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The Internet Is Killing Hollywood (And Has Been For Years)

Sony's decision to drop "The Interview" is a win for diplomatic hubris, but a troubling defeat for creative self- expression. Will movie studios ever be safe from the threats of the World Wide Web?

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The "unprecedented cyber attack" on Sony Pictures has been a roller coaster of absurd bad fortune for CEO Michael Lynton and Co-Chair Amy Pascal. Both have suffered implacable allegations of racism, sexism, and corporate greed -- carefully juggling perfunctory admissions of guilt while attempting to recoup $100 million in irrecoverable damages. 100 terabytes of stolen company data, previously unpublished employee information, and private E-mail exchanges have crippled the studio's stalwart, yet viable brand; thrusting top level executives into the uncomfortable intersection of humiliation and repentance in just a few short weeks.

The most lethal misstep occurred when Pascal, acquiescing to the whims of her comedic brain trust (Rogen and Goldberg), secured a global distribution deal for a film even Sony's top denizens insisted was "outside the realm of good taste." By standing her ill-fated ground, Pascal shirked the allegiance she once held to her conglomerate bosses and instead chose to placate a pair of middling filmmakers; a comedic duo who, in their clumsily tongue-in-cheek depiction of Kim Jong-Un's own fictionalized demise, placed themselves directly in the cross-hairs of a standing dictator and our First Amendment right to free speech.

Yeonmi Park tells her story of life in North Korea and calls for action against other human rights violators.

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Yeonmi speaks at the One Young World Summit 2014 in Dublin.


"We have to shed light on the darkest place in the world."

Emboldened by the brutal acts of North Korea's authoritarian rule, the swell of public opinion surrounding "The Interview" has now surged from controversial artistry to patriotic duty. In 2013, the year "Zero Dark Thirty" sparked international outrage, Pascal faced similar threats over the film's cursory depiction of torture and markedly vivid on-screen death of Osama Bin Laden -- yet she and SONY weathered idle criticisms and managed to rebuff scores of hostile dissenters.

However, the studio's glorified retelling of Bin Laden's assassination was only made possible by the so-called "advanced interrogation techniques" we inherited during our Cold War offensive against Korea in 1950-1953. Often referred to as the "forgotten war," military psychologists Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell were paid over $80 million to reproduce and re-inflict various Communist-era torture techniques used against Americans by the Chinese and North Korean Governments to obtain high-level intelligence from our 9/11 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

So how are we, as Americans, expected to assume the moral high ground when we've re-purposed malicious practices forged by the very regimes instilling terror and fear in those such as Ms. Park and countless others around the world?

Dick Cheney gives an unflinching defense of the CIA's 9/11 torture program on "Meet The Press."

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"I'd do it again in a minute," said Cheney.

The self-proclaimed "Guardians Of Peace" (or "GOP") coerced SONY and top U.S. theater chains to drop "The Interview" only after invoking further 9/11-style attacks; shamelessly recalling our original sin of presumed innocence and insulation from threats of bloodshed here in the U.S. This carefully orchestrated cyber-hacking isn't just another act of terror we are unprepared to withstand, it is a petrifying inaugural chapter of more improbable firsts and "never agains."

After the devastating mass shooting in Aurora, CO, we gleaned multiplexes across America would no longer be spared the horrendous specter of violence. Nearly a week after 130 students were gunned down by Taliban militants in Pakistan, we knew we also wouldn't allow our children to be the collateral damage of trivial, Hollywood trash either. So while the SONY hackers never intended to cause any legitimate bodily harm, they were in fact more pernicious for exposing our powerless response to widespread blackmail and hawkish intimidation.

Howard Stern Show Clip - Howard Talks To Seth Rogen & James Franco About The Sony Pictures Hack

Muddled beneath Tinseltown's exhausted highway of infectious regrets, are the regrettable keys to our own privileged secrets and classified mysteries; exquisitely arranged in binary code syntax, ready to be laid bare by the ingenious few who smite pretension and foster despair. Cyberspace has gorged on the antiquated threshold of recreational literacy for years, yet SONY will invariably go down as the first casualty of a digitized siege whose repercussions could be felt for years.

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