Posted by: mutantpoodle | October 8, 2009

The Inanity of Politico’s Kenneth Vogel

Ken Vogel, Politico

Ken Vogel, Politico

I haven’t weighed in here on the Roman Polanski arrest – quite frankly, it didn’t seem like a political issue to me.  A guy who drugs and rapes a 13-year-old girl and skips town before sentencing should know that some day the bill may come due.

And if you have any question about what was clearly a grievous case of rape, see this Steve Lopez column in the LA Times. Here’s a taste:

Q: What happened then?
A: He reached over and he kissed me. And I was telling him, “No,” you know, “Keep away.” But I was kind of afraid of him because there was no one else there.

She testified that he put his mouth on her vagina.

“I was ready to cry,” she said. “I was kind of — I was going, ‘No. Come on. Stop it.’ But I was afraid.”

She said he then pulled off her panties.

Q: What happened after that?
A: He started to have intercourse with me.

At this point, she testified, Polanski became concerned about the consequences and asked if she was on the pill.

No, she told him.

Polanski had a solution, according to her.

“He goes, ‘Would you want me to go in through your back?’ And I went, ‘No.’ ”

According to her, that didn’t stop Polanski, who began having anal sex with her.

So – if you’re a Polanski defender – like, say Harvey Weinstein, or Woody Allen, or Anjelica Huston – chew on that for a while, and get back to me.

Anyway, as I said, doesn’t seem like a political issue.  Unless, of course, you give Kenneth P. Vogel a whack at it.

Vogel enjoys “eating out, sleeping in and jogging around,” according to his Politico bio. They left out hackish guilt by association hit-jobs on Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

Vogel’s lead:

Movie industry types calling for the release of director Roman Polanski last year gave $34,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party, FEC records show.

Wow, that must explain why Barack Obama and the Democratic Party haven’t done a bloody goddamned thing to get poor Roman Polanski out of a Swiss jail cell, a fact that Vogel admits in his second paragraph:

Polanski’s arrest late last month by Swiss authorities in connection with a three-decade-old California underage sex case has sparked a vigorous national debate about sex, justice and extradition that – thus far – has yet to draw in the Obama administration. [Emphasis mine]

So this must be a piece about the limited influence of campaign cash, right? Sure – you can buy some Blue Dog Democrats if you’re a health insurance company, but clearly no amount of money can get an elected representative to go on record in favor of rape.*

Nope – after two paragraphs that demonstrate that THERE IS NO STORY, Vogel goes on to list donations to Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

Now, I’d like to point out that I donated money to Obama last year – not as much as Harvey Weinsten, to be sure – but still – and I think Polanski should come back and sit in a cell for a very long time for what he did. I wonder if Vogel could get in touch with all of us who feel this way and total up OUR campaign contributions – perhaps it is we, in fact, who are influencing Barack Obama to sit this one out.

As an aside, does anyone think that Obama – the father of two pre-teen girls – is going to be jumping to defend a child rapist?

I’m really hard pressed to think of a dumber, more inflammatory, less responsible piece of “journalism” in recent memory.  How Vogel “won awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors” is beyond me – crap like this wouldn’t have made the first cut at the Marshall-University High School Kaleidoscope.

The irony, of course, is that there are stories about how campaign cash DOES influence the actions of politicians, health care reform being but one glaring example on which Mr. Vogel might choose to shine a light.

Instead, we get this.  It’s hard to imagine how Politico can sink lower in the remaining three months of 2009, but I know better than to count them out.

* Of course, 30 GOP Senators voted against allowing women who work for defense contractors to have access to the criminal justice system if they’re raped, so apparently nothing is beyond the pale.  Perhaps Ken Vogel should look and see who contributed to them?

UPDATE: This story no longer has Ken Vogel’s byline.  Perhaps he complained to the editors?

P.S. My note to Mr. Vogel below the fold:

Dear Mr. Vogel,

I wonder, when you penned that daring piece of investigative journalism about how people who are begging for Roman Polanski’s release this year gave $34,000 to Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee, what dreams must have filled your head – the Pulitzer committee, perhaps, granting you a prize you dearly covet, or maybe – dare to dream? – the Nobel committee finally honoring journalism?

Surely, such august assemblages couldn’t ignore the searing truth of your story, that people who felt a certain way about Roman Polanski had given money to the current President and the national committee of the party that controls Congress, and that said money hadn’t made any difference at all.

Come to think of it, that IS big news. After all, the pervasive influence of campaign cash is old hat. Who cares how insurance company donations are influencing Senators and Representatives as they ponder health care reform, or whether massive donations from defense contractors caused 30 Republican Senators to vote against due process for employees who are victims of sexual assault. Keep up this streak of mavericky cause-and-no-effect reporting, and I’m sure you’ll be getting guest shots on Fox News and copious links from Matt Drudge.

I’m sure that was your dream when you first set your eyes on a career in “journalism” so many years ago.

Sincerely yours,

John Amussen

P.S. If, by chance, this pathetic hatchet piece was assigned to you and you were unable to convince your editors that it was the dumbest idea since that guy snuck into the tiger cage at the Toronto Zoo, then I wish you luck in finding work somewhere that understands journalism.


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