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The Response To North Korea’s Attack On Hollywood Is Disastrous And Cowardly

If North Korea just committed the most successful terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11, why are our politicians so silent about it?

While Wired says the evidence linking North Korea to the Sony hacking and terrorism threats against Americans is thin, anonymous U.S. government officials have said it was North Korea.

The original hack focused on internal communications and data at Sony. At some point the hackers made vile terrorist threats against any viewing of The Interview, a stoner comedy about assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Sony began wavering in its support of the film and the top five theater networks in the country — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — say they won’t show it. Sony has decided not to release the $40 million movie on Christmas Day.

It gets worse. New Regency has canceled a film project with Gore Verbinski and Steve Carell that was to be a North Korea-based thriller, according to Deadline. And the Wall Street Journal reports that “several other scripts” are in danger, including rights to the memoirs of North Korean defectors who spent years in the country’s notorious labor camps.

This is a political nightmare

Binyamin Appelbaum, the Washington correspondent for The New York Times, was blunt, saying “We’ve just experienced the most successful terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11.” Tyler Cowen asked:


We’ll get to Hollywood’s actions in a bit but where in the heck are U.S. politicians? Is it customary to be silent when an impoverished, extremely evil foreign power quickly and deftly brings a major U.S. industry to its knees? Is anyone concerned about the chilling of freedom of expression? I know many politicians were busy watching another Communist country’s big win versus the U.S. yesterday, but Cuba doesn’t exactly have nuclear weapons. Some time should be spent focusing on what the North Koreans have just done to us.

This is digital war

This isn’t tabloid hackery, it’s digital war waged by a terrorist regime.


Maybe it’s more a cyberbattle defeat than a cyberwar defeat, but it sure would be nice to know far more about U.S. policy in response to such attacks. The silence — apart from anonymous U.S. officials saying “Yep! Looks like it was North Korea, then, doesn’t it!” — is deafening.

This is where appeasing terrorists gets you

The U.S. under this administration has an interesting history here. You’ll recall that it was the Obama administration that asked YouTube to pull a film to appease terrorists.

Beyond its trouble defending free speech at home and abroad, the administration isn’t exactly projecting a strong image in general on these matters.







Hollywood, you’re not covered in glory

Each year at the Oscars, celebrities congratulate each other on their courage and bravery. As Troy Senik puts it:

Hollywood, in case you haven’t heard, is a brave place. There’s no adjective the town is fonder of during bouts of self-congratulation. Every film that wanders into liberal erogenous zones of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation is always hailed as courageous, though that’s an odd way to describe material that simply reaffirms an industrywide ideological consensus.

Here, where a bit of courage in the face of threats against free speech would be welcome, there was none to be found. I get that it’s scary to stand up, alone, against some serious violent threats (although more e-mail hacks might be the bigger concern than terrorist attacks). But how quickly Sony and the others caved is illuminating.

We live in a world where people taking offense and threatening violent reaction gets results immediately.

Hollywood is in a constant state of mocking Christians and the views they hold. They get away with it in large part because Christians just put up with it — and fund it, to be honest. But as the perpetually aggrieved advance alongside the deeply convicted terrorists, this is a recipe for disaster.

And this year at the Oscars, please spare us the claims of courage when someone is nominated for yet another part that eloquently tears down the institutions and beliefs that used to keep us strong in fights against threats external and domestic.

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