Sony Greenlights “The Wimpinator,” Starring Kim Jong-Un

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Dear Sony Pictures,

You’re pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

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Whether North Korea and its cohort did or did not authorize and implement the most destructive hack attack against a corporation in history is — guess what? — trivial compared to fearfully ditching the theatrical release of The Interview.

What the North Koreans did (if, again, we assume they did do it) is a level of cyber crime dimensions well above and beyond what we thought cyber crime to be just a few days ago. There are now legitimate questions about what happens next, too. Should the U.S., for example, make North Korea pay for its crime? Do we embargo them, blockade them or simply Stuxnet North Korea’s intelligence, energy and security infrastructure and thus rewrite once more the history of cyber warfare?

But for all of this, the one thing the Sony hack should never have accomplished was to take away our American freedoms. Specifically, our First Amendment rights. Thanks to you, Sony, the terrorists won.

Let’s also set aside the well-spread rumor that The Interview is so innocuous it makes Bill Cosby’s Leonard Part 6 seem like Skyfall. You have now achieved what Osama bin Laden didn’t achieve when al Qaeda killed 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.

Not that we don’t understand your strong concerns about violence, had you gone ahead with premiering and screening the film. Given the jaw-dropping fallout from this unprecedented hacking — revelations of damaging emails, salary leaks and pirated films — you should indeed view as serious any threats of violence from the hackers, who have adopted the oxymoronic name Guardians of Peace (or GOP, how amusing). Not that it isn’t most likely costing you a king’s ransom to provide the stars of your film, James Franco and Seth Rogen, with 24-hour bodyguards and other security measures that are best left to the creative imagination.

Ditching the theatrical release of The Interview is equivalent to Japan’s unconditional surrender on the deck of the Missouri. What’s fascinating is that both the American left and the American right are united in their outrage against you, as much as against the North Koreans.

Andrew O’Hehir, on

…North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has apparently managed to kill a major Hollywood movie. I mean, a stupid one, by all accounts, but still. We had a choice – “we” being a term of art that does not actually include you and me – of whether to stand tall for the supposed principles of free expression and free enterprise or “let the terrorists win.” We let them win, with barely a moment’s hesitation. Now an upcoming Steve Carell thriller set in North Korea has been canceled, too. It’s a breathtaking and total victory by a despised, isolated and impoverished nation (or by those acting on its behalf), over one of the biggest media corporations in the world.

This week North Korea’s state-run media KCNA endorsed the Sony hacking, saying it was done by “sympathizers.” Andrei Lankov, an expert on North Korea who writes a column for The Korea Times, says this is as close to an endorsement as possible.
Another expert noted “ambiguity of attribution and guerilla-warfare approach” are the tactics of North Korea. The expert concluded it will be seen that America is vulnerable to blackmail and North Korea will try it again.
Fox News has also been told, however, there was “zero” chance there would have been any actual attacks on theaters.”
“Sony was stupid to make a movie about killing Kim Jung-un,” Lankov said, “but it was even more stupid to cave in to pressure.”

You’re pathetic not to have fought. You’re pathetic not to have resisted. You’re pathetic not to have spent money on security for screenings as well as for your stars. How do we see you now, Sony, as any less an enemy of America as much as North Korea? The Interview is so over. And so are you.

The Surprisingly United States of America