Straining to find a connection

STRAINING TO FIND A CONNECTION…. David Kurtz calls this very foolish Politico item the week’s “worst in story concept and execution.” That’s certainly true, though I might go further than just this week.

The headline reads, “Roman Polanski Backers Gave $34K to Barack Obama, DNC.”

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.

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.

But the most generous Democratic donor of the vocal pro-Polanski contingent, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, in an open letter called on “every US filmmaker to lobby against any move to bring Polanski back to the US, where he could face life in jail.”

It’s almost a parody of the kind of story Politico‘s critics might come up with to make fun of the publication.

Indeed, the piece singles out Harvey Weinstein, who’s defended Polanski. How much money has Weinstein contributed to Obama? None.

But even if he had, what difference does it make? As the story goes, a prominent filmmaker is accused of a horrible crime. The filmmaker nevertheless has some supporters in the film industry. Some of those supporters, for reasons entirely unrelated to the alleged crime, also contributed to Democrats, and some of those contributors also donated to Obama.

So? Why is that a news story?

As Eric Boehlert put it, “Is Politico suggesting Obama and Democrats are somehow tied to the private causes of their donors? That Obama and Democrats need to return the money? That they’re supporting Polanski? Is Politico suggesting anything of substance?”

Chances are, they wanted to get “Polanski” and “Obama” in the same headline. It didn’t matter if the story made sense.