December 19, 2014

"We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all fucking people.... we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane."

Said George Clooney.

ALSO: Obama said: "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States... I would have told [Sony executives], do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks."

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

And yet, Clooney is finding out he has very little support in Hollywood.

tim in vermont said...

Yeah, but a bunch of terrorists in Libya? Sure, we will put the filmmaker in jail!

madAsHell said...

Mr. Clooney is part of the problem.

tim in vermont said...

‘The Future Must Not Belong to Those Who Slander the Prophet of Islam’ - Pres Obama

traditionalguy said...

Hmmm.Sony are Japanese. North Korea has nuclear missiles ready and pointed at Tokyo 200 miles from Japan. The Japanese understand what losing face means to those guys. And Obama doesn't back his allies up.

Dave Schumann said...

lol, what a fucking idiot. He worked his dumb little butt off creating this society, and belatedly realizes that he benefitted from the one he tore down.

rehajm said...

Did North Korea really dictate content? Seems like they just hold a folder full of compromising photos with Sony and a hooker.

Dave Schumann said...

Oh and re "Sony is Japanese" (which you'll see in a lot of places, not just from traditionalguy) -- this was about Hollywood, not Japan. Paramount (i.e., Viacom) made exactly the same calculation and doesn't have a Japanese bone in its body.

Nonapod said...

Just to be safe from now on we should submit all our films and TV shows to North Korea for their approval before they are released to the general public. If we don't do this they might not like something and decide to hack us again, or threaten to bomb out theaters! I mean... they have us by the balls! What else can we do? They're clearly the superior country.

dreams said...

Maybe this incident will be an epiphany for George Clooney and he can become a real man, in other words become a conservative.

Drago said...

Leftist media personality notices that leftist totalitarians seem to have some success in dictating media strategy/decisions/stories made by leftist media organizations.

There is certainly nothing new about that.

traditionalguy said...

When Jap Sony backed down, then Paramount and Viacom refused to take their hit for them.

MayBee said...

George Clooney says everything exactly right.

mccullough said...

Why is Clooney to blame? It's a classic liberal position to respect privacy and not to cowtow to governments or fear.

MayBee said...

It bothers me so much Obama says he wished Sony would have talked to him first.

Obama didn't pick up the phone or make a statement. He's the President. He could have offered them support while they were hanging out there on their own.

(ps James Flacco)

Clayton Hennesey said...

Why, I think we can be told, by George. I think we just were.

What shall we watch now that has been deemed appropriate for everyone involved instead?

How about reruns of that wonderful Colbert show?

Steven said...

Sony is the least-guilty of the responsible parties here; they had the theater chains bail out from under them, after all. Given that issue, cancelling plans to release now and trying to instead (for example) get a wide release of the movie in a few months (including those currently-panicking chains) is arguably smart business.

The truly cowardly and asinine move is Paramount blocking Team America showings.

richard mcenroe said...

Hollywood is suddenly discovering that Seth Rogen is "desperately unfunny" according to "Hollywood insiders," and people around the world "wouldn't get it."

MayBee said...

Ha ha ha.

Yeah, Obama "would have" told Sony. If only he had some way to talk to them *before* he made his speech.

dreams said...

"It bothers me so much Obama says he wished Sony would have talked to him first.

Obama didn't pick up the phone or make a statement. He's the President. He could have offered them support while they were hanging out there on their own."

Obama likes to lead from behind.

tim in vermont said...

Rogan is hilarious. What isn't funny is making fun of Communists. Isn't that right?

Unknown said...

Doesn't Clooney have enough money (or at least be able to get backing) to buy out the movie and release it? He might even negotiate a good deal, given the circumstances -- fire sale.

Hagar said...

I thought the Obama White House has been making a regular practice of phoning publishers and warning them not to publish this or that critical of the Administration or suffer the consequences?

MayBee said...

And Obama's comparison to Boston? Boston held the marathon a *year* after the bombing.

The Tsarnaev brothers didn't publicly threaten the race weeks before they held it. And Boston shut the city down until they brothers were found after the bombings.

Boston didn't have a bunch of streets saying they would no longer allow the marathon on them because of existing threats.

What weak thinking.

rehajm said...

What does James Flacco have to say?

MayBee said...

Yes, Hagar. And making news organizations take down pictures of the Obama girls out in public.

n.n said...

Kim Jong-un gave the narrative two-thumbs down. Obama et al are irritated by the critical review. Kim Jong-un will not enjoy the "Spring", pending negotiations with the "Dragon".

damikesc said...

Know when that would've helped, Prez?

SEVERAL DAYS AGO.

All you had to say was "Any attack on anything inside the US will generate a harsh retaliation".

BDNYC said...

Did they also criticize the fact that State Department officials apparently were asked to "green light" the film?

Cargosquid said...

"I would have told [Sony executives], do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks,"

Says the guy who surrendered Afghanistan, has not responded to Benghazi, traded a top terrorists for a deserter, and three spies for a hostage.

Notice: "I would have told..." What stopped him? He's the freaking President.

Jason said...

First, Congress did not extend TRIA, or the terrorism reinsurance act. This is basically the federal flood insurance program of terrorism insurance, telling insurers that the U.S. would act as a backstop for megacat claims arising from terrorist acts. This was necessary after 9/11, when insurance carriers stopped underwriting major construction projects, skyscrapers and events against acts of terror and threatened to derail the economy.

The act expires at the end of this month, and insurers aren't really willing to stick their necks out on a new policy when Sony's already been targeted, and Sony certainly can't expand coverage at this point.

Meanwhile, a federal judge just ruled against the theater owner in Aurora where the Batman massacre occurred, saying a massacre was "foreseeable," and allowing a bunch of lawsuits against the theater owner to go forward.

So Sony, and their distribution network now have enhanced exposure, even less of a claim that a terror event is not foreseeable, since they already have threats, and they can't buy the liability coverage they need to protect themselves.

This is the backdrop against which Sony is making decisions, as is the rest of the movie industry. So Sony may look cowardly, but a lot of the supports and backstops against liability that we take for granted have been kicked out from under them.

ddh said...

Every so often, somebody at the Academy Awards gives a speech lauding Hollywood's bravery tackling "difficult issues." George Clooney even gave that speech once. I don't expect to hear it at the next ceremony from anyone.

Hagar said...

That is true.
When you see a Hollywood movie that "tackles a difficult issue" - such as Gemtlemen's Agreement or To Kill A Mockingbird - you know it no longer is a "difficult issue."

MayBee said...

Sony CEO says he has been talking to Senior White House officials.

n.n said...

Courage would be producing a movie illustrating the evolution of a human life from conception to birth. It is not to promote or normalize elective abortion with rationalization, fairy tales, and emotional appeals.

I don't think that either Hollywood or the White House are prepared to take a stand on principle. Kim Jong-un can smell the pro-choice or selective principles polluting the water.

averagejoe said...

So what stopped Obama from doing something about it as soon as it happened? What a chickenshit- Talks tough then runs off to vacation. Of course his only solution is for the government to take control of the internet and the entirety of its content. Never letting a crisis go to waste.

Jason said...

Remember, this President is the same guy who sent his lawyers to the Supreme Court to argue in Citizens United that he had the authority to restrict publication of books and movies if they were made or distributed by corporations.

retail lawyer said...

In addition to the threatened terrorism in theaters, Sony is being blackmailed in the conventional sense, NK has also threatened to release more of the stolen data, emails, whatever. If Obama really wanted to help, he could have offered to seek absolution for newly revealed racist stuff from the race hucksters on Sony's behalf. But of course he really does not want to help. Sony's position is completely untenable and I wonder what will become of them

Rob said...

The President certainly changed his tune since he addressed the U.N. in September 2012, when he said, "In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others. That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

holdfast said...

As Clooney ages, he begins to look more like Paul Krugman.

This is the same Hollywood that made assasination p@rn regarding GWB, and remade Saving Private Ryan to star John Kerry. And that embargoed "The Path to 911" because it would hurt HRC.

Now they are being attacked by someone only a few notches to their left. Boo freakin hoo.

Lucien said...

Management of Sony and the theater chains proved themselves to be cowards and should be regarded accordingly.

jimbino said...

I am almost reconciled to the fact that I live in a country made safe for children and dictators.

Someday, I'd like to live in a country made stimulating for adults. What our North Korean dictator has done to my adult rights pales in comparison to the eternal censorship of movies, TV and god-knows what else, like billboards, that I've had to suffer through my entire life.

Sebastian said...

If they'd called Barry, he would have said what exactly?

Barry counseling against surrender and retreat: that would have been comic gold.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

And we believe the FBI re the source of the hackers why? The "hackers" are/is probably some 15-year-old in his parents' basement in Englewood, NJ.

MadisonMan said...

I would have told

President Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda.

Obama entering into this now, after all the hard decisions have been made, grates. He should have been in front of this, as soon as the leaked materials became known, denouncing them and letting Sony know they'd help root out the perps.

Ken Mitchell said...

And yet, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Go ahead, Barry; square that circle!

Brando said...

I still think this is a hoax, possibly by Sony which will now get people to watch their film out of patriotism, as the Norks made no such threat when Team America came out and it makes no sense for them to invite the sort of response a terrorist attack in the U.S. would.

But if the theaters and distributors don't want to invite a storm of lawsuits for showing the film after a terror threat, then maybe the critics should fund their own screening or guarantee the legal risks.

Brando said...

To say "you should stand up to these threats, but if anything happens, you're on your own" is diuchebaggery.

DavidD said...

Kudos, Jason; two thread winners.

Jason said...

What is this Juchebaggery?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The future must not belong to those who slander Kim Jong-Un.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Ox said...

The citizenry of the United States has been threatened with physical violence through terrorism. That threat, according to our own government, eminates not from some nebulus group being harbored within North Korea, but from North Korea itself. Pyongyang has threatened us with war unless we appease them.

And the best the President can muster is to chide Sony for their business decisions?

Obama says Sony, a "corporation", backed down in the face of threats made against it. But real live moviegoers were the ones facing that threat. Is he so wedded to the notion that corporations do not = people that he can't stand up and defend the public?

And what are we going to do in response? Threaten sanctions? The same week we claimed sanctions were a waste with Cuba?

The fecklessness on display with this administration is staggering.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

mccullough said...
Why is Clooney to blame? It's a classic liberal position to respect privacy and not to cowtow to governments or fear.


I think you missed your "sarcasm" tag there, mccullough.

Blue Ox said...

By pure coincidence, my daughter is currently watching the following episode of American Dad:

Stan enlists his contacts at the CIA to help make Francine's birthday wish come true - to destroy George Clooney.

Hah!

Paul said...

Turns out now Sony says Obama is a liar.

Well he is Gruber-in-Chief so maybe they have a point.

Bob Boyd said...

Sony CEO Michael Lynton
“A few days ago, I personally did reach out and speak to senior folks at the White House and talked to them about the situation and actually informed them that we needed help.”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/sony-ceo-says-they-reached-out-to-white-house-but-obama-said-they-didnt/

Beldar said...

Decent actor.

Political idiot.

PB said...

Extortion - do what we say or we'll put you out of business.

Isn't this the democrat's main weapon?

Revenant said...

Decent actor. Political idiot.

True, but he also earns a lot of brownie points for not taking himself too seriously. He is willing to be made fun of, which sets him apart from people like Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.

Chuck said...

Clooney's comment on this subject actually seems to make sense to me.

The comment that is astonishingly stupid is the President's comment.

Sony retreated on showing the film because of a threat of violence aimed at American theaters and theater-goers. The President shouldn't be blaming Sony for that. The President should be planning expanded security measures and counterattacks on North Korea.

avwh said...


"Sony retreated on showing the film because of a threat of violence aimed at American theaters and theater-goers. The President shouldn't be blaming Sony for that. The President should be planning expanded security measures and counterattacks on North Korea."

If he was a real POTUS instead of a community organizer pretending to be a POTUS, that's exactly what he'd be doing.

Clyde said...

The only proper response to a terrorist threat is "Bring it on, assholes... Hit us with your best shot and then WE'LL hit you with OURS. We'll see who's still left standing at the end."

Seriously, I miss living in a country that the bad guys were at least a little bit scared of. Knowing that we'd come in, kick their asses, put paid to their dictatorship, hang their leaders as war criminals and educate their women has had a salubrious effect on international relations, up until Obama took office.

wendybar said...

Well, they did talk to Al Sharpton yesterday. HE is the pipeline to the president nowadays.

jr565 said...

If we think NK is bad on cyber warfare we should really be going after China, yet we don't.