Roman Polanski, the brilliant director of Chinatown, was arrested by Swiss authorities over the weekend; he might be extradited to the United States soon. Polanski fled America after concern that he would face serious prison time over the rape of a 13-year-old girl. Alas, one gets the nasty feeling that many of the people rushing to his defense are doing so simply because he is a great artist. This feeling is strengthened when his supporters...admit to as much! From the Associated Press piece on the case:

Both French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stressed Polanski's artistic gifts in their defense of him, though in theory all men — regardless of talent — are equal before the law.

Kouchner called the arrest "sinister," adding: "A man of such talent, recognized in the entire world, recognized especially in the country that arrested him — all this just isn't nice."