Sony “made a mistake” in caving to North Korean hackers, President Obama said bluntly this morning during his year-end news conference. ...So America is all about the free speech to make a movie about killing a foreign leader?
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States” he said in an extremely strong answer to a question about the hack of the studio. “Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or a news report that they don’t like — or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.
“Sony is a corporation. It suffered significant damage, threats against some employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns they faced. Having said that, yes I think they made a mistake,” Obama said this morning when asked just that.
“That’s not what America is about…I wish they’d spoken to me first. I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks’.”
It was just two years ago that Pres. Obama and Secy. Clinton sharply denounced a movie critical of Islam, and said that the movie was against American policy. Obama asked YouTube to remove the movie, and the maker was arrested and convicted on federal charges related to the movie. By catering to the demands of Moslem jihadists, Obama and Clinton only encouraged more violence to suppress criticism. They also tried to use the movie to cover-up a fiasco in Benghazi Libya.
It was cowardly for Sony to make a movie that is so nasty to N. Korea, because that is a country that no one defends and that has no movie-going market. Usually movies only threaten to kill fictional characters. Making an anti-Islam movie would be a better test of free speech.
Update: A reader sends No, North Korea Didn’t Hack Sony. It appears that the Obama administration is falsely blaming N. Korea.