The Politics of Polanski

By Matthew Cooper

Interesting debate on the left about Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland and his likely extradition to the United States. Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, has expressed doubts about the Polanski case in her Tweets. "Polanski should have served time then, but there's evidence of prosecutorial misconduct & victim has spoken." So has Glenn Greenwald of Salon: I agree with most of it - there's just ambivalence about starting to punish someone for what they did more than 30 years ago." Conversely, Clara Jeffery, the editor of Mother Jones, decries the ambivalence on Twitter: "Srsly, all it takes 4 smart lefties 2 think Polanski shdn't B punished for child rape is agitprop doc?" She says this in reference to a recent documentary that questioned judicial handling of the case.

There's more at The Atlantic Wire. There's no way this will rise to the level of national discourse like the O.J. trial, but it is casting a light on rape and extradition. One hopes Obama isn't careless enough to weigh in, but I would have thought he'd avoid the Skip Gates arrest, too, with a quip about being focused on health care and the presidency.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/09/the-politics-of-polanski/27449/