This morning on The View, the ladies took it upon themselves to untangle the Roman Polanski affair, because that's their job. In the process, we learned about Whoopi's strange and fascinating moral universe, which includes the concept of "rape-rape."
First: there probably aren't two people out there who have studied this case and agree exactly on what should happen to Roman Polanski, so let's get that out of the way before this conversation spirals down the way it did on The View this morning. There are certainly gray areas to be found here, even if they're only concerning a biased judge. But Whoopi Goldberg, in a condescending rant ostensibly about clarifying exactly what Roman Polanski was charged with (as if that matters, when nobody is denying that he drugged and had sex with a child), can't seem to find them. She seems obsessed with the actual charges to which Polanski pleaded guilty (sex with a minor), and refers to the case as a "suit," as if it's a civil lawsuit about a roach in a box of french fries.
The other ladies try to get a word in edgewise while Whoopi distracts them with her crusade of literal legal language — could it be because Whoopi's own daughter got pregnant at 15? That fact, while seemingly salient (especially when Whoopi says "Would I want my 14-year-old daughter having sex? Not necessarily."), is never mentioned. So close, ladies! Why didn't you jump on her then?
Then it's time for Whoopi to take us into her fantastical moral universe where there's something called "rape-rape," and where it seems perfectly reasonable to her that a man facing jail charges for a crime to which he pleaded guilty would simply leave the country to avoid them. You know it's a good episode of The View when Sherri Shepherd makes the most sense:
Whoopi: "I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and when they let him out he was like "You know what this guy's going to give me a hundred years in jail I'm not staying, so that's why he left."
Oh yes, of course. Duh. Case closed.
What is worrisome about Whoopi's argument is that she refuses to call a 43 year old man having sex with an unconscious 13 year old girl "rape". She may have personal, possibly guilty-parent reasons for not accepting this, but as tangled up as this case is, the fact that it was rape is one of the least controversial things about it. Roman Polanski admitted to drugging and having sex with a child, and in the country in which he did it, that is rape. (Though nice try Whoopi with the "Europeans have sex with children all the time!" argument, or whatever that was.)
It's noble of Whoopi to try to clarify the facts before arguing about a case (her line: "I don't like when we're passionate about something and we don't have all the facts" should be blown up to poster size and placed in front of the ladies for the duration of every show), but a plea agreement isn't necessarily, and often bears no resemblance to, what really happened. People who kill people while drunk driving often cop a plea of manslaughter, when everyone knows it's murder, and Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to a lesser charge than child rape, but it was child rape.
But I will say something about Whoopi Goldberg and the entire discussion on The View today: none of the ladies tried to justify Polanski's actions with the "defense" that he's a genius artist who made groundbreaking movies and should therefore be immune to punishment. Because make no mistake: those people are flat-out saying they would refuse to give up a few good movies to prevent the rape of a child. Whoopi may have been wrong today, but at least she wasn't that wrong.