Chuck Schumer to Bloggers: “Fuck You”

Jay Rosen first pointed me to the news that Chuck Schumer is aiming to declare all us DFH bloggers non-journalists before the law.

For citizen journalists, the federal shield law front was looking good for a while.  Although the House of Representatives version of the bill, passed in April, only offered a shield to professional bloggers, the Senate version didn’t differentiate between the pros and the amateurs.  So there was hope that amateur journalists might actually, eventually, get its protection.

No longer though.

Sadly, the Senate Judiciary Committee has followed the path of the House and opted to specify that only a "salaried employee . . . or independent contractor" will be able to invoke the shield, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog.  The amendment, offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) of New York, limits the definition of a journalist to one who:

(iii) obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity—

(I) that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means; and

(II) that—

(aa) publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

(bb) operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

(cc) operates a programming service; or

(dd) operates a news agency or wire service . . . 

This language is in fact more restrictive than its House counterpart, which only limits the shield to those who gather or disseminate news "for a substantial portion of [their] livelihood or for substantial financial gain."  The Judiciary Committee’s "salaried employee . . . or independent contractor" language on its own would be sufficient to deprive most non-traditional journalists of protection.  But the requirement that the hosting entity both disseminate information by electronic means and operate a publishing, broadcasting, or news service of some kind ices it.

So to be a journalist in Chuck Schumer’s eyes, you have to both have a boss (at this point, you generous readers and Jane would count as my boss, but Jane doesn’t have a boss, for example) and that boss’ company must disseminate news on some other medium, in addition to the Toobz. Even free-lance writers or people like IF Stone (in the period when he ran his own newsletter) would be excluded from this definition of journalist.

Now, I’m on the record as a skeptic that this new law is going to work out the way the media thinks. I fear that the national security exemption will mean the law will protect people like Judy Miller mobilizing smears or the Rent-a-Generals spreading propaganda, but not protect Dana Priest or James Risen and their sources.

Still, this move pisses me off because it’s a transparent bid to grant a powerful industry special privileges.

It’s tough to figure which of Schumer’s powerful constituents he’s doing this for. Is it the dying media outlets located in NYC? Is he pushing this stinker for the Administration or DOJ as a way to undercut the power of the blogs? Or is he just listening to the big media lobby in DC?

If you feel like calling to ask, his number is (202) 224-3027.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

111 replies
  1. Leen says:

    Schumer trying to protect the blogger patsies that Morning Joe and Matthews etc are supporting and pushing like the “Daily Beast”

    Schumer trying to protect the rags like the New YOrk Times who fed lies to the American public about Iraq and resulted in hundreds of thousands of death, injuries, millions displaced.

    Personally I would like to see a way for our Government to hold liars and ultimately killers like Judy “I was fucking right” Miller held accountable for being accomplices to serious crimes. Something like the Official Secrets Act or some kind of equivalent for Journalist who print lies

    Schumer trying to knock folks out like Marcy, Jane etc. Because the truth and access are doing damage to NYT, Wa Po’s bottom $$$$$$ line

    Fuck him

  2. Mary says:

    Freedom of the for profit press – just what the Constitution envisioned.

    So now you would have to be working for an “entity” (corporations and llcs being unknown at common law and to the founders) to be entitled to protection?

    There are lots of hyper legal ways to get around that (ew,llc employing ew for example) but it’s ridiculous for legislation supposedly finding it’s base derivation from a right that was intended for The People.

    Of course, right now w alrady hav special privileges, with leaks and manipulation of the press in violation of the Nat Sec Act disregarded.

    So Schumer is saying that WaPo and NYT and Fox, none of whom noticed that AZ was waterboarded over 80 times despite their extensive “inside” sources and interviews, should be protectd in misrepresenting the facts to suit the CIA, but not so much someone who engages in reading for comprehension and using correct quotes.

      • Mary says:

        You are being paid in x-s and o-s. I was being paid in e-s, but apparently I had a pay cut over the weekend.

        OT – but I’m wondering, will Obama and the Blue Dogs and Republicans link arms to tell Switzerland to Look Forward and forget that pesky Polanski warrant? Besides, I think Polanski’s got a memo from John Yoo, or at least someone with that screen name.

        Whatever. And I guess that Switzerland is supposed to honor warrants from the US, so of cours the US will be honoring Italian and Spanish warrants, right?

        Nifty thing, the Obama administration theory of law.

        • bmaz says:

          Polanski has been in and out of Switzerland habitually over the years; reportedly he even has a chalet or home there. Why would the Swiss be waiting for him to deplane this time? Clearly, the US got to them and an agreement was made to do the deed. How? Why now? Did they tack this on to some BS on the Swiss banking account information case? Something to the effect of “we will give you some allowances here, even though we don’t have to; and why don’t you show some gratitude by pinching Polanski”. Best I can come up with, cause the whole gig really is stupid.

  3. SaltinWound says:

    What I hate about this is that the people Schumer favors are the same ones who tend to sit on confidential information instead of publishing it. So it’s a shield for the professionals who consider the news too hot to publish, not for the bloggers who are actually disseminating information.

  4. JohnJ says:

    In this case, having a boss means having someone in the ruling class they have access to, to threaten your job for inconvenient reporting.

    • knowbuddhau says:

      Nice one! It’s always about the control with these people.

      It’s the top-down, hierarchical model for society we’ve inherited from the days of feudalism, itself an expression of the myth of the cosmos as the construct, and thus private property, of a cosmic tyrant.

      “God the Father, cosmic architect/engineer/tyrant”

      “POTUS, The Great Father in Washington, Commander in Chief, most powerful man on earth”

      “CEO, The Big Man Upstairs with the power to hire/fire, promote/demote, buy/sell you a hundred times over”

      “Dad/Mom/Homeowner, King/Queen in his/her Castle; as Cosby said of his father, I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out, too.”

      Even our very courtrooms and schools are modeled along these lines. We inhabit a thoroughly hierarchical world, then once in a while pretend to democracy. And it very predictably, absolutely obviously is a materialization of our foundational assumptions about the composition and functioning of the cosmos.

      In other words, changing the settings on the great cosmic machine, seizing control of the levers of power, forcing this and leveraging that, etc. is not the final solution. Pretending the cosmos is a mechanism, converting humans into automata, and scientifically managing our affairs hasn’t eliminated misery, it has magnified it to industrial scales.

      For example, using nuclear weapons to silence fears of the Other has only generated nuclear-powered fears of a nuclear-powered Other. How’s that working out for us?

      So we have to change how we ourselves conceive of the world prior to our engaging it, abandon Newton’s mechanism as a model for us biological organisms, or we’ll just keep repeating the horror show of history on ever larger scales.

      BILL MOYERS: As it is, we’re about to get health care reform that measures human beings only in corporate terms of a cost-benefit analysis. I mean this is topsy-turvy — we should be treating health as a condition, not a commodity. http://www.alternet.org/story/…..ight-wing/

      • knowbuddhau says:

        “In other words, changing the settings on the great cosmic machine, seizing control of the levers of power, forcing this and leveraging that, etc. is not the final solution. Pretending the cosmos is a mechanism, converting humans into automata, and scientifically managing our affairs hasn’t eliminated misery, it has magnified it to industrial scales.”

        As a case in point, Dave Lindorff over at The Public Record is reporting that Neil Barofsky says we’ve been had, and that Paul Volcker advises us to get ready for the next shafting:

        DAVE LINDORFF: Barofsky has been trying doggedly to find out whatever happened to all that money of ours that was shoveled out to the banks, and as he reports, he’s been working not just without any help from the Treasury Department, but actually against the active resistance of Treasury, which he accuses of having tried to dissuade him from even looking into it.

        “My biggest surprise,” he says, “is when we announced an audit (of TARP), Treasury went out of their way to say…it would be a big waste of time.”

        He says Treasury officials including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, claimed that it would be impossible to find out where the money went, on the argument that money is “fungible”—that is to say all money is the same. Of course this is a cynical and ridiculous assertion. If it were true, there would be no job for auditors, since all auditors do is look to find out where money went. (Imagine telling an IRS auditor that it is a waste of time auditing your books, because money is fungible!)

        […]

        The big surprise to me [Lindorff] has been Paul Volcker, who I mistakenly took to be an over-the-hill relic and Wall Street patsy. The former Carter and Reagan-era Federal Reserve Board chairman, currently chair of President Obama’s economic advisory panel, is publicly warning that the president’s bank policies are preserving a system of giant banks that are “too big to fail,” and are risking further, even larger bailouts.

        Barofsky agrees, saying that since the bailout, under Obama’s bank policies, big banks already deemed “too big to fail” have become even bigger, and he concludes, “We may be in a far more dangerous place today than we were in a year ago,” for having told certain financial companies that we will not let them fail.

        The Big Money Man Upstairs said, give me all your money, or else. And like the good loyal subjects Congress Critters have been conditioned to be, they did, and it didn’t do us a damn bit of good, just like it never has. It’s the oldest of tricks, yet it still works like a charm.

        We bloggers (I get paid, but don’t meet other Schumer criteria, so I’m among the naked bloggers, to coin a phrase) are taking away the power of myth from TPTB, and they don’t like it one bit, do they? How are they supposed to “manipulate the media narrative,” with us busting their myths even as they deploy them?

    • pmorlan says:

      Exactly! They need layers of people above the reporter so that they increase their odds that they can find some greedy person to kill a story they don’t like. I think EW and Firedoglake should buy a small copy machine and start handing out their “published newsletter” in and around New York to let Schumer’s constituents know exactly what he’s up to. Hey better yet, buy an old mimeograph machine to publish the newsletter. You can tell people the smell of the mimeograph is the smell of REAL news.
      LOL

      • kindGSL says:

        I think they should print fliers and bumper stickers. I will volunteer to pass them out, grow with advertising.

  5. cinnamonape says:

    This seems to be a law which suggests that indemnification and immunity can only come when an individual is PROFITING from an act of speech. Now I would suspect that this rule is not only UnConstitutional…since sources would not be protected in a “shield law” written in such a manner.

    But the absurdity of trying to impose this “rule” is that all someone would have to do to avoid it is to be regarded as a paid stringer for any publication or broadcast or cable medium. One penny and a piece of paper. Or perhaps, even a contract that states that one will be paid $1 for any story used in a broadcast or submitted for use in publication.

    People could get “Press Cards” from any college radio station, any blog that acts as a publisher (which can mean a newsletter or even a poster, much less a book), the local activist pamphlet, an associations info-sheet, etc. ASFAIK the only media that one could not receive indemnification from would be a stand-alone internet carried blog.

    This could ultimately back-fire since it will compel individuals to network even more broadly, get off merely the blogosphere, and get out into the other progressive media.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Schumer is working hard to blunt the most effective citizen voice in the country because he’s afeared it won’t automatically agree with him. And his party, mind. One suspects schmoozer Schumer has had more than one conversation with Rahma about how to silence the voices of the people. Prick.

    • Leen says:

      I would put money on it that Schumer would also like to shut down the news, and honest debate about what is taking place in the Israeli Palestinian issue on sites like Steve Clemons Washington Note, Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy and Juan Coles too.

      Sure he would like to shut down that debate that was successfully shut down in the MSM and basically continues to be shut down (Rachel Maddow, Olbermann, Ed, Matthews, Karie Couric etc etc. Did not even whisper about the Goldstone UN report. Not a whisper.

      He wants us to depend on blogs that are sanctioned by the same system that fed the American people all of the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz WMD bullshit.

      We will not go back no way no how

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    Is this a good time to announce I’m solicting independent contractors for articles in my new periodical “Once in a Neptunian Year”?

    I’ll be publishing it once every Neptunian year (duh). I’m planning on the first issue to coincide with the Neptunian anniversary of the planet’s discovery in June 2011. Of course, with all the start-up hassles of launching a news magazine, I might miss that date and have to shoot for the second anniversary which would be sometime in 2175.

    • Rayne says:

      Very funny, have had a conversation several times over the last two years about the problems of being a blogger-citizen journalist.

      Did you know that the Michigan Press Association, as just one example, has refused to grant membership to outlets which do not have regular print circulation, and does not recognize print outlets which publish in something other than English?

      Not a problem if you don’t need a lawyer’s assistance on First Amendment protections, or if an event/venue doesn’t require MPA membership for credentialing in order to cover an event/venue. Big problem if you do.

      There’s definitely a need for a formal organization — and one which will work to lobby on behalf of bloggers. Bet that’s the real bottleneck here: we DFH bloggers didn’t pay Chuckie his hush-yo-mouf’ money.

  8. orionATL says:

    i’m really interested in knowing why schumer would bother to make the distinction.

    what difference would it make to him (or the law) if a few hundred (or thousands) more individual were “protected”?

    i don’t know, but one guess might be that reporters working for the corporate media are much easier to control than weblog reporters (just once quick call to the head of, e.g., GE).

    • kindGSL says:

      The only thing I can think of is he wants to shut me up. I just recently commented on the issue, crowing about how we American volunteer citizen reporters have these unique and wonderful rights.

      So he could be doing this in response to my comment, that was my first thought when I heard about it. It wouldn’t be the first time I mention a right on line, only to have congress act to repeal it. They did the exact same thing by giving the telecoms immunity.

      I have been saying for years that I am ending the Drug War and I lay out strategies to do it. Sometimes I really do attract lawmakers attention with my comments and sometimes they react which only looks obstructionist to me. Usually they react by discriminating against us and removing some additional right, keeping me wondering why they think that is even remotely legal.

      I figure lawmakers deep into the drug war cant even tell what is and is not illegal anymore. That is my observation.

      The Drug War is about illegal drug profits, money laundering, dirty politicians, dirty cops, religious persecution, removing our civil rights, war, etc, and it is managed by forces embedded deep in our government. Perhaps Chuck Schumer is into that. If so, he feels threatened by our free speech and freedom of the press, perhaps he has lots of dirty secrets to hide.

      I found when I mentioned that all we had to do to control illegal drugs like heroin, was to actually monitor our ports, the media and political response was really similar to this. Some lawmakers jumped on the issue, others (and media) quickly acted to stop them. Many of the ‘lawmakers’ showed their dirty hands, Lieberman for example. They tried, then succeeded, in simply selling off the ports to some other country to avoid any actual oversight. That was a clear sign, nothing must interfere with their profits.

      It is hard to explain the whole picture because the many parts big media people just refuse to cover are so central to the story. I would suggest looking over his record to see where he stands on the Drug War. Drug War supporters are dirty.

      Drug warrior support of multiple wars in the middle east against Muslims, also makes me suspect the drug running runs through Israel, and that this ‘trade route’ has something to do with the extensive Israeli infiltration into our own government.

      Just speculating.

  9. MrWhy says:

    Even free-lance writers or people like IF Stone (in the period when he ran his own newsletter) would be excluded from this definition of journalist.

    compelling evidence that Schumer doesn’t believe in a free press.

    Also, is Specter a co-sponsor of this amendment?

  10. fatster says:

    Let’s see. Since Ben Franklin owned his own press, I guess he would have been exempt if such a law had passed in his time. But what about Tom Paine and others? Dammit, that revolution we had might have been stopped if only they had such laws then. (’Course, Tom Paine and others would have broken such laws, nonetheless.)

  11. prostratedragon says:

    Q: What do you call someone who wades into a hot crowd brandishing a pistol?

    A: An unfortunate sonuvabitch.

    Does Schumer really have any idea what he’s just done to himself? This one could re-d-d-d-d-dound for quite a while.

    Re Polanski, I understood that the Swiss acted at the request of someone, unspecified, over here.

  12. Timewatcher says:

    The Polanski deal has had me pondering this all weekend, why now? Could it be that America is in need of financial attention? Just thinking of the international press corp sweeping into the Los Angels County. They haven’t had a decent “world spectacle” for awhile. It’s good for business, restaurants, hotels, cops salaries, etc…It’s also a great diversion for the masses, instead of looking at our financial, judicial and congressional mess, we are all of sudden seeing a 30 year case all over the msm, morning noon and night, with no time to update us on what is really going on (the small bits that they do give us, is now too much).

    • 4jkb4ia says:

      It took this comment to realize who was being talked about. I was scratching my head trying to figure out which Polanski was involved in torture.

  13. klynn says:

    All of this will have quite the impact on cyber dissidents and Reporters Without Borders. The timing of all of this has the appearance to me of shutting down cyber dissidents and RWB who have been covering the Middle East.

    It’s tough to figure which of Schumer’s powerful constituents he’s doing this for.

    In light of the call for build up of troops in Afg & Pak and the threat talk irt Iran, I think there could be some pretty big constituents wanting this.

    Just a thought.

    faster @ 15, too funny!

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Polanski either moved his money from Zurich to Monaco, or, more likely, someone high in the administration twisted an Armani-clad Swiss arm over an obsession with a very old case whose continued prosecution will cost considerably more to prosecute than the damage it will contain or the precedent it will set. It’s very much at odds with the effort this administration puts in to avoid liability when it comes to Village Idiots over far more serious crimes. Perhaps they think Roman has at last found the key to the Ninth Gate and they want it.

  15. fatster says:

    O/T (Old Topic): Torture

    Intelligence Vets Back Torture Probe
    By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Posted September 28, 2009
    . . .

    “Among the former CIA directors who, by letter of September 18, asked you to “reverse” the attorney general’s decision are some who were cognizant of and involved in decisions that led to the abuses in question. We find that troubling.

    “Clearly, the role of CIA directors in issuing orders that led to inappropriate behavior, and their failure to hold officers accountable, helped create the environment in which abuses occurred — the ones detailed in the Special Review of the CIA Inspector General, for example.

    “No analytical leap is required to conclude that those particular CIA directors might have understandable interest in blocking investigation of their own complicity. They include, first and foremost, George Tenet — many of whose misdeeds are already a matter of public record. To mention just a few: 

    . . .

    “We strongly believe that investigations of possible wrongdoing cannot, in all fairness, be limited to the proverbial “bad apples at the bottom of the barrel.” Rather, in our view, such investigations must be allowed to go wherever the evidence leads.”

    More

  16. fatster says:

    O/T (Old Topic): Uighurs

    2 Brothers’ Grim Tale Of Loyalty And Limbo
    To Leave Guantanamo Means Abandoning Family

    By Del Quentin Wilber
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, September 28, 2009

    “Bahtiyar Mahnut, a detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, learned a few weeks ago that the Pacific island nation of Palau had invited him to settle there.

    “It should have been cause for celebration, especially for a man who desperately wants to be free. But, to the surprise of his attorneys, Bahtiyar has turned down the offer. He wishes to remain a prisoner, they say, so he can look after his older brother, a fellow detainee.

    . . .

    “The only detainee not invited by Palau was Bahtiyar’s older brother, Arkin Mahmud, 45, who has developed mental health problems that are apparently too serious to be treated in the sparsely populated country, said his attorney, Elizabeth Gilson.”

    [video of their lawyer accompanies the article]

    More.

    • skdadl says:

      Heart-breaking.

      Does nothing move the bastards who are running this show? Nothing? Not logic; not justice; and not basic human decency?

      Gilson needs to get the rest of Arkan’s story out. Two years in solitary confinement have left him, a totally innocent man, so mentally disturbed that he can’t be resettled without care. And who is the Obama White House paying attention to? The deranged minority of paranoid xenophobes for whom everyone ever taken to GTMO must be the worst of the worst and must never be allowed to sully pure American soil.

      There is a healthy and welcoming Uighur community in/near DC. They were ready to accept the GTMO Uighurs last year; grown-ups would get these brothers there yesterday.

      • fatster says:

        I despair, too, dear skdadl. Wisdom in high places is woefully lacking in these times, so that suffering and heartache are compounded and further visited upon the innocent. There is a continuing collectivity of persons of conscience, such as yourself, who speak out and enrich the human spirit. And you will always do so.

      • Mary says:

        & 24

        The whole of the story is even worse. The older brother was the father of a 5 and 8 yo, but left to go find his younger brother bc his mother was distraught and sent him. So know those children, after having their father sold like a slave and then kept for years in at a lawless place that engaged in routine human experimentation – now have a father who hasn’t just been taken from them physically, but mentally also. And imagine how guilty the younger brother must feel; no wonder he is staying.

        OTOH, Obama is happy to whisper to the now-teenage children of Arkin that they should just forget about their father completely and “look forward.”

  17. susiedow says:

    I’m wondering what kind of impact Schumer’s legislation might have on FOIA requests as fees are waived for journalists.

  18. BayStateLibrul says:

    Whoever coined the term “bloggers” needs to recoin the coin…
    Not to be an arshole, but it sounds lame… and does no justice to the work and research performed…
    The problem is, I can’t think of a better word right now…

  19. tinman1967 says:

    This guy has been trying to limit freedom of speech in many forms for years. In the 1990’s he tried to make it illegal to advance government conspiracy theories. He wasn’t successful but may be some day.
    We must remind him Watergate started as just a conspiracy theory.

  20. fatster says:

    O/T, back to Guantanamo

    Anyone been keeping tabs on how many they have and are releasing? According to this article, 75 more have been cleared for release, and they are part of “the remaining 223 prisoners for release as part of its effort to close the detention camp . . . .”

  21. Phoenix Woman says:

    Thing is, is Schumer still thinking of Drudge or Instadickwad when he thinks of bloggers? I know a lot of progressives who avoid blogs because they still think it’s all Matt Drudge having a hissy or Powerline trying to take down Dan Rather.

    As for Roman Polanski, Kate Harding said it better than I can:

    Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.). Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she’d rather not see him prosecuted because she can’t stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

    Can we do that? Can we take a moment to think about all that, and about the fact that Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, before we start talking about what a victim he is? Because that would be great, and not nearly enough people seem to be doing it.

    Then again, many of the same folk who are defending him (and trashing his victim and/or her mother) also were and are defending Ira Einhorn.

    • bmaz says:

      How about we start here instead: Polanski had a fucking signed, sealed and entered on the record deal. In spite of the unquestioned existence of that deal, which he never would have otherwise made, an unethical judge and an unethical second prosecutor conspired to violate the deal and immediately place him in prison. Irrespective of the charges, which have NEVER withstood open cross-examination nor been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in open court, he made a deal. If he is to be brought back here, it should be either for a trial, or for a judge to say “okay Roman, I hereby enter the sentence that you, the original prosecutor and the victim originally agreed to which means you have fully served your sentence and you are hereby released”. Of course, Polanski has offered to come back under that condition for decades, but instead grandstanding asshole political district attorneys and preening politicians want to screw him just to make some publicity bones.

      That, even according to the alleged victim, is where the discussion should “start”; not at the blathering point this “Kate Harding” suggests, whoever in the world she is.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, and by the way, Kate Harding, who clearly does not know, nor care to research and learn, diddly shit about the law, is materially misrepresenting the facts when she says Polanski “admitted”. That was in terms of the plea agreement, which has been violated by the state. If he is to be bound by that admission, then his case is over, as it should have been all along. If that agreement is not going to be honored by the prosecution and court, then it should be set aside (voided) and, in that case, there is no admission whatsoever. Polanski was defensible in the case, it is nowhere nearly as cut and dried as this Kate Harding so scurrilously states.

        • fatster says:

          Thank you for providing knowledgeable insight and background on this case. I wish someone (hint) with your expertise and knowledge of it would write an objective, historical review. After all these years, memories dim about the specifics, so what’s left is deep sympathy for what that child of long ago was forced to endure.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I gather the judge wouldn’t agree to enter the plea deal until Polanski stood in his courtroom and recited his “wrongs”. As you say, there appears never to have been a commitment that the judge and the state would live up to their side of the bargain, in which case, no competent lawyer would advise him to return to US jurisdiction.

          As for Kate whatshername, she is trying Polanski by journalism [sic]. She is claiming as fact, in a manipulative manner designed to avoid discussing them, disputable contentions. That would ordinarily make her rightwing harlot, as even the MSM usually engages in he said-she saidness so as to avoid having to commit journalism.

          I have no horse in this race. But the public claims suggest a lousy, manipulated process. How Rovian of the Rahma’s DoJ to use Spitzerian levels of resources to publicly castigate Polanski at this point in the history of this Jarndyce v. Jarndyce like case. I wonder what we’re not supposed to be paying attention to as Rahm gins up ecstatic controversy about Roman?

          • bmaz says:

            No, the plea was entered and accepted on the record in open court; Polanski was then, pursuant to the plea, assigned for psychological evaluation in a detained setting that was agreed to be the only time he would serve unless there were negative findings. He surrendered and was so detained in that setting for 42 days; there were no negative findings. He was released per the agreement and immediately prior to formal sentencing where the terms of the agreement should have been entered and adhered to in light of the evaluation findings, the judge suddenly stated that, in spite of the clean findings, he would be ignoring the terms of the plea agreement and instead would enter a prison sentence far in excess of and far outside of what was contemplated by the terms of the formally accepted agreement. In so doing, the judge was unethically conspiring in an ex parte manner with a second prosecutor for what appear to have been personal political gain. Polanski found out about this and fled immediately prior to the scheduled sentencing date.

            And I agree with Mary’s juxtaposition of this petty crap with the “looking forward” stance on the shredding of the Constitution and torture.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Thanks, [email protected] My #49 was responding to [email protected] and the characterization that this was somehow a “pay to rape” case. The process you describe suggests the prosecution’s case was weak, or it would have demanded more prison time, and that the deal involving limited “admissions” and time served was the best they could get with the provable facts they had.

              What you describe suggests grandstanding against a foreigner for immediate electoral gain by a judge and/or prosecutor. If the judge legitimately thought the prosecution had a better case, he wouldn’t have agreed with the deal. More likely, he would have rejected it and done his best to get this in a court room. The late change of heart [sic], seems overwhelmingly political. Keeping the case open all this time suggests that having once made their bed, this judge and prosecutor couldn’t sleep anywhere else.

              Which takes us back to why the Swiss and why now?

              • bmaz says:

                I agree with everything that you said there with one exception. I don’t know that the case was necessarily that “weak”, but it was certainly defensible. For one thing, it required intent on Polanski’s part and the age of consent at that time was 16; the 13 year old girl looked very much 16 and Polanski maintained he did not know. Statutory rape was going to be difficult to prove. As to regular rape, the defense was, of course, consent. The victim was adamant about not wanting to testify at trial; she was uncooperative in that regard. And, trust me, straight up rape cases are very defensible. It was a clustefuck and the original prosecutor honored the victim’s request to make a plea. The plea entered into was done so at her behest and at the desire of the original prosecutor. The court also originally agreed, but then the judge and second prosecutor flipped.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Well, I was not there, but it seems to have been fairly well accepted. Also, there was a whole series of modeling pictures (some taken by Polanski on the night at issue, some by others at other times) that, to my understanding, serve to demonstrate the point quite solidly.

                    • fatster says:

                      Thanks. I still hope you’ll consider writing an article on it. It’s very old and while even details of it–particularly from the legal point of view–are still fresh to you, many of us NAL types could benefit from a refresher. Again, thnx.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      “Well, she looked 16″ smells of a male rationalization. I get really bothered at some of the conversation here placing so much emphasis on the legalisms in this case, which almost seems sexist. The point is that she was a MINOR, and he was supposedly the RESPONSIBLE ADULT. By all accounts, Polanski did not behave responsibly in his behavior towards the girl.

                      If the case against Polanski is so flimsy, let him have his day in court that was interrupted 32 years ago. Let due process be redeemed and completed.

                      Bob in AZ

                    • bmaz says:

                      Ah, but the DA does not want to do that; they only want to bring him back and put him in prison in violation of the deal that was made. They are unwilling to void the deal they have violated and give him a fair trial; they are demanding to be allowed to benefit from their own unethical misconduct.

                      At this point, it really is not about the underlying conduct in the least; rather it is about the due process surrounding the plea entry and acceptance. And for the record, I do not condone what occurred between Polanski and the girl under any circumstances; I simply think there has been a miscarriage of justice subsequent to entry of the plea, and think Polanski is entitled to the benefit of the bargain he legally made in the plea.

                    • Leen says:

                      Look Bmaz I am obviously not an attorney and know little about the law but your focus on the “miscarriage of justice” in regard to Polanski’s plea and the punishment does sound relevant.

                      But if “miscarriage of justice” is supposedly your concern What about taking a few steps back and opening up to the issue that there was a very serious “miscarriage of justice” for a 13 year old girl? If “miscarraige of justice” is really your concern.

                      It certainly sounds like the girls family took the settlement because it would have been a long battle otherwise. Were they driven by the settlement. I don’t know. But it sure sounds like a rich mans way to “pay to rape” to me.

                      The prosecutor that I was basically quoting was on MSNBC last night.

                      If you had been the attorney for this girl who Polanski pled “to unlawful intercourse, a far lesser charge” with. What would you have advised her parents to do? Take what Polanski’s attorney’s offered? Fight?

                      This statement of yours “Oh, and by the way, the probation report by the government made an official finding that the sex was consensual” makes me know that if one of my daughters had ever been raped I would not go anywhere near someone with your views or stance. That makes me sick to my stomach

                      Christ All mighty Bmaz the girl (I don’t care how she looked” was 13…13.
                      Do you have kids Bmaz? If your daughter had been “raped” or had “consensual sex” as you claim with Polanski or anyone else that old what would you have done or advised the family to do? Take the deal offered of someone so wealthy and obviously twisted?

                      If you are so damn concerned with a “miscarriage of justice” stance. Then go back to the original offense

                    • bmaz says:

                      The GIRL was the one who demanded the plea deal to start with. It occurred not only at her demand, but with her and her attorney’s complete involvement at every step. She has consistently, from the time the plea deal was first discussed until today, maintained that it is her desire that the plea be followed and the case ended.

                      The “prosecutor” on MSNBC last night was Wendy Murphy who is a ditzbag prosecutor that made her bones on one case in Massachusetts and immediately turned herself into a raving lunatic for paid TV consumption. Did you listen to her? Really? Because every other line out of her mouth was an admission that she did not know the specific historic facts of the Polanski case in California. I am not hyperbolizing, she literally admitted it constantly and, as someone who has long been very familiar with this case, I can tell you that was the only accurate statement she made.

                      This is not about my daughter or anybody else’s at this point, that is emotional tripe; this is about the law, ethical conduct and due process in the justice system. I do not condone in any way Polanski’s conduct, but that is not currently the point. The point of this entire discussion is, and long has been, about due process within the court and justice system.

                    • Leen says:

                      “The GIRL was the one who demanded the plea deal to start with.” She was 13 at the time 13 Bmaz. You really think a 13 year old girl can make a rational decision like this?

                      “this is about the law, ethical conduct and due process in the justice system”

                      “ethical conduct” come on “ethical conduct”? “miscarriage of justice”
                      “due process in the justice system” sounds like these claims of being concerned about justice are being used selectively in regard to Polanski’s rights pleas and circumstances

                      When you bring up the point that this was allegedly “consensual sex” instead of what it was “rape” then you are clearly making excuses for Polanski’s choices,behavior and crime. That is the way I see it and I am not backing down.

                      You can argue the law “due process” at this point. But when you mention “miscarraige of justice” Do you or do you not think there was a “miscarriage of justice” when it came to this 13 year old girl? And what would you have advised her family to do? Take the deal?

                    • bmaz says:

                      Along with parents, attorneys and friends, yes I think that decision can be so made; why do you have the opinion that your thoughts are more important and controlling than hers?

                      It must be nice to sit back and just be selective in your demands of due process and honesty in the justice system. You squawk about it incessantly about torture, wiretapping and a plethora of other things, but think it is just fine to disregard here and let emotions control instead. Should protection of all Constitutional protections be at your whim?

                      I don’t give a flying fuck whether you “back down” or not; but you are repeatedly mischaracterizing what I have said. I said it is arguable and that he was defensible on those grounds. From a legal defense perspective, that is simply a fact. That is all I have stated and I have tried to explain why that is; that is NOT condoning or accepting his behavior and acts, and it is fraudulent and dishonest of you to say otherwise.

                      Once the case was in front of the justice system, I DO think there has been a miscarriage of justice with respect to the girl (whose name I know very well but will not use). But that miscarriage of justice as to her has been by preening and grandstanding others seeking political gain, publicity and/or personal emotional umbrage instead of honoring her wishes and demands that have been crystal clear and consistent over decades. In fact, you are doing that now.

                    • Leen says:

                      And obviously I don’t give a “flying fuck” or what I see as your selective use of the what you claim to be concerned about the “law” and “miscarraige of justice” I see it as selective

                    • Leen says:

                      Oh and by the way if I had been the Judge in that case. Yes fuck what the 13 year old wants they have been violated, and are under stress.

                      I would have applied the law in that case whatever it is in regard to an older person having sex with a 13 year old boy or girl. Apply the fucking law and the punishment especially when it comes to the abuse of children.

                      Too many people getting away with rape or what you claim was determined in that case “consensual sex” with minors. Too many getting away with it
                      Later

                    • bmaz says:

                      You know Leen, I might well have done that too; however, that was not what happened in this case. What concerns me is the conduct of a rogue prosecutor and judge after the agreement was agreed to by all parties, entered and accepted by the court. Were I the judge at that time, I might not have accepted and entered the plea on the record to start with. But this judge did, and then acted unethically in his subsequent conduct with respect to the case. That I have profound problems with.

                    • Leen says:

                      You would obviously know far more than I about that. But when it comes to the “law” being enforced especially with crimes against children. I would apply the law

                    • bmaz says:

                      That is the thing though, irrespective of whether you or I agree with how it was done, the law was applied. The case was investigated, statements were taken, evidence adduced, charges filed, prosecutors assigned, the defendant was arrested and brought before the court on the charges and a pre-trial disposition of the case agreed to by all parties including the judge, and at the demand of the victim, and plea agreement entered. This is exactly how the criminal justice system functions every day all across the country. The are a whole range of reasons that such a decision was made by each of the parties, but they all came to the conclusion that was the proper disposition. The law was applied quite normally up until the rogue conduct by the second prosecutor and judge after the plea was entered. It is wrong to say that the law was not applied; it was. You do not morally agree with how the law was applied, and I fully understand that; but that is not the question, it was applied in a quite regular fashion legally.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      When you bring up the point that this was allegedly “consensual sex” instead of what it was “rape” then you are clearly making excuses for Polanski’s choices,behavior and crime. That is the way I see it and I am not backing down.

                      I am late returning to this thread, and almost certainly in EPU territory, but I’m with Leen here. Consensual sex between a 13 year old and a man more than twice her age? Baloney! She was a minor! How old she “looked” should be irrelevant, especially because it provides a handy excuse to the older man. What defense does a girl have against that?

                      Due process and letter of the law are good, and I wish Holder’s DOJ would actually show some belief in the same. But the legal system has generally worked against exploited girls, who have to go through a nightmare process to bring charges against an older man of means. To put it bluntly, culturally speaking, if not legally, the playing field, especially 30 years ago, was not level IMHO.

                      Bob in AZ

                    • Leen says:

                      Bmaz “This is not about my daughter or anybody else’s at this point, that is emotional tripe; this is about the law, ethical conduct and due process in the justice system”

                      “about the law” What does the law say about the punishment for having alleged “consensual sex” or “rape” of a 13 year old?

                      “ethical conduct” come on “ethical conduct” ? This is absurd

                      “due process”

                      You may call what I have said “emotional tripe” But I stand by that your comments sound like excuses and distractions for Polanski’s crimes

                    • bmaz says:

                      And that is not even a sultry modeling shot like others that existed; this is why I say there was a defensible case in light of the age of consent being sixteen and the requirement to prove knowledge and intent to violate the statutory rape provision. I fully understand why some may not like to hear this clinical discussion of the matter, but from a legal perspective, that is how it is approached. If you do not have a statutory rape case, you have to then prove lack of consent; which with a zealous defense, can be very difficult. It was a very triable case from a defense perspective.

                    • fatster says:

                      Who was the DA at the time? Cooley is now. He’s a Repugican, so it will be interesting to see how this progresses.

                      (Actually, I thought she looked 13 in the picture. ‘Sultry’ can be created by a talented director/photographer.)

                    • bmaz says:

                      John van de Kamp, and neither he nor his lead deputy assigned to the case were the problem. It was another prosecutor in the office, who reportedly desired a political career and later fully admitted his improper ex parte discussions with the judge, who was documented as asking everybody from this prosecutor to reporters to friends at his country club, what he should do to Polanski after he had already accepted Polanski’s plea and after the judge had agreed to abide by the terms and recommendations therein. Seeking maximum publicity (which he was famous for long before the Polanski case), he decided to screw Polanski and violate the agreements surrounding the plea; that was the problem.

                      By the way, both Van de Kamp and the original lead deputy handling the case willingly appeared in the documentary that argued Polanski’s position in regards to the misconduct. It is really very striking the extent to which they support the misconduct charge by Polanski.

                  • Leen says:

                    oh please. Where have we heard that sort of bullshit before.

                    Polanski “paid to rape” Settlement

                    Sodomy

                    Come on folks this guy ran

                    Admitted to raping a child. Six counts. Admitted to one. Maximum sentence two to four years.

                    Paid to rape

                    • bmaz says:

                      That is completely uninformed and simplistic crap. He did not admit to “raping” a child or anybody else; he pled to unlawful intercourse, a far lesser charge. Oh, and by the way, the probation report by the government made an official finding that the sex was consensual. He ran because there was an unethical conspiracy against him to violate an agreement that was the sole basis of him pleading in the first place. Your statements are uninformed alarmist bullshit. Perhaps the allegations you speak of would be proved in a trial, in the face of Constitutional confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses, but they never have been, and, quite frankly, I think it is very debatable as to whether they would have held up in front of a jury. He was very defensible at a trial. Polanski never fled out of fear of a trial; he only fled when a rogue judge and second prosecutor (not the lead prosecutor) conspired to violate his rights and put him in prison for an extended time in direct violation of the written and accepted plea. Hey, you want to know who tipped Polanski off about the conspiracy against him? Yep, it was the lead prosecutor, who was so enraged at the unethical conduct of the judge and second prosecutor that he felt ethically compelled to inform Polanski’s lawyer.

  22. fatster says:

    And in related news:

    US ‘to loosen’ grip on internet
    The US government is expected to relax control over how the internet is run when it signs an accord with net regulator Icann on Wednesday.

    “The “affirmation of commitments” will reportedly give Icann autonomy to run its own affairs for the first time.

    “Previous agreements gave the US close oversight of Icann – drawing criticism from other countries.

    “Earlier this year, the EU called on the US to relinquish its control and Icann to become “universally accountable”.’

    More.

  23. Mary says:

    11/34/38 – I don’t really have a position one way or another on Polanski bc I don’t know much about it (it sounds like both of you know way more about it than I do). I was just pointing out that the Obama “look forward” doctrine of law doesn’t reconcile with what they are doing.

    On the shield law front, to keep the focus, they aren’t really saying much one way or the other about content of publications. They are getting at the ability to protect sources from judicial process and any related criminal/obstruction issues. So basically, what they want to do is protect the right of for-profit journalists (working as employees for a limited liability for profit entity, so already protected on those fronts) to protect their sources for planted stories (who may be members of Congress after all) like the Miller-Time stories. OTOH, a source who goes to a not-for-profit journo won’t have any assurance that his journo won’t be compelled to reveal identity.

    @27 – I like “independent media” fwiw.

    • pdaly says:

      and I’ll bet that Twitting, even by these for-profit journalists, will not count for the shield law. At least Twitting at the Washington Post will not be tolerated, as per emptywheel’s post. Wonder if it is all of a piece. Editorial control in the hands of a few.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Oh, I have no idea whether Mr. Polanski committed a crime or what violence was done, if any, to a teenager. My point is that the process smells. This is a 32-year old case. If the facts were there, could not the government have convicted him in absentia? It happens to dictators who doublecross the CIA all the time.

    If there’s a legitimate, unsolved controversy, he’s not guilty of anything except possibly violating bail and fleeing the jurisdiction. That rarely requires pulling in expensive government-to-government favors from the Swiss.

    If the prosecution had a sounder case, then why are we still at this point in the process? Why make such relationally expensive moves against the Swiss now? It’s not like Mr. Polanski hasn’t been in Switzerland the last thirty years. And why not have attempted similar steps with the French beforehand? No extradition treaty, no comparable French crime that would trigger it, or no will on the part of the French to cooperate with the US owing to unrelated US-French tensions. Such moves are rarely simplistic ones involving only the routine administration of justice.

  25. fatster says:

     Way O/T. After eight years, finally something (hope the $7 million sticks). Too bad it’s not 16 years.

    Ex-CEO of Enron’s telecom business jailed for fraud
    Published: Monday September 28, 2009

    “A former chief executive officer of Enron Broadband Services, the failed telecom business of the collapsed Enron, was on Monday ordered jailed for 16 months after he pleaded guilty to fraud.

    “Joseph Hirko, 53, was also ordered by a US District Court in Houston to forfeit about seven million dollars in restitution to fraud victims in accordance with the terms of a plea agreement, the Justice Department said.”

    More.

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Which still gets us back to why in Switzerland and why now? Neither question is answered by stating that this is the routine administration of justice. There’s nothing routine about it.

    This debate isn’t about what Polanski was accused of doing so much as the odd procedure in play. The Swiss, too, are claiming that they were just enforcing an international warrant issued by the US in 2005. Why 2005, too, when Mr. Polanski had been traceable to Paris (and Gstaad) for many of the past 32 years.

    If it were about what he was accused of doing, and it’s necessary to attack his plea bargain, it would equally be necessary to attack most plea bargains, and the overwhelming use of plea bargains as an attempt to manage court dockets, limited prosecutorial resources and evidence of inconsistent strength and credibility.

    • bmaz says:

      The subpoena info I just do not know well enough to pull out of my butt like the other facts; but I know that the original prosecutor in the case and the original defense lawyer for Polanski, chap named Doug Dalton, approached the court (with a new judge; the original one died in the early 90s) about enforcing the original terms of the plea agreement and ending the case. Everybody agreed to do so, but Polanski objected when the new judge (a fairly, shall we say, flamboyant judge) insisted on televising the whole thing. Why the warrant would have been activated in 2005, I am not sure about, because to my knowledge, the next real activity after the late 90s bit did not start until late 2008 or early 2009, when Polanski’s attorneys filed a challenge to the entire case based on original judicial misconduct. This challenge was based upon a rather striking documentary that exploded a lot of the unethical misconduct that originally occurred and even had quotes from the head DA at the time of the original case. The documentary is called Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. I believe the early 2009 application is currently on appeal. Back to your question; no idea about 2005.

      • fatster says:

        This is up right now on talkingpointsmemo.com

        “With Roman Polanski and his past making another unexpected appearance in headlines across the world I wanted to call (or remind) everyone’s attention to the masterful 2008 documentary about his case: “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” by Marina Zenovich The link is to a review in Newsweek. And here’s the entry at IMDB. I saw it because it had a run on HBO.”

        • bmaz says:

          Two things, first, that conflicts with the DA’s position that they have been trying since reactivating the international warrant request process in 2005; secondly, although not in formal pleadings, the thought that they were not trying that hard has permeated discussion of this case for a long time. My take is that it is not so much the minimal mention of the thought in the appellate briefs, which are presumably based on the record from the trial court this spring, so much as just petulance over the fact that Polanski’s attorneys have the gall to attack them over their previous misconduct. It is a spiteful and assholy move, but one they are legally entitled to make I suppose. I would not be surprised if Switzerland finds some reason to string out consideration of this and give Polanski bail within the country during that time. Hard to tell, and it is early in the process, we shall see.

  27. fatster says:

    What are the chances of these three cases going anywhere?

    Bush officials face liability for terror policies
    Courts let 3 post-9/11 lawsuits try to hold Bush officials personally liable for terror policy

    MARK SHERMAN
AP News
    Sep 28, 2009 16:13 EST

    . . .

    “High-ranking officials usually are protected from such civil rights claims. Not necessarily in these cases.

    . . .

    ‘”In two cases, judges appointed by Republican presidents have refused to dismiss lawsuits at an early stage that were filed against Ashcroft and former Justice Department official John Yoo. One complaint challenges Ashcroft’s strategy of preventive detention. The other seeks to hold Yoo accountable for legal memos he wrote supporting detention, interrogation and presidential power.

    ‘”In a third case, the full federal appeals court in New York is reconsidering an earlier decision by three of its members to toss out a lawsuit by a man who was changing planes in the United States when he was mistaken for a terrorist and sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.”‘

    More.

    • skdadl says:

      The third case mentioned there is Arar. The article doesn’t mention that the role of Canadian agencies in his harrassment, detention, “rendition,” and torture was the subject of a major (and admirable) judicial inquiry here (the O’Connor commission), at the end of which Arar received a formal apology from the Crown and a settlement that totalled $12.5 million.

      I can’t judge the legalities of the present case, but I’m sure that something needs to be done about the continuing persecution of Arar by the U.S. government, who insist they still have evidence against him and who have him on their infamous lists. Our foreign ministers have seen Condi’s/Hillary’s files; many of your congresscritturs have seen them (notably Delahunt, Nadler, and Leahy), and they all say, without reservation, “There’s nothing there.”

      I cope badly with sheer perversity. It just makes me want to swear, y’know? I just don’t get why Obama and Holder and Clinton would want to keep this up, but they do, and of course this isn’t the only case like that.

      • fatster says:

        I don’t know, either, skdadl why Obama, Holder and Clinton would not want to pursue justice, particularly in a case like Arar’s. And they aren’t telling, either. Sad comment on the state of Justice, and even sadder on the state of conscience among those in very high offices who swore to uphold the Constitution.

  28. Hmmm says:

    May I just briefly note that in the unlikely and unfortunate event that Chucky’s crappy law should come to be enacted, I personally will be opening up, in the Great State of Hawaii, Hmmm’s Blog ‘N’ POG — a combination fruit juice cafe and bona fide printed-on-paper outlet branch for certain selected blogs of uncommon quality and distinction. All proprietors and posters of EW and FDL would find themselves to be most welcome customers of our guaranteed, printed-on-paper — not to mention attractively priced — outlet services.

  29. bobschacht says:

    Schumer is an establishment politician. Everything he does is to further the establishment and his place in it. Independent bloggers are a threat to the establishment. Heck, Schumer would have been in favor of jailing Tom Paine.

    But I want to know, now that Marcy has won a Hillman prize for her work as a journalist, would she qualify under his leg. as a journalist?

    Bob in AZ

  30. alinaustex says:

    bMAZ (and others )
    Respectfully maybe ya’ll should start a post dedicated to Polanski -child rape is an important an issue as any -and thus deserves its own thread – Meanwhile it is a distraction here as we discuss the attempt to limit and sanction a free press from a erstwhile progressive democrat
    and cinnamonape @76 yes what we need now more then any thing else is more common sense for ‘ these are the times that tries a Man’s or Woman’s soul “

  31. joanneleon says:

    EW, I wonder if Richard Trumka would be interested in this amendment being offered by Schumer, given the ideas he has put forward about a union for freelance journalists and tech workers.

  32. jimhicks3 says:

    Just called the 202 # but it rang out – no answer.
    I’ll go to his web site & see if I can get thru there.
    jh3

  33. radiofreewill says:

    I look forward to the day when Blogging Syndicates cover every aspect of daily life.

    If you have to publish in print, then why not go viral with pmorlan’s idea @80, and publish printed State-by-State Blogging Summaries profiling the various ‘players’ at the start of Campaign Season.

    The impact could be Huge.

    I’m convinced, for instance, that Reynolds of NY chose not to run for re-election – despite being a Power Player in the Gooper Org Chart – because Bloggers were waiting to ‘tag’ him over Foley’s $100,000 ‘contribution.’

    So, if Shoeless Chuck hands US lemons – let’s make lemonade!

  34. 4jkb4ia says:

    DIdn’t see the arts page at all yesterday, and didn’t expect to even if there was a break which allowed for going home. (Musaf let out at 4:10. It breaks the record) (And yes, the Rams game was worse than the fast. I wasn’t even a little hungry)

  35. 4jkb4ia says:

    I also want to be generous and pay tribute to this blogging community’s influence yesterday. It came out strongly in the Ten Martyrs(the flesh of one of them was “racked with combs”), and I think more indirectly in the confession to “hozek yad”. Artscroll translates this as “exercising power”. This would normally go to something like Gaza, but I had the strong thought that all of us who believed in Obama and gave him our money and voted for him now have the power actually to do good in a way we have not in the last 8 years. Under George Bush you would not have seen any sort of climate change bill or health care bill that the president would sign. The idea is how to mobilize tp achieve the good we have the power to do. Schumer is probably aware of the blogs’ power to organize and mobilize and for that reason is skeptical of whether they are doing journalism.

    (To EOH, I don’t know if the distraction was needed. Iran is providing a happy distraction from whatever it is all on its own. Last night Iran was seen being discussed on Anderson Cooper)

  36. 4jkb4ia says:

    Now I am looking at the arts page from where I hid it. Polanski is the story at the top of the page, but Barbra Streisand’s show at the Village Vanguard is in the center, the headline has a larger font, and it has a photo. As I was unfolding the paper in the morning it was the first story that I saw. So this has to be a distraction geared to cable news. Also I see today that Obama is going to Copenhagen for the IOC meeting after all, so whatever it is cannot take up too much of his time. This would also be yet a third distraction.

  37. bmaz says:

    You mean the the prosecutor’s office trying desperately to cover up the unethical conduct in their office? And exactly what statement are you referring to anyway? I have studied this case for a long time; I am confident in the accuracy of what I have said.

    4jkb4ia @89 – I have never considered the integrity of the criminal justice system and the protection of due process rights of equal protection and fundamental fairness, regardless of the defendant’s name, to be a “distraction”.

  38. someofparts says:

    I have a book by Kay Boyle, a WWII war correspondent. It is a collection of her reporting during the war years. One of the stories is about a war crimes trial in Frankfurt.

    Boyle explained that the Frankfurt trial was important to Germans while the trials at Nuremberg were not. The reason was that the Frankfurt trial was local, so people trusted it. The reason they never trusted what they heard about events at Nuremberg was because, to regular Germans, Nuremberg was as remote as Washington is to most of us. They could not verify personally what they heard about remote events, anymore than we can. That mattered because by the end of the war, the Germans has been lied to so completely that they no longer believed anything they could not verify personally. Does this remind anyone else besides me of the average Fox viewer?

    Right now, what I believe is that I will spend the rest of my days living in fear. I am so tired of being afraid and so heartsick about how much we have lost. If I consider my honest opinion of what is about to happen to us, I expect financial calamity, followed by widespread murderous violence directed at the educated and liberal. I expect to be one of the casualties of a great die-off who will never live to see a future when a much much smaller America finally heals itself and finds a new way to move forward.

  39. radiofreewill says:

    Leen – Imvho, mis-conduct by ’the good guys’ in fairly enforcing and adjudicating the Law renders the case against the defendant moot, or nullified.

    We can all be upset that OJ, for instance, appears to have gotten away with double-homicide, but the fact that the Jury ’called out’ the Cops for Framing a Guilty Man is a Triumph for Our Justice System.

    Our system of Justice isn’t perfect, but by having it err on the side of the defendant We force the Power – the Cops – to play by the rules.

    Whatever the facts of the Polanski Case may be – they were polluted by a Judge who decided to play dirty pool.

    It sounds like even the victim has recognized the injustice of what was done in this case, and is more than ready to move on.

    Both the victim and Polanski – and the Justice System – were done Wrong by an erratic, capricious Judge and Shady Prosecutor, who had their eyes on Politics rather than Due Process and Justice.

    It’s the Judge and Prosecutor, imvho, that you should be rightfully angry with…

    Bmaz is speaking on behalf of the larger Justice System here.

    • lllphd says:

      RFW, thanks for your nice punctuation of this fascinating debate.

      fwiw, leen, i understand your reaction to this, but you seem to be missing the fact that your reaction is highly emotional. i cannot help but compare it to the emotional reaction people have to those poor slobs at gitmo, some of whom are guilty as sin. still, they DO deserve, as much as any victims, for justice to be served. in fact, if an innocent individual is punished in any way, or if the system is exploited for perverse reasons even if a bad guy gets jailed in the process, justice is NOT served. no one gains from these attempts to impose personal reactions – be they emotional (even on behalf of children) or selfish – on the process.

      and as a small aside, i’ll just add to that the very real possibilities that (a) not only was this child at least precocious from many directions and possibly even promiscuous, but (b) her parents may well have pushed some of the ‘facts’ on her, as well as the entire accusation. while i agree that no honorable adult would consider even approaching sex with a child, i also know how incredibly complicated these things can get. if these points were large facts in the polanski case (as the latter seems to have been in the michael jackson case, where he was acquitted), then the plea deal may have very well been highly encouraged by the girl’s attorneys.

      bmaz, thanks for your even hand in this. it truly is possible to take a personal position on such matters and still see clearly where the law stands. or should.

  40. bmaz says:

    The facts are a mess and ugly in every direction, including those you mention. Additionally, the girl’s mother was a wannabe actress and was trying to get in with Polanski and was involved in arranging the photo shoot with her daughter. Polanski was already well known internationally in the film world. We could spend the next week going into the intricacies, and they are truly as fascinating as they are ugly in every direction. The irreducible bottom line is that there is no analysis that makes what went on between Polanski and the girl appropriate. There just isn’t. Bad as that may be, that was legally resolved by way of the plea in late 1977. It is what happened after that which is currently at issue and what really bothers me.

    • bobschacht says:

      The irreducible bottom line is that there is no analysis that makes what went on between Polanski and the girl appropriate. There just isn’t. Bad as that may be, that was legally resolved by way of the plea in late 1977. It is what happened after that which is currently at issue and what really bothers me.

      This I can agree with.

      Bob in AZ

  41. lllphd says:

    hm. mom’s involvement is now ringing a bell; i knew there were things about this case that repulsed me far more than polanski’s behavior. mom pimping her own daughter, lovely. if we really wanted to compare this point for point with the catholic pedophiles, it would be more like a case where mom brought her son to the priest in exchange for absolution. obviously does not, um, absolve the priest of his guilt, but hardly sets the case forward in black & white terms.

    you really should put a post together on this. ran across commentary on harding’s drivel on sullivan’s site that really needed a reality check. i’m sure that sort of thing will go viral, so you’d do a good service to help apply some perspective.

    • bmaz says:

      And you know, in fairness, the information on the proclivities of the girl and the conduct of her mother are very much unproven allegations and innuendo as well. As with so much in this case, they should be viewed with a skeptical eye also. I certainly cannot and would not vouch for any of that, and in the same vein as the underlying conduct of Polanski, it really is not germane at this point. All those considerations, for better or worse, kind of merged into the plea agreement and I do not think any of the parties desires to rehash them. The only reason I went into any of that, even superficially, is that people seemed to wonder how the plea agreement could have ever been appropriate; well there were a lot of issues and factors that made it so. Now it should be honored and all the people allowed to get the peace they were entitled to when they entered into the plea agreement.

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