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The Sony hacking story has lost its context. It’s not about something Amy Pascal, one of the best-liked and longest-serving executives in Hollywood, may have said among her last million or so words. Sure, it’s embarrassing, and we all dish more than we should. I stopped pressing “send” on a few emails last week. But let’s not forget, what is really happening is one of the most vicious and vindictive acts of cyberbullying since the advent of the Internet.
The Sony sin, if perpetrators associated with North Korea are indeed behind the attack, was to back two gifted filmmakers who brought their comic gifts and some much-needed scrutiny to Kim Jong Un, one of the most dangerous people on the planet. And in response to that brave and very American act, a foreign-intelligence service seems to be trying to destroy these movie executives.
I am repelled when I hear people questioning the judgment of pissing-off a dictator. The Roosevelt White House tried to stop Charlie Chaplin from lampooning Adolf Hitler because they didn’t want to incite him. Look where that got us. These Sony emails are not the Pentagon Papers, and there is no higher purpose for their release than intimidation and revenge. We are inching into a world where the corporations that own entertainment companies will start to scrutinize bad guys and make us choose the psycho dictator who will have the least impact on ticket sales.
We will all devour each of the studio’s private emails; they are pretty riveting. And then we’d better come to our senses and stop the bullies in their tracks. They may be nuclear, but we are armed and dangerous with our jokes and our freedom to deploy them. I would bet on Seth Rogen and his poking wit against any of their cyberbandits, any day of the week.
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