Hollywood, Media Misfire on Polanski and Letterman – by Larry Elder


Hollywood and the traditional media seem determined to flaunt their cluelessness.

Director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty, in 1977, to one count of unlawful sex with a minor — a girl 13 years old. Normal people call this rape. After a photography session with the girl, the 43-year-old Polanski gave her drugs and alcohol. The victim told a grand jury she repeatedly told him to “keep away,” but Polanski forced her to have sex — orally, anally and vaginally.

Authorities charged Polanski with six felony counts — furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape by use of drugs, perversion and sodomy — charges that, if resulting in conviction, meant possible prison time of 50 years.

To spare the girl the ordeal of a trial, the prosecution accepted a plea deal and reduced six counts to one, and Polanski agreed to spend 90 days in prison for psychiatric evaluation. Prison officials released Polanski after only 42 days and recommended no additional prison time. Both the defense and prosecution expected the judge to agree.

The judge called the prison report “a whitewash” and, according to some, planned to sentence Polanski to the remaining 48 days — if the director agreed to a voluntary deportation upon release. Others say the judge planned to impose a long prison term, allegedly ticked off after being shown a photograph of the waiting-to-be-sentenced Polanski in Germany celebrating Oktoberfest with young women. When Polanski returned to the States, he heard rumors that the judge might send him to prison, possibly for a long time.

So Polanski fled the country. He caught a plane to Europe, never to return for 32 years and counting.

He continued making films, one of which, “The Pianist,” won an Oscar for Best Director. Two weeks ago, however, Swiss authorities arrested Polanski for fleeing the United States. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office seeks his extradition to America.

Enter “the Hollywood community.”

Bigwig film producer Harvey Weinstein calls Polanski’s unlawful sex a “so-called crime” and claims that “Hollywood has the best moral compass.” Harrison Ford, Debra Winger, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and many others want Polanski set free. They argue that the publicity-seeking but now-dead judge reneged on his promise of leniency; cash-poor California has higher priorities than to spend taxpayer money on a 30-year-old case; Polanski has “suffered long enough”; his then-wife was murdered by Charlie Manson followers; he lost family in the Holocaust and is himself a Holocaust survivor; the rape victim/survivor, now 45 years old, wants the matter dropped; Polanski makes great films; and, in the immortal words of actress/pundit Whoopi Goldberg, this wasn’t “rape-rape.”

This brings us to David Letterman.

The late-night host admitted, during a taping of his show, that he has “had sex with women who work on this show.” A CBS producer on another show, “48 Hours Mystery,” allegedly demanded that Letterman pay him $2 million or face public exposure.

Letterman told the audience that yes, he did have sex with women on his staff.

Some laughed, apparently waiting for a punch line. When Letterman said that authorities had arrested the alleged would-be extortionist — and it became clear that this was no joke — the audience applauded.

Now, office affairs take place all the time. And no one even intimated that the women were anything other than willing participants. But Letterman is the boss and the producer of his own show.

Did Letterman’s female staffers, past or present, feel slighted — lower salary, loss of promotion, bad assignments — because of real or perceived favoritism given to those women with whom Letterman was having sex? Who knows? When “reporters” have described the “bombshell” news of the attempted extortion, none — at least that I’ve seen — has raised this obvious question.

Maybe there’s nothing there. But what of the failure to even raise this issue? Forget “Letterman.” Pencil in “Limbaugh” or “Hannity” or “Beck” and see what happens.

The blatantly liberal Letterman makes no secret of his disdain for former President George W. Bush and for the war in Iraq. Does this cause the supposedly “pro-woman” left to turn into a pretzel because someone they like finds himself in the cross hairs?

For example, Kathleen Willey accused then-President Bill Clinton of taking her hand and placing it on his genitals. Feminist Gloria Steinem actually wrote that assuming the allegation true, this was not harassment or assault! “President Clinton,” Steinem said, “took ‘no’ for an answer.”

When ABC’s Diane Sawyer interviewed special prosecutor Ken Starr, she actually asked him whether he had ever cheated on his wife — as if Congress impeached Clinton for cheating. “That’s irrelevant and none of your business,” Starr should have said. “The appropriate question is whether I’ve ever committed perjury or obstruction of justice. And the answer is no.”

But take comfort. The liberal elite “has the best moral compass.”

  • Joe Q

    The fact that we have a liberal elite in Hollywood probably influences not only what films get made, but what films do not get made. They also produce a lot of bad quality films – no matter what their message.
    As the article points out, the Hollywood liberals are also hypocritical.
    I don't know if Letterman's employees slept with him to get ahead, which the article says is a valid question. But even if they did not, there is something wrong with him doing it. If you read histories of the left, you sometimes read about some of them wondering why we can't live in a world of free love, where everyone can have sex with everyone. Well, there are reasons.
    As far as Polanski, the attempt to excuse him is so out of the solar system that you really wonder at the sanity of the people who do it, liberal or not.

  • Deidre

    Haven't we all heard this before…..”it depends on what your definition of is…is”? I think that our world is all turned upside down…..and becoming even worse. Is there some sort of stupid handbook for people who don't have brains? It could be called “Lack of Brains I, II and II. Hollywood has definitely taken all three courses…..and passed.

  • Marv

    Remember this news item?:
    “Sarah Palin lambasted late-night comedian David Letterman Wednesday for “sexually perverted comments” about one of her teenage daughters – and rebuffed his moves to make nice.
    The CBS funnyman joked Monday of Palin's recent New York visit that “during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
    Palin was incensed.
    “Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is … disgusting,” the Alaska governor said in a statement.
    The former GOP veep nominee's 14-year-old daughter, Willow, had attended the baseball game.

  • thinker1

    1. I do not watch/rent any movie with liberal(s)….

    2. Polanski's story is not complete – yes, he commited a crime, yes, he should go to prison………..however, the victim's mother had brought her there on (read: for) a purpose….she was not a virgin and she says now let him go….but law is a law.
    No sentence expiration after 32 years?? I'm afraid murderers get better treatment…

  • coyote3

    It has nothing to do with the girl's mother, or whether the girl was a virgin or not. No, there is no “sentence expiration”. Murderers get better treatment, so what?

  • USMCSniper

    Lock up the pervert for a year for evading justice and put him in a cell with “Big Bubba” for his butt pirate training.

  • FairestWitness

    Out here in the private sector, we live and work by Congressional legislation enacted to make sexual harassment a punishable offense. Men lose their jobs every day for making innocuous comments which some woman finds offensive. Men are fired for having a risque poster or calendar in their desks or toolboxes of on their computer screen because some woman is offended. Men are let go for asking a female coworker out on a date and are accused of making unwanted sexual advances. It's ridiculous, but it's the law. Why are liberals inclined to give David Letterman, who has admitted to having sex with female subordinates whom he employs, a pass? Why are liberals demanding that Roman Polanski be excused for his guilty plea to pedophilia? Their whole defense of woman in the workplace and their promotion of womens rights is totally bogus. This agenda is about power, not righteousness. It really pisses me off!

  • therealend

    in the immortal words of actress/pundit Whoopi Goldberg, this wasn’t “rape-rape

    WHoopi is an idiot-idiot. (with extra idiocy)

  • Ben Duffy

    Larry Elder's right and all, but I think his moral compass is more than a little haywire as well.

    He believes that the murder of an unborn child is really no one else's business. Saying that an unborn childhood isn't a human being is kind of like saying that Polanski didn't really commit “rape-rape”.