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Obama: “Sony Made a Mistake”

President Obama said today that Sony Pictures had erred in backing down to North Korean hackers.

“Yes, I think they made a mistake,” Obama said when asked about the matter during a White House press conference this afternoon.

While saying he sympathized with Sony’s problem and the gravity of the threats lodged against it, Obama said Sony’s decision to pull the movie about an assassination attempt against North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un set a bad precedent. “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” he said.

Obama confirmed that North Korea was behind the hacking attack against the company and vowed that America would respond.

“We will respond,” Obama said. “We will respond proportionally, and we will respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.”

Obama press conf 12-19-14 2

Contrary to a report today that a larger country had helped North Korea with its attack, Obama said there was “no indication” another nation was involved.

Obama said he wished Sony “would have spoken to me first,” suggesting he would have encouraged them not to back down.

Obama deserves credit for criticizing the craven cave-in by Sony and its distributors. While I’m not a fan of the government intruding into decisions made by private companies and people, this is an event that has broad implications for national security, and is therefore within the president’s purview. As Obama said today, if someone can “intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie,” imagine what is next on the agenda of the North Korea and other bad actors.

On the other hand, Obama didn’t need Sony to come to him. The developing situation was clear, and a bold statement by the president – both through private phone calls and public pronouncements – might have preempted the businesses from backing down.

Let’s remember, while pulling the movie was a mistake, Sony was threatened with violence by another nation. That a pretty virulent threat. The company could have used some support from our nation in the form of an assertion that the hacking would be combated and the response to any kind of violence would be fierce.

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65 Responses to Obama: “Sony Made a Mistake”

  1. “I wish SONY had spoken to me first” — said the man who never makes mistakes or misspeaks.

    He later said “The devil is in the details”.

    Really?

    • Obama, with an empty schedule before departing, (aside from the PDB — which may or may not mean anything), was 24 minutes late to the last event he scheduled this year in his own house. Bragged about his accomplishments for 6 minutes, then spent 43 minutes taking questions from Josh’s “naughty and nice” list, which turned out to be eight little known women. He took one “extra” question (as is his practice, looking like another plant) from a black lady reporter named April, who enabled him (AGAIN!) to expound on race relations in America.
      Haven’t we seen this ploy before (Gates, Trayvon). He was nice enough to remind us that the police need to get their acts together to earn more trust from the public. Heaven forbid that might be a two way street.

  2. Sounded familiar, so I looked it up:

    “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others; IT WILL END IN A WAY AND AT AN HOUR OF OUR CHOOSING.” — GWB

  3. Obama knows what others, in this case Sony should do, but never said what he was going to do … Anybody surprised? May be give North Korea same treatment as Cuba as a penalty, I mean reward.

      • Saw Ed Henry on FNC…
        he was saying things about no one having any focused or challenging ‘follow up’ questions about the Sony hack issue…

        As usual the “press” let Obama get away with not answering

        • We were discussing them just walking out earlier this morning.
          The best question would have been: Does everyone get a free vacation to Hawaii like you do? If he just had the respect to say part of these trips are paid by myself, I would care less where he went to rest. OK, yes I would fuss as well regarding the 1/2 of the expense the citizens pay.

          • It seems this habit started in 2008 — after he’d been elected and given Secret Service protection. This is his seventh year of enjoying taxpayer sponsored trips to paradise.

            Where do you think he’d be vacationing if he’d lost the elections?

        • We need to send about 10 Howard Beales in that WH Press Room and have them all stand up and yell, “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!!!!!!”

  4. I thought Obama had a phone and a pen? If he had something to say, he could have used that phone and called someone at Sony to pledge his support. Give me a break. For the president to second guess the decision after the fact is out of line.

    Heaven forbid something actually happened. Sony would have been sued out of existence, and Obama would be first in line calling for the CEO’s head on a platter. I don’t blame them one bit for pulling it. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but if I were the CEO, I can’t imagine deciding otherwise.

    • I do think the theater owners were more concerned about liabilities IF something went wrong for any reason. Especially since the Aurora theater shooter’s trial’s just beginning.

      So many GOOD movies coming out for the holidays, I’m sure the theaters are welcoming the fact they have a good excuse to dump this turkey. :)

  5. I must be missing something here. How could a country that is so poor it can’t feed its people become so tech savy? Is it really North Korea that funded their submarines and missiles? Are there any vets out there who were stationed in either of the Koreas with insight into this?

    • Laurie I am glad you mention the military who served in N. Korea.
      While I was shopping this morning, I was wondering what the Vets from the Korean War think of this issue. Can you imagine risking your life over there years ago, than to wake in 2014 have those deadbeats threatening us?

      • Lee, thanks for all your note taking. I don’t think for a second that North Korea is the root of this. Russia, China and others are the drivers in my opinion. Smoke and mirrors again.

        • Even if it was a kid in a garage. With all the technology we have. With all the orginizations working to protect us, I would think they could figure this out.
          As I stated already he said there was something to be said/done that he would not discuss at the press conference.
          As far as I am concerned he should have postponed his trip for a couple of days, untill this was tended to. Our Country, movie theater, etc., should not be threaten and have him go lay on a beach.

  6. I like Donald Trump’s idea of bombarding the internet with the film. Teach that little dictator a lesson.
    Personally, I can’t understand why SONY would even think of antagonizing the N.Korean psychopath with such a film, albeit a spoof. Mocking a nut case is dangerous business.

  7. Went back to the Cooking Channel about two minutes into his latest blab job. We need to call him Little Jack Horner. His theme never varies. He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said “What a good boy am I.”

  8. OT: Judge rules Arizona must give young illegals a drivers licence.
    All of my life I knew illegals were coming over the border. It was ignored somewhat by many. I just heard that on Fox.
    I know this is old news for now, but has anyone seen a details of the status on the border at this time. Has o secured our border while I was paying attention to other news?

    • No Lee, the border is wide open! I live in Southern Arizona. Our Gov Brewer was taken to court over opposing giving illegals a driver’s license. I am totally incensed, agast, irritated & generally p’d off. How dare they give in to these criminals? WE have to show our birth certificate to get a legal license. It’s not like they are going to get insurance! Oh no, that’s all on us! What isn’t clear though is if this will allow them to register vote.
      The local news had the audacity to interview, on air, illegals who have been driving all over town without a license. Aaarrgghh!

  9. Still lying, still blaming other people, still calling out American people and American companies.

    Same old — same old. Obama fails to defend and protect this country not only at our borders and abroad but in cyberspace as well.

    We are sitting ducks.

    • Wrong Grace.
      We are not sitting ducks.
      We are vigilant individuals that love our Country.
      I hope that Obama is taught a lesson in the next two years.

  10. This is Obama’s regular play. He hangs back until someone does something — then he rushes in and tells us how he would have done it better.

    Yawn. He never actually does anything, unless it’s to salve his ego in some way.

  11. That isn’t going to go over very well with the Muslim Brotherhood operatives within his administration. But he doesn’t think its a mistake when he tries to quelch our Constitutional rights or our government spying on us.

  12. ” “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” he said.”

    Lately I’ve been scrutinizing WWII documentaries. A collection I highly recommend: NAZI GERMANY / THE RISE AND FALL in the U.S. Military Heritage Series.

    The Nuremberg Trials disc drove home this staggering point: for every wicked aggressive action taken by Hitler, there corresponded at least one prior public declaration – emphatic and flamboyant – that denied his intent.