Incredibly, Applebaum’s followup to her original contribution on the Polanski rape is even more clueless and offensive than the original:
Of course, there were some very legitimate disagreements, including two excellent ones from my colleagues Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen, and I take some of their points. But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim’s testimony (here in two parts) — including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski’s house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson’s jacuzzi –and not just the salacious bits.
Here’s the relevant part of the transcript:
Q. What happened out there after he indicated he wished to take pictures of you in the jacuzzi?
A. We went inside and called my mother.
Q. When you say “we called,” did you call or did Mr. Polanski call?
A. He told me to and I talked and then he talked and then I talked again.
Q. What did you tell your mother?
A. She goes, “Are you all right?
I went, “Uh-huh.”
And she says, “Do you want me to come pick you up?”
And I went, “No.”
And he said that we’d be home kind of late because it had already gotten dark out.
Q. When you said “he said,” did he tell you or did you hear him tell your mother on the phone?
A. He told my mother.
Q, Did he tell your mother any other things?
A. Not that I was listening to.
Q. After talking to your mother on the telephone, what happened?
A. We went out and I got in the jacuzzi.
Applebaum can’t even read 20 lines of a trial transcript accurately (the victim never asked her mother for permission to be photographed in the jacuzzi). But that idiocy pales to insignificance in comparison to the moral blindness involved in suggesting, as Applebaum clearly does, that if the 13-year-old victime had in fact asked her mother’s permission to be photographed in a jacuzzi by a 44-year-old man that would somehow transform the man’s subsequent drugging and raping of the girl into something other than a “simple and straightforward criminal case.”
Applebaum’s first post on this subject might have been ever so slightly excused by the possibility that she simply hadn’t thought through exactly what she was defending. This has no such excuse.