, not me, so there isn’t much point. Best, AA

I feel contempt for people who deliberately refuse to correct errors. I feel contempt for arrogance. So, Anne Applebaum, I may not be “angry” at you . . . but I do feel contempt for you.

I have responded:

Ms. Applebaum,

Yesterday I specifically notified you of four errors or distortions in your recent blog posts about Roman Polanski:

  • You referred to allegations of misconduct in Polanski’s “trial” when he had no trial, but rather pled guilty.
  • You said Polanski is not a Polish citizen when multiple sources have reported his dual citizenship with Poland and France.
  • You claimed that his victim testified that she called her mother for permission to have her picture taken in a jacuzzi, when she testified to no such thing (she testified merely that she called her mother before getting into the jacuzzi).
  • You told your readers there was evidence Polanski did not know the girl’s age, but did not tell your readers that he swore under oath (at his plea hearing) that he knew she was 13 at the time.

I have just visited both of your posts, and I see that not one of these errors or distortions has been corrected.

Not even one.

You suggest that you could dispute me on the facts, but because I made a crack about Big Media (“I thought you folks in Big Media were proud of your record for accuracy”) you can dismiss me with an airy wave of your hand. Even the guy who botches my order every Saturday morning at the local McDonald’s is bright enough to recognize that as a cheap dodge.

So let’s remove your excuse for failing to confront your errors. Let’s put aside all questions of whether your arrogant refusal to correct (or even discuss) these errors and distortions is typical of Big Media.

Let’s talk about you, and your integrity. Because that is what is at stake.

Have you read your comments section lately? Do you even realize how your numerous falsehoods and stubborn refusal to correct them has affected your reputation? Don’t you think it’s time to stop the bleeding?

Let’s start with my first point: that you referred to allegations of misconduct in Polanski’s “trial” when he had no trial, but rather pled guilty.

How are you going to “dispute” me on that, Ms. Applebaum?

Tell me. Please. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about that.

Yours truly,

Patrick Frey

P.S. There is no need to thank me for my “correction,” as I did not issue a “correction.” I made no errors and had nothing to correct, but I did promptly link your defense. That’s what fair, honest people do.

What’s the over/under on whether she is going to finally start confronting her errors, instead of issuing arrogant, snippy little pronouncements and trotting out even more falsehoods?

Former Prosecutor Says He Lied in Documentary; Claims He Committed No Misconduct

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

Marcia Clark (Marcia Clark!) reports at the Daily Beast that the prosecutor who said in that documentary that he told the judge how to sentence Roman Polanski is now saying that he lied:

I just spoke to Wells—and what he told me is going to make things worse for Polanski.

“I lied,” Wells told me yesterday, referring to his comments in the movie that he told the judge how he could renege on a plea bargain agreement and send Polanski back to jail after he had been released from a 42-day psychiatric evalation—the heart of Polanski’s claims of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct. “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I did. The director of the documentary told me it would never air in the States. I thought it made a better story if I said I’d told the judge what to do.”

. . . .

So he didn’t advise him on a strategy for how to send Polanski back for more prison—a clear ethical violation — after all parties, including Judge Rittenband himself, had ostensibly agreed to let the 42 days suffice? “No. It never happened,” he said flatly.

Hat-tip to countless e-mailers.

If you are my friend and you get me alone over a beer, I’ll be happy to share with you my opinions about this. I have plenty to say — in private.

Just not on the blog.

But you guys? Talk all you like.

UPDATE: The New York Times reports version number three (technically number two; today’s was number three):

In a July 2008 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Wells stood by his claims in the documentary, and at the time said his discussions with the judge were not improper. ’’I didn’t tell him to do it or that he should do it,’’ Mr. Wells said of the judge’s decision to put Mr. Polanski in prison for 42 days for psychiatric review. ’’I just told him what his options were.’’

No comment. But you may comment away.

Attention: Birders

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 5:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Awesome photo here.


Saturn Surprise

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 4:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

GM’s sale of its Saturn brand to Penske has fallen apart and reportedly won’t be resurrected:

“Detroit tycoon Roger Penske has terminated a deal with General Motors Co. for the Saturn brand after Penske’s prospective provider of new vehicles pulled out.

The deal broke down after the Renault-Nissan Alliance decided Wednesday not to proceed with a deal to supply Penske with future vehicles for Saturn dealers, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

The deal’s unraveling dooms about 340 dealers and the Saturn brand, which appeared to have been rescued this summer when Penske announced he had reached a memorandum of understanding with GM.”

Closing Saturn will put even more people and businesses out of work and further reduce GM’s ability to repay the taxpayers’ bailout funds. The latter is disappointing but the former is the real issue in this economic climate.


Governing 101: Attack Fox News

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 3:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

When it comes to the Obama Administration’s priorities, getting even with Fox News is high on the list judging by this White House Blog Reality Check. Here’s an excerpt:

RHETORIC: VALERIE JARRETT “WAS LAST SEEN WITH THE NEA.” Beck’s guest, FOX News contributor Pat Caddell, said, “[Obama] is going to go [to Copenhagen] with Valerie Jarrett who was last seen with the NEA pumping up their use of, you know, money.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]

REALITY: VALERIE JARRETT WAS NOT ON THE NEA CONFERENCE CALL. Valerie Jarrett was not a participant in the August 10, 2009 United We Serve/NEA conference call.”

Some of Obama’s staffers worked in the Clinton Administration so they’ve learned from two Presidential masters at word manipulation. Valerie Jarrett may not have been a participant in the NEA call but Buffy Wicks, a Deputy Director in the Jarrett-led Office of Public Engagement, certainly invoked her name and influence.

On page 11 of the NEA transcript, Buffy Wicks was introduced as the person who “spearheaded the [NEA] initiative from the beginning.” Wicks not only had a prominent role in the NEA call but on page 13, she made a point of highlighting Jarrett’s leadership and assistance:

“We have about 20 folks and we work under Valerie Jarrett, she’s one of our fantastic leaders and Tina Chen [sic]. And so we’re really here at your disposal and we want to be helpful to you.”

Nice threading of the rhetorical needle, Obama staffers, but Chris Wallace is right. You really are the biggest bunch of crybabies.


ObamaCare: Whither the “Public Option”?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:04 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The Washington Post claims that the Senate Finance Committee’s rejection two amendments to create a government-run health insurance plan — on votes of 15-8 and 13-10 — dealt a “crippling blow” to the hopes of liberals seeking to expand the federal role in health coverage as a cornerstone of reform.

The reality is a bit murkier than that, and likely connected to to overall fate of ObamaCare.


Applebaum Demands Correction From ME??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

Anne Applebaum writes me an e-mail titled “please correct your posting” in which she demands that I link her defense . . . which I already linked. Here is my reply to her (I added the hyperlinks for this post):

I did link to your entire comment, Ms. Applebaum. I didn’t quote it all, but I linked to it and conveyed all your points fairly. (I had previously told readers in a different post that you had mentioned your husband’s position in a recent column, for example.)

As for your demanding a correction to a post of mine that is not incorrect, you have a lot of nerve, quite frankly. You have made multiple errors in your two posts on this issue, you have been told about them, and you have failed to correct any of them. For example:

  • You referred to allegations of misconduct in Polanski’s “trial” when he had no trial, but rather pled guilty.
  • You said Polanski is not a Polish citizen when multiple sources have reported his dual citizenship with Poland and France.
  • You claimed that his victim testified that she called her mother for permission to have her picture taken in a jacuzzi, when she testified to no such thing (she testified merely that she called her mother before getting into the jacuzzi).
  • You told your readers there was evidence Polanski did not know the girl’s age, but did not tell your readers that he swore under oath (at his plea hearing) that he knew she was 13 at the time.

I thought you folks in Big Media were proud of your record for accuracy. That’s four errors in two posts. I know that you read my post wherein I noted your error in claiming he had a “trial” — because you quoted my post. Why, then, is your error still uncorrected?

You ought not write me and demand that I correct an accurate post. Rather, you should correct your own numerous inaccuracies. And then, I would suggest that you reconsider your stunning suggestions that a 13-year-old girl and her mother are the ones truly at fault for the drugging and anal rape of a child.

More at Hot Air.

Leftists and Conservatives Can Agree: Polanski Is a Child Rapist Who Should Face Justice

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Amongst all the appalling clap-trap and stunning misinformation about Roman Polanski, I have found myself heartened (and slightly discombobulated) by one simple and jarring fact: plenty of left-leaning folks have laid into Polanski with gusto.

Why, if the propriety of punishing child rapists were the only issue in the country, I do believe we could hold hands with the left and sing Kumbayah.

Witness: the center-right (so I am told) Anne Applebaum has revealed herself to be a dishonest, slippery sort prone to blaming the (13-year-old) victim and her mom, while the voice of reason at the Washington Post has proved to be . . . Eugene Robinson?? Yes, Eugene Robinson, and a damn well-written piece it is.

On the blog front, we have numerous excellent pieces from Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Folks, “numerous excellent pieces from Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns, and Money” is just not a phrase I ever envisioned myself tapping out on a keyboard. And, in another unlikely phrase at the Patterico blog, there was “good stuff from Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber.” (Man, this is weird.)

Sanity and honesty from Jason Linkins? Bastions of common sense at Nick Denton blogs and at

I don’t mean to portray the left as monolithically sane in this episode. The Hollywood types who have supported Polanski en masse all lean left politically. But this seems less about politics and more about the preservation of what Glenn Reynolds calls “a sort of droit de seigneur” — a reminder that artistes are different from the rabble and not subject to the same pedestrian laws against anal sex with children and such.

But as for these Internet lefties . . . I will lose my bearings if I start to think of these people as sensible. Please, someone mention Obama and Bush, so we can get them frothing at the mouth again.*

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