Inevitable Outrage as Roman Polanski Retires to His Swiss Chalet

The director is under house until extradition to the U.S. Is the punishment too posh for a man accused of sex crimes?

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Over the holiday weekend, Swiss authorities released Roman Polanski on $4.5 million in bail. Now, while under house arrest, he awaits extradition to the United States for sex crimes. Earlier this year, the famous director's arrest divided the blogosphere. Some commentators, many of them European or from Hollywood, argued that Polanski was simply the victim of parochial laws in the United States, while most American columnists decried his defenders as apologists or sexists. Unsurprisingly, news of the directors' release--to his Swiss chalet, no less--delighted some but infuriated many others. A look at the latest debate over Roman Polanski's punishment:

  • Hollywood's Favorite Child Rapist Makes Bail The conservative blog Big Hollywood (with no relation to the Hollywood Moriarty condemns) reminds their readers that Polanski's defenders are scum. "In celebucrat homes everywhere there will be more than tofu turkey stuffed with cocaine this Thanksgiving, there will be rejoicing..."
  • Roman Polanski's Luxury Alpine Prison Azaria Jagger is similarly disgusted. "Poor, beleaguered Roman Polanski is being held in the most inhumane of conditions, a luxury ski chalet with a breathtaking view in a posh Swiss town beneath an endless sky bound only by rainbows."
  • Polanski Is Guilty Only of Being an Artist Franck Nouchi of Le Monde, France's leading newspaper, says Americans are persecuting Polanski for being an artist; Polanski's only crime is that of being an artist the Americans are too parochial to understand.
  • You Call This Punishment? Victorio Matus of The Weekly Standard is appalled. "This reminds me of an exchange I once had with a Jesuit who told me that he and his fellow priests spend part of their summers in a villa in Florence," Matus writes. "I asked, 'what about that vow of poverty?' To which he replied, 'If this is poverty, bring on chastity!'"
  • Roman Polanski, Victim French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy says Polanski has endured a great injustice. "Nothing will erase the immense, unbelievable injustice he has been subjected to. Nothing will take away the hysteria of those ones who have never stopped pouring contempt upon him, hounding him through hatred and asking for his punishment as if we were living the darkest and most ferocious hours of the McCarthy era all over again."
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