This past week, President Obama and Sony Pictures had sharply different views about the studio's decision not to release the movie "The Interview." Our contributors David Edelstein and Ben Stein have very different views as well:
Please, wake me when this is over!
Sony makes a silly movie almost purposely designed to infuriate the mad leader of North Korea. This is a nuclear-armed, militarily-powerful nation with the worst record of brutality towards its own people on this Earth.
Now, North Korea -- not that surprisingly -- lashes out at Sony with Internet hacking. Then, they threaten to blow up theaters that show the movie.
Various Hollywood people are telling us Sony should not have called off the release of the movie, that it was "cowardice." Mr. Obama has said it was a mistake.
"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," said the president Friday.
We have to fight back, said the Beautiful Hollywood People.
WHAT? Get serious!
The North Koreans are easily crazy enough to blow up movie theaters where that movie is showing. EASILY!
Would you want to be Sony, carrying the liability for that, morally and financially? Of course Sony had to call it off. I wouldn't call it cowardice; I call it prudence.
- FBI sources: Sony Pictures cyberattack traced to North Korea (CBS News, 12/18/14)
- How North Korea could have pulled off Sony Pictures hack ("CBS This Morning, 12/19/14)
- Sony Pictures cancels release of "The Interview" in wake of hacker threats (CBS News, 12/17/14)
- Obama: Sony "made a mistake" by canceling release of "The Interview" (CBS News, 12/19/14)
- Stars react after Sony Pictures cancels "The Interview" release (CBS News, 12/19/14)
- David Edelstein on hackers' chilling effect on movies
Sadly, the grim truth is that bad people are routinely hacking really important U.S. entities in the worlds of defense, finance, energy and transportation, night and day, and we don't do one thing about it.
And now we're supposed to go to war with North Korea over a silly movie?
The Hollywood stars can lecture us about courage when they are in uniform along the Korean DMZ.
Yes, it has been a great humiliation. But it's also a great lesson. Time to get serious about cyber security. Time to rebuild our military.
But to rattle sabers at mad men with guns over a Hollywood movie?
Merry Christmas, and count me out.
To watch a trailer for "The Interview" (for a taste of what sparked this brouhaha), click on the video player below.
More commentaries from Ben Stein:
- Ben Stein: Time for us to pay ransom to terrorists
- Ben Stein: Declaring end to War on Terror is surrender
- Ben Stein to John Kerry: "Time to wake up"
- Ben Stein on what real wealth is
- Ben Stein to GOP: Just chill on the gov't shutdown talk
- Ben Stein on giving the gift of gratitude
- Ben Stein on John Boehner, Statesman
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