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Right-leaning Alex Massie and liberal Christopher Orr have not always seen eye to eye. But Hollywood's rise to defend Roman Polanski from extradition has aroused a similar level of disgust.

'Roman Polanski's Hollywood Friends Should Probably Shut Up,' Massie suggests. He says the director's friends, such as Robert Harris, who wrote in The New York Times this morning, don't seem to appreciate the depravity of the crime Polanski committed. "If you must defend Mr Polanski, that defence would surely be more convincing if you at least acknowledged that he is guilty of drugging and then raping a thirteen year old girl." Massie doesn't think this is helping Polanski's cause.

Frankly, his friends should be big and brave enough to take this on the chin too, rather than flap around making excuses for conduct that, deep down, they must know was pretty much indefensible. For that matter, they might also consider the fact that the more they talk, the more damage they do their friend.

'The Art World Tries to Give Roman Polanski Legal Immunity,' Christopher Orr writes. Touching:

Whoopie Goldberg made the point (repeatedly) that this case is not about "rape rape," which is legally true--Polanski plea bargained the initial charges down to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in exchange for his confession. But setting the legal mechanics aside, Polanski furnished a 13-year-old with alcohol and a quaalude, repeatedly pressed to take her clothes off, pursued her from room to room through the house despite her protestations that she wanted to go home, and ultimately had vaginal and anal intercourse with her, despite her having pleaded 'no' every step of the way. (The Smoking Gun has the original, appalling court testimony here.) If this does not constitute 'rape rape,' I hope Goldberg will clarify what would.

For a full overview of anti-Polanski opprobrium, see the Wire's compendium here. The Wire also covered some European defenses of Polanski here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.