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Eight offensive quotes on the Polanski situation.

Eight offensive quotes on the Polanski situation. (photo)

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In a case as tangled with moral, legal and straight-up emotional arguments as the ongoing Roman Polanski one, there’s plenty of room for reasonable people to disagree. But wherever you stand, you’d hope at least people would avoid making the debate needlessly glib. And you’d be wrong. Here are eight of my favorite stupid statements made, in the interest of being fair and balanced, by both the media’s prosecution and defense of Polanski:


1. “He raped her in a lot of different ways. We’re talking sodomy and… other styles of rape.” –Wendy Murphy on MSNBC’s “Hardball”.

Without being too flippant about it, Ms. Murphy’s imprecision isn’t exactly making the best case; I wonder how many “styles” of rape there are, and I have to point out that sodomy can be perfectly consensual. A few sentences later, she notes that abroad, Polanski was “hanging around on the Left Bank,” which kind of gives the game away; Murphy, a noted Bill O’Reilly compatriot, knows how to tie in her undeniably sincere rape-victim advocacy to a broader culture war. Because really, why does it matter if he was on the Left Bank or in a Trappist monastery?

2. “Polanski is a great film director — although the much-acclaimed “Chinatown” has a muddled script — but his true talent is to make fools of his friends.” –Richard Cohen editorializing in the Washington Post.

In an incoherent editorial, Cohen basically proposes that Polanski doesn’t have to be prosecuted as long as Cohen gets to punch him just once. A lot of the prosecution crowd accuse Polanski’s defenders of having a double standard for anyone who’s a “great director,” and wonder how they’d feel if he was “Polanski the Plumber”; Cohen pulls the same trick in reverse. If “Chinatown” isn’t that good, then we really have to prosecute him. Wait, what?

3. “None of this, as my grandmother used to say, is ‘good for the Jews,’ especially at a time they have far bigger fish to fry. It is also worth noting, although cruel, that Polanski has admitted to being unfaithful to Sharon Tate during their very brief two-year marriage, an admission made only under oath many years after carrying the torch for Tate as if she were his own personal second Holocaust.” –Roger L. Simon at Pajamas Media.

Blaming Polanski for being arrested at a time when the world needs to focus on Iran potentially launching a missile at Israel — or, uh, being a bad Jew and encouraging anti-Semitism? — is a total non sequitur. Also, it actually isn’t worth noting Polanski cheated on Sharon Tate; it has nothing to do with the matter at hand.

4. “He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977, then beat it for France,
where I’m not sure that’s even a crime.”
–Andrew Klavan, also on Pajamas Media.

Ha! Another joke about the French! Order up one more batch of freedom fries! (For the record, the age of consent in France is 15, one year younger than in most American states.)


1. “I suggest, in the finest American tradition, we protest this absurd and deplorable act by smashing our cuckoo clocks, pawning our Swiss watches, and banning Swiss cheese and chocolate.” –Joan Z. Shore on the Huffington Post.

Shore ends up blaming the Swiss for it all. It’s obviously tongue in cheek, but she begins the column by reminding us of Switzerland’s dubious “neutrality” in World War II. Surely Nazi complicity and the arrest of Polanski aren’t quite on the same level?

2. “The jury of the international Zurich Film Festival has decided to proceed in honoring films and filmmaking despite the philistine nature of the collusion that is now occurring.” –Debra Winger, speaking at the festival.

Because the only reason Polanski would be arrested is a lack of appreciation for his movies.

3. “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.” –Whoopi Goldberg on “The View.”

Beyond this being phrased like a teenager wondering “Does (s)he like me, or like-like me?”, rape doesn’t work like that, and few are really disputing the facts of what Polanski did.

4. “Whatever you think about the so-called crime, Polanski has served his time.” –Harvey Weinstein editorializing in the Independent.

“So-called crime”? Really? That’s not helping.

[Photo: “Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired,” 2008, HBO.]


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.