"Imagine the enjoyment of Kim Jong-Un—North Korea’s dictator—watching the U.S. news industry wallow in the slime of Sony’s emails."
By RA Monaco
“We cannot have a society in which a dictator in some place can start imposing censorship in the United States,” President Obama told the press during a year-end news conference at the White House. “Yes I think they made a mistake,” said the president responding to a question about Sony exec’s decision not to release their satirical movie “The Interview.”
Imagine the enjoyment of Kim Jong-Un—North Korea’s dictator—watching the U.S. news industry wallow in the slime of Sony’s emails only to have our own president weigh in on the entire hacking escapade. Has Dennis Rodman held a news conference yet?
Of course there are those within the media ecosystem—New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet being one— who didn’t miss the opportunity to look down their noses at the tabloid-esque frenzy that’s garnered keystrokes from even the most prestigious newspapers to claim their own high road. Now that the president has commented, how long before the New York Times decides the discussion is newsworthy—seconds?
As if Dean Baquet wasn’t just as eager as the rest of the media landscape to capture the roving eyeballs of the internet—the president has now answered his prayers making the #SonyHack matter palatable enough to call it “newsworthy.”
According to the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen wrote, “The new reality is that journalists simply do not own the news cycle: Even if Gawker, BuzzFeed News, and Fusion decided to stop covering it, others would take up the mantle.” In making a cogent point, Petersen observed that “The new role of journalists, for better or for worse, isn’t as gatekeepers, but interpreters: If they don’t parse it, others without the experience, credentials, or mindfulness toward protecting personal information certainly will.”
Even though it wasn’t wrong, according to Variety co-editor Andrew Wallenstein, “it’s instinctive for us to pounce,” quoted CJR reporter David Uberti. Writers gave consumers exactly what they wanted and according to Times’ Margaret Sullivan and Poynter’s Kelly McBride some of the hacks’ disclosures where indeed newsworthy. Liberties might have been taken in some cases Uberti’s CJR piece revealed.
The take away from this chaotic digital-cesspool, is that privacy doesn’t exist and ethics, well, they could be better. Enjoy your fun Kim Jong-Un—you know what they say about payback?