Marc Laffineur, the vice-president of the French assembly and a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling center-right party, the UMP, took issue with the French culture and foreign minister’s remarks supporting Mr. Polanski, saying “the charge of raping a child 13 years old is not something trivial, whoever the suspect is.”
Within the Green party, Daniel Cohn-Bendit — a French deputy in the European parliament whose popularity is rising — also criticized Sarkozy administration officials for leaping too quickly to Mr. Polanski’s side despite the serious nature of his crime. On the extreme right, the father and daughter politicians Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen also attacked the ministers, saying they were supporting “a criminal pedophile in the name of the rights of the political-artistic class.”
Seems the French public, by an overwhelming majority, do not agree with the politicians that came out in support of Polanski.
Marie-Louise Fort, a French lawmaker in the Assembly who has sponsored anti-incest legislation, said in an interview that she was shocked that Mr. Polanski was attracting support from the political and artistic elite. “I don’t believe that public opinion is spontaneously supporting Mr. Polanski at all,” she said. “I believe that there is a distinction between the mediagenic class of artists and ordinary citizens that have a vision that is more simple.”
The mood was even more hostile in blogs and e-mails to newspapers and news magazines. Of the 30,000 participants in an online poll by the French daily Le Figaro, more than 70 percent said Mr. Polanski, 76, should face justice. And in the magazine Le Point, more than 400 letter writers were almost universal in their disdain for Mr. Polanski.
That contempt was not only directed at Mr. Polanski, but at the French class of celebrities — nicknamed Les People — who are part of Mr. Polanski’s rarefied Parisian world. Letter writers to Le Point scorned Les People as the “crypto-intelligentsia of our country” who deliver “eloquent phrases that defy common sense.”
Next should be a major backlash against our Hollywood elite for their outrage over Polanski's arrest, while ignoring his crime.
A NYT editorial also denounces those that ignore the crime itself in favor of Polanski:
But hold on a moment. After being indicted in 1977, didn’t Mr. Polanski, now 76, confess to having sex with a 13-year-old girl after plying her with Quaaludes and Champagne? Didn’t he flee the United States when the plea bargaining seemed to fall apart, raising the prospect of prison time? Isn’t there a warrant for his arrest?
In Europe, the prevailing mood — at least among those with access to the news media — seemed to be that Mr. Polanski has already “atoned for the sins of his young years,” as Jacek Bromski, the chief of the Polish Filmmakers Association, put it.
We disagree strongly, and we were glad to see other prominent Europeans beginning to point out that this case has nothing to do with Mr. Polanski’s work or his age. It is about an adult preying on a child. Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to that crime and must account for it.
I guess for the French and certain others, it was much easier to defend him before the transcripts of his plea as well as the victims grand jury testimony was made public showing him as what he is...
A child rapist and fugitive from the law.