Marc Laffineur, the vice-president of the French assembly and a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling center-right party, the UMP, took issue with the French culture and foreign minister's remarks supporting Mr. Polanski, saying "the charge of raping a child 13 years old is not something trivial, whoever the suspect is."Within the Green party, Daniel Cohn-Bendit -- a French deputy in the European parliament whose popularity is rising -- also criticized Sarkozy administration officials for leaping too quickly to Mr. Polanski's side despite the serious nature of his crime. On the extreme right, the father and daughter politicians Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen also attacked the ministers, saying they were supporting "a criminal pedophile in the name of the rights of the political-artistic class..."
The mood was even more hostile in blogs and e-mails to newspapers and news magazines. Of the 30,000 participants in an online poll by the French daily Le Figaro, more than 70 percent said Mr. Polanski, 76, should face justice. And in the magazine Le Point, more than 400 letter writers were almost universal in their disdain for Mr. Polanski.
That contempt was not only directed at Mr. Polanski, but at the French class of celebrities -- nicknamed Les People -- who are part of Mr. Polanski's rarefied Parisian world. Letter writers to Le Point scorned Les People as the "crypto-intelligentsia of our country" who deliver "eloquent phrases that defy common sense."I seem to have mistaken "Les People" for "the people." My bad.
In other news Woody Allen has signed a petition claiming Polanski's arrest is an outrage. These fools are lacking the self-awareness gene. The press is going to ask Barack about this. It's a Sista Souljah move waiting to happen.