Strange World

Célébrité, Accusé, Solidarité

by Joseph W

Michael Weiss has written an excellent piece, powerfully deconstructing Bernard Henri-Levy’s sorry attempts to defend Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

As Weiss reminds us, Henri-Levy has a history of defending celebrities accused of sexual crimes, insisting they are innocent because of who they are and what they have achieved. In 2009, Henri-Levy published a polemic written by the child rapist Roman Polanski, on his own website.

Henri-Levy also started a petition to defend Polanski, which claimed that Polanski should not be extradited to the US, because Polanski had survived Nazi and Soviet persecution, because his victim does not want to carry on legal proceedings, and because Polanski is an “ingenious filmmaker” who risked being “turned into a martyr”.

I do not see how Polanski facing trial for his crimes would turn him into a martyr at all, and the fact that Polanski is an “ingenious filmmaker” is really irrelevant here. Henri-Levy is intelligent enough to work this out, surely.

Henri-Levy’s petition was also signed by famous authors Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster and Milan Kundera, who wished to show their solidarity with the child rapist.

Then we have the reaction of certain writers to the arrest and prosecution of Julian Assange. Assange found unlikely support from supposed feminists Naomi Wolf and Katrin Axelsson.

What motivates a principled defender of US justice and an opponent of conspiracy theories, to entertain his own conspiracy theories about why his friend is being prosecuted in the US for a suspected rape crime?

What motivates feminists to downplay the concerns of a female possible-rape-victim?

What motivates anyone to write letters in solidarity with a child rapist?

Frankly, it is astonishing how easily people can turn to unreasonable positions, when their friends are accused of certain crimes and misdemeanors.

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