When Maggie Jordan from The Newsroom was about to leave for Africa in Season 2, she had to recite the fact that, if captured, ACN would not set precedent by paying a ransom. This is the duty of America: to never set a precedent by giving in to terrorist demands. Sure, paying a ransom will get back the people alive, but it emboldens all future terrorists, and in the long run, the ramifications of setting precedent will be much worse for everyone. That’s why ACN in this great, great television show knew that it’s not just America’s duty, it’s everyone’s duty.
Sony has set precedent and it was the worst possible decision they could’ve made. Now and forever, every fat kid in his mother’s basement with an axe to grind and a computer will think he or she can control what movies come out and when, what television shows get shown or cancelled, and pretty much anything else. Who will be the first hacker to hold McDonald’s hostage until the McRib becomes a permanent menu item? Who will be the first hacker to hold Chick-fil-A hostage until they open on Sundays? Hey, I want a 4th season of The Newsroom…is there someone out there willing to hold HBO hostage until they put this in production?
We now have a group of hackers demanding The Interview never be released or leaked and another group of hackers demanding the opposite. What will Sony do now? Which group of hackers will they cave to? Can we now demand Sam Jackson to say “get these mother fuckin’ snakes off this mother fuckin’ plane” in Avengers 2 and every other movie he stars in? Can we just get Sam Jackson to cameo in every Sony movie just to say that line? Hell, why don’t we just let hackers control what we see and don’t see for the rest of time!