How Obama Took Sony’s Crisis From Bad to Worse

Barack Obama
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

If there are such a thing as textbooks in the field of crisis management, the Sony Pictures hack might end up in the chapter labeled “Worst Case Scenario.”

But as much as Sony seemed to mishandle its sorry situation in recent days, the severity of the circumstances Sony faced are so extreme that it begs the question of whether anyone could have handled it better. Every step of the way Sony has been faced with no-win situations and just plain bad luck.

Just when things couldn’t have looked any worse for the studio, President Obama turned sharply critical of Sony in a news conference Friday, second-guessing its decision to withdraw “The Interview” from theaters.

Why he bothered to pass judgment on Sony at all may have come as some surprise at a time when assembled reporters were likely more interested in hearing more about the investigation into North Korea’s involvement, as well as the U.S. response.

Cynics might suggest that targeting Sony gave Obama something to distract from the precious little he offered on what he knew or planned to do next. Blaming the studio also shifts already mounting criticism that the U.S. lacks any coherent cyber-security strategies despite the growing number of attacks pounding not only the government but many other corporations.

In other words, think of the Obama subtext thusly: “Cut me some slack on not defining what exactly the ‘proportionate’ response to North Korea will be because, hey, it’s not my fault (cue finger-point at Sony).”

There’s also a more generous interpretation of the president’s motives. Second-term presidents are more inclined to follow their own convictions, and a constitutional scholar like Obama may genuinely take offense at Sony not doing more to stand up for the First Amendment.

It’s interesting to note that this isn’t the first time this winter that Obama has inserted himself forcefully and unexpectedly into the media business. Just think of the tough stance he took last month pressuring the FCC to enforce net neutrality.

But whereas that probably won’t do much to alter the course of a battle that’s probably going to play out on Capitol Hill for at least another year, Obama’s Sony remarks ratcheted up the pressure on the studio to get this movie released somehow, some way, soon.

What happened after Obama’s comments didn’t help matters, and here Sony only has itself to blame. Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton gave an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in which he appeared to rebut the president’s assertion that Sony didn’t consult with the White House with regard to yanking the film. But what wasn’t clear from his remarks was that the consultation with the administration occurred before the decision to pull the film.

That same day Obama sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley for a separate interview in which he made clear the White House wasn’t consulted specifically about pulling the film. The mere fact that the president saw fit to even address Lynton’s remarks is bad enough, but Obama’s clarification made Lynton seem to have engaged in obfuscation. PR 101: Getting caught in a he said/she said with the president of the United States is not generally a good idea (unless you’re John Boehner).

In interviews that day on CNN and NPR, Lynton also made clear that Sony was actively seeking new digital distribution alternatives for “The Interview.” That represented a contradiction of the stance the studio had taken just days earlier when emphatically stating that the movie was “canceled” and not to appear on theaters or any other kind of platform. Whether Sony didn’t intend to shut the door so tight on future options for “The Interview” or Obama simply made it impossible to maintain that stance going forward is anybody’s guess.

What’s strange about this new focus on finding a digital distribution alternative is that while Sony gets to avoid the scorn of Obama and many in Hollywood for not upholding the First Amendment, it puts the studio right back in the crosshairs of the hackers the second a release plan gets announced. Getting criticized by the president may not be fun for Lynton, but it sure sounds better than suffering yet another round of “Read My Private Emails.”

Let’s not forget the hackers purport to have plenty of “gifts” they seemed more than prepared to put under his Christmas tree come Dec. 25. Perhaps after withstanding nine previous data dumps, you get so numb you don’t even feel it when the leak total climbs into double digits.

If Sony gained any ground Friday, it was probably in shifting the blame for its decision to the exhibitors, and rightfully so. It’s an oversimplifcation to put Sony and Sony alone in the hot seat, because had the major theater chains agreed to screen the movie, “The Interview” would be good to go for Dec. 25.

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  1. Sirius Jones says:

    “It’s Obama’s fault”? Seriously????
    Why is this idiotic drivel even published? Sony got hacked because Sony had lousy security protocol. Sony was made to look asinine because Sony’s top executives said asinine things in emails. Sony was called out on bad decisions because–gasp–Sony made bad decisions that rewarded the behavior of the only fat kid in North Korea, which only encourages more threatening noise out of the most laughable dictator since Charlie Chaplin.
    Sony deserved to have the living hell slapped out of it. Obama showed restraint.

  2. Corriea says:

    12/23/14 1:07a Variety Andrew Wallenstein Michael Lynton Sony Hack Attack
    Sony Prez is the sole culprit in the Disaster at Sony, the Right Wing Wing Nuts like Andrew Wallenstein attack President Obama for saying it was ”a mistake” in not releasing ”The Interview” and to capitulate to North Korea and attack on our Freedom of Commerce, First Amendment. Lets hope North Korea hacks Variety and Wallenstein as enemies of North Korea. He’ll blame Obama.

  3. PETER says:

    Jacque Strappe, read your Obama history. He is half white. Obama was raised by his white grandparents in Honolulu. It’s Obama’s white grandfather that got Obama into white, Punahoe High School in Honolulu that was established to keep the white missionary kids segregated from the native Hawaiians. Obama plays the race card every chance he gets, acting one of the black brothers. Who is he kidding? I’m a registered Democrat soon to switch to Independent, and inexperienced, arrogant, unpatriotic Obama did it too me. This last election I went right down the list and voted everything Republican and conservative that I could see! And so did the rest of the country. Wake up, Strappe, and smell the rose. Smell the reality of a dangerous and failed presidency. I didn’t like George W., but Obama makes Bush look better and better every day. At least Bush acted like a loyal United States citizen, unlike Obama. The only reason Obama hasn’t been impeached is because he’s half Afro and nobody wants to be accused of impeaching the first half Afro US president, no matter how dangerous he is. And then what would we have, that idiot clown Joe Biden?

    • Corriea says:

      12/25/14 12:21p Variety The Race Card
      Peter: The White Populace has been using the Race BRICK for Centuries.
      It’s not a Card, it’s a Club, a Stick, a Gun!

  4. mbecker908 says:

    The President, Editor of the Harvard Law Review and likely the first and only editor to have never published, was a “Guest Lecturer” at the University of Chicago. Before I get into that, I’m a little confused as to how a top tier graduate and editor couldn’t find a real job, but that’s a subject for another day.

    In the world of academia the pecking order is very well defined.
    * Tenured Professor.
    * Tenure Track Professor.
    * Associate Professor (non-tenure-track)
    * Adjunct Professor.
    * Teaching Assistant (generally somebody working on a doctorate).
    * Guest Lecturer.
    * Janitor (only if the janitors are not on strike and then they rank just above Associate Prof.)

    It apparently didn’t take the folks at UoC Law long to figure out that the future President’s worth in terms of his ability to contribute. In other words, they get an affirmative action credit, add a “Harvard Law School / Law Review Editor” to their website, important for those who don’t check actual credentials, and they get some desperate schmuck who will fill in for classes at a moment’s notice and do it cheap.

    “Scholar” is not on the menu for any “Guest Lecturer.”

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Nice try angry white Republican but you make yourself look petty, foolish and yeah, maybe even a little racist. Your passive aggressive dismissal of Barack Obama’s academic achievements are saying you believe that he is just another stupid black man who benefited because of his skin color. I suppose like Clarence Thomas, too

  5. Ian of Brisbane says:

    Sony should release “The Interview” for free worldwide download. Everyone gets to see it and there is no risk at cinemas. Punch back twice as hard.

  6. Constitutional “scholar”? Please, Andy, quit thy sucking on the stupid stick

  7. snd says:

    So true! When you can’t vote yes or no on just about anything except present while in the senate that told us everything we needed to know about the empty suit that occupies the White House.

  8. Andrew X says:

    “a constitutional scholar like Obama may genuinely take offense at Sony not doing more to stand up for the First Amendment.”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Oh, you scamps at ‘Variety’! Such wry ironists… Ya got me. Look out, ‘Onion’!

  9. KaiserDerden says:

    Sony didn’t have to formally cancel the release … the theater chains were the ones that capitulated to the threats first, not Sony …

  10. Odysseus says:

    We conservatives warned you his paper-thin resume made him unqualified for the office. You called us racists. Well, how do you like it now that his incompetence is turned on you?

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      But you never warned us about the brain dead cowboy from Texas.who confuses constitution with constipation and destroyed the United States for decades to come. Thanks.

  11. >>If there are such a thing as textbooks . . .
    If there are such THINGS as textbooks . . .

    >>it begs the question of whether anyone could have handled it better.
    it RAISES the question . . .

    >>think of the Obama subtext thusly:
    think of the Obama subtext THUS . . .

    ***Will proofread for money***

  12. Geronimo says:

    Obama playbook: 1) survey the mess 2) find the capitalist 3) assign the blame 4) scold the victim
    5) rinse and repeat.

  13. Thankfully Obama has done a stellar job at decreasing the potential for violence against police with his strong statement of support during this Michael Brown/Eric Garner period. Oh wait…

  14. acfelasvegas says:

    Genuine Constitution scholar? Yes, that’s why our fine president went on Pakistani TV and apologized for our First Amendment in the case of a little YouTube video. So hold strong against those NorKos but abase ourselves against Muslims? Michelle Obama said for the first time in her adult life she was proud of America once her husband was elected; that same moment is the first time I was ashamed that we elected a someone on the color of the skin, ignoring the content of their character.

  15. Fred Z says:

    Really, kiddies, it wasn’t the Norks. It was American laws, lawyers, judges and juries.

    Cinemark!

    By which I mean that, had Sony released the film, and had some loon Nork sympathizer attacked viewers, Sony would be on the hook at least for tens of millions in legal fees. And probably, in the end, some local hillbilly jury would give the local dead and wounded a sympathy verdict against Sony for hundreds of millions.

    Until the American tort system is reformed, there will be more of this nonsense.

    • Jackpot Justice is the scrooge here all right, but you don’t go far enough. It wouldn’t take a dead person; if someone drove by a theater that was showing The Interview and broke out in a rash, a team of lawyers would be at his elbow. Sony’s PR is at such a low point right now, they might as well go for broke and just say that half their problem comes from overly-litigious potential moviegoers.

  16. Liz985 says:

    “Constitutional scholar”? Please, let’s put that myth to bed once and for all.

  17. Doug Wenzel says:

    The President should have had the FBI coordinate with State Police to ensure safety for a limited distribution of the movie. he should have attended the Premiere, and he should have sent Biden to South Korea to attend a showing on a US military base there.

    I’m sure I would never attend this movie under normal circumstances; these aren’t normal circumstances, and the President has the obligation to protect and defend the Constitution and show the flag.

    Then, we can also consider retaliatory measures.

  18. Rich Vail says:

    The entertainment industry with only a few exceptions is hard left Liberal/Progressive. You overwhealmingly supported an utterly inprepared Senator as president. You get reap what you sow. Obama, had absolutely no history of leadership or administrative ability. You guys, bought his pablum, now you’re choking on it.

    Unfortunately, the rest of America is choking as well. Hollywood’s income down, and with “The Interview” they are uncovered as having no priciples worth fighting for. No wonder the rest of the country is looking upon Sony/Hollywood with contempt. You got what you wanted, unfortunately, the bill for your desires is going to be high…this is just the first installment. Just wait till the rest comes due…

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      The president of America’s largest movie chain, Regal Cinemas, is a hard right conservative who has donated a fair amount of money to Republican candidates and causes such as state amendments to overturn same sex marriages, among other Republican platforms. Many studio executives are also conservative Republicans. Not everyone is Angelina Jolie and Barbara Streisand in Hollywood but yes, many folks in front of the cameras are indeed progressive liberals but certainly not all, either. .

    • xjoburg says:

      One wonders what Romney or McCain’s responses, or better yet, Sarah Failins might have been. Oh that’s right they LOST. Sarah Failin- “I can see them from my front door. I’m gonna throw eggs and flour at them!”

  19. jpl17 says:

    “…a constitutional scholar like Obama….”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    Calling Obama a “scholar of the constitution” is like calling a wrecking ball operator a “scholar of home construction”.

  20. Brandon says:

    Whike there’s plenty of blame to go around, Anericans already saw Sony’s bizarre backdown as an attempt to shield itself from more embarrassing emails or data than a way to keep customers safe. It looked like Sony was just being a greedy company–and the Presudent (successfully) called them out on it. Sony needs to release the film and stand up to bullying and terror proudly–and like always, America will rally behind Sony. But they should hurry or their image will be dragged down more. Awful PR coming from Sony. Only way to fix this: release the film

  21. Super Genius says:

    “Constitutional scholar”? Please. That would require actual scholarship – you know, original research, peer-reviewed articles, books. I believe his (non-tenured) position was Senior Lecturer at Chicago.

    • Terry says:

      I think Sony did the right thing by pulling the movie. First, because IF North Korea (or anyone else) actually did bomb a theater where the movie was showing, Sony would be inundated by lawsuits that would assert that Sony knew or should have known the theater would be attacked, since it had been warned. Second, because while Sony will take a big hit over not releasing the movie, it won’t drive Sony out of business like the lawsuits would, because in spite of everyone wailing about Sony not releasing the picture, if there were an attack, juries would no doubt award huge settlements to the attacker’s victims, who would blame Sony for not heeding the warning. It’s a lose-lose situation for Sony. But they lose less by pulling the picture than they would by showing it.

  22. Chicon says:

    Well, seriously, what can Obama administration really do against such a reclusive state ? Sanctions ? Done. War ? Impossible. Reprisals ? Which ones ? They are facing a losing situation and they can’t turn it into a win, nor even a face saving action. The only wholesome answer they still have at hand is to leak this lousy comedy on the web and encourage people to share a show which is many things but wealth

  23. Quote: “… a constitutional scholar like Obama may genuinely take offense at Sony not doing more to stand up for the First Amendment.”

    You’re joking aren’t you? Remember this is the Obama who’s used the IRS to go after political opponents and spied on reporters. He comes from Chicago, where city bureaucracy is routinely used to block efforts at reform. In twenty years in the city’s politics, he never had a problem with that.

    Sadly, I don’t think you’re joking. I think you’re so ignorant of scholarship you don’t realize that to be a “scholar” one must write on the topic for scholarly journalism. Obama has never written a single one, undoubtedly because what he’d write would be either plagiarism or so shallow as to be worthless.

  24. Bob Pfister says:

    Well you all might think I am clueless and think I favor censorship, but it is my humble opinion that the premise of this movie is offensive. I am missing the comedic point I suppose of a plot to kill a president of a country who is currently in power? I understand that the free world regards him as a despot….but how is it funny to main a movie where the main plot is to kill him? What if the target had been the president of China, Russia, France, or maybe the US…..personally I think it is a totally offensive plot line for a movie. That a studio approved the concept without even considering that something like this could happen does indeed offer proof that they do live in their own insulated little world and act surprised, or dismayed when their own oblivious acting actions backfire. The Hollywood elite film industry deserves what ever fallout occurs, in my opinion.

    • Rich Vail says:

      Bob, where was your outrage when a far left group produced a movie in which George W Bush was assasinated? Your outrage is fake. Freedom of speech means allowing even that with which you disagree. Anything less is hyporcrisy i the highest form. Want to see a hypocrite? Look in the mirror.

      • Davol says:

        I agree this is an offensive idea for a movie in the first place, and although I support their right to make this movie I cannot help but find it ridiculous to start WWIII defending the free speach of an otherwise forgettable-like-the-rest Seth Rogan movie. Makes me kind of want Seth Rogan on the list of suspects along with North Korea.

      • @ Bob Pfister
        >>the studio should probably anticipate some form of fallout when it comes to dealing with this type of film.
        ——————————–
        Yes. Terrorists are scary. We should do as they say.

      • Bob Pfister says:

        Rich, interesting comment…but I am not sure I get your point. As a registered Republican, I suppose if I had paid attention to a movie that had to do with W, I would have expressed “outrage”. Your supposition that I oppose freedom of speech is about as far off as can be. The people who made the movie can make what ever garbage they want. Hence their freedom of speech is indeed intact. However, the studio should probably anticipate some form of fallout when it comes to dealing with this type of film. For you to judge anyone a hypocrite without knowing them, well I suppose that just puts you into the same group as most of the people that seem to know it all, and would just as soon pass judgement on people rather than really reading and understanding what they are saying. Any movie made that is based on a plot line to kill a sitting president I find offensive. If somebody wants to make it, go for it. But there will always be repercussions in some form, especially in the caustic environment created by the political “elite”, be they right or left. If Sony is afraid to release it, I guess they have that right. If the folks that made the film are so behind it, perhaps they can release it themselves.

  25. Bruce Kimmel says:

    Is this what Variety has become? Some political rag? Shame on you, shame on this article. Lordy we miss Army Archerd. Who are you trying to compete with now – Fox News? Just stop.

  26. GJ says:

    Pleeeease! You guys don’t get it…N. Korea’s making a statement! It’s basically, “Don’t even think about it fools, because ‘We’ ain’t that one!” Remember…that kid’s young, his mentality is the same as any other 23 yr old and it’s gangsta, which is the attitude that’s in “vogue” now. No matter the color of the skin! They’re still going do Sony, no matter what. Some “Presidents’ ” view the forecasting of their “assassination” by a country, whom they’re not “fond” of, as “extremely insulting, and arrogant to a fault.” This young man sees this as an affront to his reputation and it’s got to be “handled”. And they’ve elected to very “creative” about the message that they’re going to send to the “World”.

  27. anon says:

    So why did Sony pull every mention of the film from all social media 2 days AFTER the presidents speech?

  28. John Shea says:

    Stick with your ‘more generous interpretation’, Mr. Wallenstein.

  29. mayar says:

    This article is so judgmental and foolish comparing to such a delicate situation that in my opinion was handled classy for the over all benefit for the american people and that is whats important!

  30. therealeverton says:

    Did you not watch the press conference? He was asked a direct question. He made great efforts to state that Sony had tough decisions and had to make them as a company, not a country, but he personally felt they made a mistake. And..?

    • mainlinebooker says:

      I completely agree. This whole article is bogus and political. Variety should be ashamed of itself to even publish this. I am appalled.

  31. Merlot says:

    Our esteemed State Department (pls, remember) “approved” the pic last June.

  32. Marc WIelage says:

    “oversimplifcation”? Are there no proofreaders left at the newspaper?

  33. Jack Raymond says:

    Welcome to corporate life. Anyone who works in a company knows that anything they write in emails is subject to the eyes of company authorities. Suddenly the tables are turned and the authorities are having their emails read. Poor babies. Don’t you know that in America there is no such thing as privacy?

  34. trollkiller55 says:

    First the lava in Hawaii, then the torrential rains on the West Coast, the whooping cough in California–NOW THIS!!! SOOOOO tired of Obama’s incompetence!!!

  35. barbara says:

    The worse thing was that Sony greenly this bomb to begin with.

  36. Yolanda says:

    Really? This to now is Obama’s fault?? Your article is stating that no one backed Sony and that the president made it worse??? Where the hell were you Variety??? I didn’t see you run to Sony’s aid when they were left alone with all this mess!!! You are pathetic!!!

  37. Bob Little says:

    Dismiss my contributions as cynical, if you choose, but this is simply the most recent example of what you get when the media fails to vet a president. Leadership is not bestowed, it’s earned through training and experience; neither of which applies here.

  38. Because it’s Obama’s fault Sony was to cheap to have proper security in place? It was Obama’s fault that all kinds of embarrassing email was sitting on their servers? Because Obama should be starting a war over this?

  39. ESSmith says:

    The criticism leveled at the president that suggests he pointed fingers at Sony in order to distract from “the precious little” he offered by way of strategies to deal with the situation made me immediately think that this article pointing fingers at the president might be an attempt by Variety’s Co-Editor-In-Chief to distract from the fact that the magazine only days ago was publishing all those emails that had been hacked (thus serving as North Korea’s little bitch and doing what they’d hoped the press would do).

  40. Richard says:

    The premise of this “article” is very odd. It made the situation go “from bad to worse” for who? For Sony? The President is responsible for overseeing the security of the United States, not particular business ventures, individual companies, or particular projects. The President said what he did because he does not want to encourage foreign powers to try things like this again. To support Sony’s decision to capitulate would have set a bad precedent. He has to send message that The United States will not change its core value of free speech or even its belief in commerce because a hostile entity wants us to. He said what any President would have said at the moment.

  41. InsuranceMoney? says:

    Was the verbal threat by GOP ever verified as a ‘credible’ threat by the FBI? I don’t believe it was. Pulling the film from the theaters is an extreme response if no credible threat was ever established. What did Sony have to lose – more confidential emails hitting the press?
    More telling is the fact that Sony collected insurance money on a film that appeared to offer little promise of producing any box office revenue. Anyone who saw the film regarded it as an unfunny loser. Did Sony just cut their losses short and blame their choice of action on the “threat” of violence by the GOP? One might think that is likely the case.

  42. Donna says:

    You hit all the points right on target including pointing a finger! Nothing new there!

  43. Bill B. says:

    You are so terribly wrong. The President had every right to say what he did as he is right. We cannot be censored by leaders of other countries or terrorists. What Sony did was set up a terrible precedent. I realize that they had little to say about what the exhibitors did, but they could still have released it to those who wanted to show it, and some would to packed houses, instead of yanking it from all distribution and advertising. I get their point, but it was the wrong stance to take.

  44. PETER says:

    “balanced approach” from Obama? Are you kidding me? Don’t you mean do nothing, safe for his ass approach?

  45. Donna says:

    i wrote a book entitled. CRISIS MEDIA MANAGEMENT! Use it when I give seminars when I annoy producing a film!

  46. Michael Anthony says:

    Why try to shift the blame away from Sony? They made a MISTAKE pulling the film. Obama just echoed what every else believes. Its also not a distraction. As if he’d say how they will deal withNK.

    Remember, your an entertainment mag, not political analysis. Its obvious by this bone headed article that you are trying to bolster Sony. THEY made the mistake.

    • Jack Raymond says:

      Sony is a corporation. Their allegiance is to shareholders, not partial public opinion. They do what they do based on the people who sit where they sit. They have no responsibility to the first amendment for their OWN “free speech”. The person (or corporate entity – same thing in the US) who does the free speaking has the right not to speak to begin with. We don’t know for sure why they did what they did. They may tell us why in PR terms. But it is private internal company info, unless it gets leaked, at which point we still wouldn’t know for sure.

      A few leaked emails don’t necessarily implicate the message writers’ words for eternity. Ultimately the more controversy surrounds the film, the more likely it is to be a bigger hit than it ever would have been, regardless of when it is released. Sony’s decisions may well be based on optimizing ROI.

      In a free society it is completely within their rights and prerogatives to do as they wish. Political pressure to do otherwise is where the actual imposition of free speech comes to play. No President has the right to tell companies how to do their business. That is something you would expect to see happen in North Korea.

      • fustian says:

        It is believed that a foreign nation has attacked a US business and is blackmailing them.

        The response so far looks a lot like appeasement to most of us. The general response to this kind of weakness is that these kinds of attacks will escalate.

        It’s probably fairly important to the country that whoever is responsible be forced to pay enough of a price for this that they won’t want to do it again. And they cannot be viewed by others to have succeeded.

        I’m sure that Sony is desperate to somehow salvage this movie and get us to pay for it in some way.

        I think that’s crazy thinking and they need to start facing up to the fact that Sony Pictures may already be over. At least in its current incarnation.

      • therealeverton says:

        Well it is actually every leaders duty to tell people “how” t do their business. That’s why they pay fair wages, proper hours, don’t dump toxic waste etc. But away from all that he didn’t tell them to do anything, or he would have called them days, or weeks ago, and told them,and the cinemas to show the film right?

  47. jhs39 says:

    The president was right to comment on Sony’s decision because it has clear and dangerous political implications that go far beyond the concerns of one movie studio. Obama was hardly the only one to publicly chastise Sony for its cowardice–artistic talent in Hollywood has come out strongly against Sony pulling the film as have the Republican National Committee and individual politicians on every end of the political spectrum.

    It is also wrong-headed to blame exhibitors when Sony was merely using them as an excuse to pull the movie. Sony could have insisted that exhibitors honor their contracts to play the film or, far more damning for Sony, it could have taken up the exhibitor proposal that Sony use a similar release strategy as they did for Zero Dark Thirty–open the movie modestly in a handful of theaters and then, when the fear of violence subsided, widen the release to the entire country. Sony had no good reason to not follow this strategy–they were simply looking for an excuse not to release the movie.

  48. Cee-Man says:

    “Cynics might suggest targeting Sony gave Obama something to distract from the precious little he offered on what he knew or planned to do next.”

    Well, that’s what the Tea Party would say. But then they’re hardly known for their balanced approach to anything–politics or otherwise.

    As for Variety’s political analysis? Do yourself a favor and stick to analyzing “boffo” box-office weekends.

  49. Angee says:

    The President ‘passed judgement’ on Sony’s decision to bend to the hackers because they made the wrong decision. What if the next company is Comcast and the hackers tell them to dump HBO from it’s service because they don’t like something HBO is offering. Is Comcast going to accrue tens of millions of dollars in damage to their hardware or just dump HBO? Think about it. Sony made the wrong choice because it set a precedence for hackers wanting to get money or results from other corporations who they also think might bend over. The only one to blame for Sony’s problems is Sony. They should have contacted the FBI back in February after the first security breach when hackers got their admin passwords. They didn’t do any damage so Sony thought no damage was done. Then they pulled the film from it’s release and said it has no plans of releasing it. Then, they back pedaled and said ‘we want people to see this movie. You misunderstood us.’ They are doing damage control. And, often when someone does that they blame everyone but themselves.

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