For some unknown reason--perhaps to "balance" its anti-Roman Polanski editorial--The New York Times op-ed page decided to give 1000 words to the novelist Robert Harris and his defense of Polanski. Harris gives the game away at the start, by writing:
For more than two and a half years I have been working almost continuously with the director Roman Polanski, first on a screenplay of my novel “Pompeii” — which was never made — and then on a movie of another of my books, “The Ghost,” which was shot earlier this year. I have never collaborated with anyone more closely...Mr. Polanski has become a good friend. Our families have spent time together. His daughter and mine keep in regular touch.
Etc, etc. Harris then expends a considerable amount of effort trying to decipher why Swiss authorities only arrested Polanski now, as if this question really matters (or, to put it another way: whatever the answer to this question may be, it hardly settles the issue). My eyes were beginning to glaze over until I read this:
He thought he could settle the matter at last, and his subsequent, vigorous legal attempts to have the case against him closed — supported, remarkably, by his victim, Samantha Geimer, the one person who comes out of this affair with her dignity enhanced —...
Just imagine for a second that Ms. Geimer had decided not to support Polanski. Would his dear friend Harris be congratulating her on her dignity? I doubt it. Harris then, remarkably, manages to sink even lower by adding:
I make no apology for feeling desperately sorry for him. The almost pornographic relish with which his critics are retelling the lurid details of the assault (strange behavior, one might think, for those who profess concern for the victim) makes it hard to consider the case rationally. Of course what happened cannot be excused, either legally or ethically.
Could that last sentence be any more cursory? Anyway, it is shameful and tasteless of Harris to accuse Polanksi's critics of "pornographic relish"(!) considering the crime in question. Maybe Harris is just trying to channel his old friend Polansky, who had this to say in 1979:
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”
Chris has more.