Brent Scowcroft Center Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for the Huffington Post on the repercussions of the recently released movie “The Interview”:
Few sane people would normally find themselves in agreement with North Korea’s boy dictator Kim Jong-un. The hacking of Sony Pictures over its movie The Interview, presumably by North Korea in retaliation for the loony plot to assassinate its supreme leader, was the latest outrage. Howls of protest immediately reverberated from Hollywood’s elite, sullied by the unveiling of Sony’s disparaging corporate emails, to President Barack Obama’s questioning of “why didn’t they ask me first” before initially deciding not to run the film.
Some called for immediate retaliation against North Korea as if this were a de facto act of war. Others bellowed that it was a patriotic duty of Americans to see the film. And, in fairness, constraint on free speech imposed from abroad by unsavory despots is just not acceptable.
Of course, few Americans had even seen the film while this mini-firestorm raged. Had they, many might agree with Kim’s alleged censorship. The film is unforgivably bad. A great pity because satire and black humor should be directed against offenses to society including North Korea. And a good thing President Obama did not screen the movie in the White House unless of course his intent was to torture Republican guests despite the rejection of that technique as “cruel and unusual.”