The Corner

A Most Remarkable Controversy

My take on l’affaire Polanski.

I am delighted by the Roman Polanski controversy. Don’t get me wrong: I am horrified and disgusted by what the acclaimed director did — and admitted to — but there is an upside.

Just to recap, Polanski drugged a child put in his care for the purposes of a photo shoot. He tried to bully her into sex. She said no. He raped her anyway. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse but fled the country before sentencing, allegedly for fear the judge wouldn’t keep his end of the plea bargain. He spent the subsequent three decades living the life of a revered celebrity in Europe. He never returned to America because there was a warrant for his arrest. In a bit of ironic justice, he was apprehended en route to Zurich to receive a lifetime-achievement award. That ceremony will apparently go on without him.

So what do I like about the controversy? Well, for starters, that there is one at all. I think it is fascinating beyond words that this is open to “debate.”

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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