Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Oct. 5, 2009)

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

By Bob Cooper



People seem mystified at the lack of values and decency that typify so much of present day societal behaviour.  Rudeness and vulgarity are considered cool.  Character and integrity are imitated when the situation calls for it but so seldom genuinely possessed.

Stop a moment and look at some of the institutions that typically forge the mores of each generation.

Political leaders such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Presidents Harry Truman and Ike Eisenhower, Canadian Prime Ministers like,……..well, you get the idea.  What we have now is tragic by comparison, fuelled mostly by ego, greed, and self-interest. 

Another major source has been Hollywood, which in the past entertained and inspired us with actors like Burt Lancaster, Cary Grant, and Spencer Tracy to name a few.

Now, what passes for the Hollywood elite are lined up screaming for the release of director Roman Polanski who was arrested in Switzerland a few days ago on a US Federal Warrant.  For younger readers, Roman Polanski was a Hollywood icon who directed the Oscar-winning 1973 film ‘Chinatown’ starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.

In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged with a number of offences including the Rape and Sodomy of a 13 year old girl.  Since GHB had not yet gained prominence as the ‘Date Rape’ drug, Polanski had to make do with champagne and Quaaludes.

Polanski took a deal and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge involving unlawful sex with a minor.  On the eve of his sentencing, Polanski fled to France, a country which welcomes pedophile rapists with open arms and names streets after cop-killers (Mumia Abu-Jamal, who started out life as plain old Wesley Cook), and has remained there ever since.  Thinking the law had forgotten him he flew to Zurich to accept an award forgetting that unlike France, Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the United States.  Polanski’s Hollywood pals argue that attending an international awards ceremony somehow affords him sanctuary or renders him immune from arrest, just, well, you know, because like, he’s too cool for rules.

Others point to the fact that his victim, Samantha Geimer, says she doesn’t want to see Polanski go to prison.  They fail to mention that some years ago, Polankski offered Geimer $500,000 to settle a civil lawsuit she’d filed against him.  Whoopi Goldberg says it wasn’t really “rape rape”.   The irony of Woody Allen’s endorsement is lost on the rest of Hollywood.

The one voice from Tinseltown that Polanski probably didn’t want to hear was that of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who showed some spine by saying that he would receive no special treatment.  The governor has also gone against the Hollywood establishment in the past by refusing to commute the death sentence of Stanley “Tookie” Williams, convicted of the murders of four innocent people during a string of holdups in Los Angeles.  Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, et al stood outside San Quentin blubbering over Williams without a single tear for his victims.  They simply see nothing wrong in any of this.

Men like John Wayne and Clark Gable must be spinning in their graves.

Prime Time Crime

Contributing 2009