Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I'm Digging a Hole Where My Integrity Was
Applebaum is a child rape apologist for film director Roman Polanski who, in 1978, fled the United States after pleading out in a real rape case to statutory rape (the victim was 13). Aplebaum called the recent arrest of Polanski outrageous and said he had been punished enough by his European self imposed exile. She failed to mention that her husband is the Polish Foreign Minister spear-heading an effort to have the plea withdrawn and the charge against Mr. Polanski dropped. Must have slipped her mind.
Today, after mentioning she disclosed her husband's title in a post she wrote days before, she writes:
So, she's nearly totally incommunicado in Budapest, where she became immediately aware of Polanski's arrest, just as quickly wrote and published her blog piece in the Washington times, but did not read anything else, including the article she says her editor linked to (more on that later) and she certainly did not have any contact with her husband who is nearly completely incommunicado in Africa from where he is able to get his reactions to the arrest out to the World Press but is unable to contact his wife who is writing in a sort of self-imposed factual vacuum regarding the case.
I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa. (My editors later added a link to a news story that mentioned him.) The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband --while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.
Tough to believe and if true, it doesn't show Ms. Applebaum in a good light, although it does explain her lack of knowledge about some of the essential facts of Polanski's case she demonstrated throughout the original piece.
Here is what the linked piece in her original piece said four paragraphs in:
The quote is from the Washington Post, the paper for which Ms. Applebaum works and to whom she was somehow able to send her writing from the apparent communications black hole of Budapest. Radoslaw Sikorski is her husband.
Polanski also received support from Poland, where he moved as a toddler and avoided capture by the Nazis, who put his mother to death in a concentration camp. "I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency, which would settle the matter once and for all," said Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, according to the PAP news agency.
Ms Applebaum takes offense that we, who note the conflict of interest she was silent about, are thinking of her as a spokesman for her husband. We think no such thing, Ms. Applebaum, so spare us the sense of outrage. What we think is that you have a HUGE conflict of interest in publishing your uninformed opinion in the Washington Post which conflict you failed to mention. We think undisclosed HUGE conflicts of interest make us think less of the journalist who fail to disclose them and it bleeds into a growing contempt for all journalists. Journalists used to get fired for incompetence and undisclosed conflicts of interest. Ms. Applebaum is probably safe.
So now, instead of thinking Ms. Applebaum is a sloppy researcher and writer without a reliable ethical compass, I think she is just a liar, as well as a sloppy researcher and writer without a reliable ethical compass. Not that I ever read or thought of her much at all.
UPDATE: Applebaum and the Washington Post continue to shred what's left of the their crediblity by changing the post after it was first published without acknowledging the change. That's positively Orwellian. Why do I say this. Here is what she originally wrote, according to Patterico:
Also, when I wrote the blog I had no idea that my husband, who is in Africa, would, or could do anything about it, as Polanski is not a Polish citizen.
Now it reads thus:
I will also note that at the time I wrote the blog item, I had no idea that the Polish government would or could lobby for Polanski's release, as I am in Budapest and my husband is in Africa. (My editors later added a link to a news story that mentioned him.) The implication, in any case, that I am a spokesman for my husband --while not quite as offensive as the implication that my daughter should be raped -- is offensive nevertheless.So she hears the criticism of the original response and changes her response to meet it retroactively. Nice trick if you can get away with it.
And of course Polanski, born of Polish parents, is indeed a Polish citizen. Anne gets the basic facts wrong yet again. It's getting a little tedious.
UPDATE 2: Applebaum is solidly anti-Comunist and generally right thinking at least about foreign policy. I don't know her work at all. I don't take back a thing I've written; this information just makes her actions regarding her pro-Polanski posting and response posting all the sadder.