Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Does Good Piece on Polanski

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 1:58 pm

It’s lengthy and appears accurate. The title: How a girl’s stark words got lost in the Polanski spectacle. The deck headline reads: “Samantha Gailey, at 13, was unequivocal in her testimony against Polanski. But her account was turned into something almost benign.” In one of several illuminating passages, Joe Mozingo explains how the probation officer

ignored the most damaging parts of Samantha’s testimony and focused on the few quotes about her hazy memory. He was clearly impressed by the tragedies Polanski had overcome. “The defendant has not only survived, he has prevailed . . . and has become one of the leading creative forces of the last two decades.”

In a highly unusual passage, he gushed about Hollywood.

“Possibly not since Renaissance Italy has there been such a gathering of creative minds in one locale as there has been in Los Angeles County during the past half century. . . . While enriching the community with their presence, they have brought with them the manners and mores of their native lands which in rare instances have been at variance with those of their adoptive land.”

His conclusion: “It is believed that incalculable emotional damage could result from incarcerating the defendant whose own life has been a seemingly unending series of punishments.”

Star-struck, sounds to me. As were the producers of that highly one-sided documentary, which I watched again recently:

Much like the probation report, the documentary sanitized the core allegations, presenting selected bits of Samantha’s grand jury testimony interspersed with Polanski’s description of what happened.

Indeed. The documentary does a model job of pretending to be dispassionate, while skewing the facts in one direction and one direction only.

Which is what the L.A. Times often does, to the detriment of the facts. (See the post below if you doubt me.) But not in this story, which is a job well done.


12 Responses to “L.A. Times Does Good Piece on Polanski”

  1. Stopped clock, yada yada.

    Old Coot (166f79)

  2. “Possibly not since Renaissance Italy has there been such a gathering of creative minds in one locale

    Yeah, Ceasare Borgia, his father Pope Alexander VI, his sister Lucretia Borgia, Machiavelli. Lots of creative minds.

    This thing reminds me of the star-struck LAPD cops that responded to those wife beating calls at OJs.

    Mike K (addb13)

  3. Probation officers, parole officers, juvenile social workers … yaargh!!!!! The reason the indeterminate sentencing scheme failed.

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    nk (df76d4)

  4. Thanks, Stashiu.

    nk (df76d4)

  5. Dang. A spam filter that catches talk like a pirate stuff. I need one of those.

    political agnostic (a5672c)

  6. I am a retired probation officer. No one I ever worked with would put drivel like that quoted above in a presentence report.

    The source is the LA Times and I wonder if they quoted the probation report accurately or assuming the quotes were accurate was the probation officer giving his own opinions or reporting what someone sympathetic to the defendant told him.

    Stu707 (0981d5)

  7. So many creative minds, so much crap.

    It takes incedible hubris to compare anyone — and I do mean anyone — in Hollywood with Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatelli, DaVinci, Cellini, or any of he host of lesser followers of these great artists. As opposed to men of great vision and talent, all Hollywood can offer is derivative and self-referential.

    Jaime (88d0da)

  8. I guess when the man bites dog often enough a dog biting a man becomes news.

    Yes, it is nice to see the LA times do the right them, although Chris Rock might say, “that’s what they’re supposed to do.”

    A.W. (b1db52)

  9. dang typo fairy struck again…

    i mean to say, “do the right thing” but you can see how it came out.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  10. actually i got to criticize it in this respect. all the stuff about how people are losing the young girl’s testimony borders on opinionated journalism, the same problem alot of this other stuff suffers from.

    That i don’t like.

    But given that, the damning quotes from the probation officer’s report. wow, how unprofessional. i mean, let’s suppose we knew for a fact that being star struck didn’t affect the outcome, the quoted passages are so unprofessional that no one can have any faith in its conclusions.

    I wonder if anyone at the time had a problem with it. i mean, besides the judge.

    On the other hand, the girl only got $500K in the civil suit? sounds low to me.

    A.W. (b1db52)

  11. […] Reporter Joe Mozingo broke news about Polanski’s civil settlement with the victim, and wrote a lengthy and seemingly accurate article that dispelled many of the myths that were floating around about the […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)

  12. The Art Of War…

    …A post I read a while ago over at…

    The Art Of War (b61e26)

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