The Sony Email Hack, the Media Hypocrisy and Why Americans Should be Worried

Over the last couple of weeks numerous stories from information that was discovered from the hack of Sony’s emails have flooded the internet, and some of these stories have even made their way into the mainstream media.

But I just can’t help but wonder, whatever happened to ethics, integrity or morals? Especially in media.

Oh, I know. They all sold out to the almighty dollar and what’s “best for revenue.”

One main issue I have is that these news outlets reporting on stories from these hacked emails are actually empowering this group who our government now says was from North Korea. And I think that encouraged others to then issue threats against the actors, Sony and the movie theaters causing a delay (if not eventually a full cancellation) of the release of the movie The Interview. 

And I can’t help but view these people reporting on these stories taken from these hacked emails as absolute hypocrites. Because I highly doubt that if any one of these people were to be hacked in the same way that they would be fine with that. The truth is, we all have personal messages, conversations, emails and all sorts of other communication that we don’t want the world to see. And if you say you don’t, you’re lying.

It’s the one issue I had with the Donald Sterling story. Now I’m not defending the racist at all. Once what he said had been made public there was no going back. His ignorance couldn’t be tolerated and I’m glad he’s no longer owner the Los Angeles Clippers. But the issue I had is that a private conversation he had in his own home, recorded without his knowledge, was used as a weapon against him.

Are we going to have to start frisking friends and sweeping our own homes for wiretaps out of fear that something we say or do in our own homes might be used against us? There’s a lot of talk about the “fear of government spying,” which is valid on some levels, but this kind of stuff I fear a whole lot more. Because these sorts of things are happening with more frequency.

And what’s worse are these media entities who’ve been reporting on these stories. Because like I said, I can damn sure guarantee you that these sites and companies wouldn’t be running headlines on their websites about the controversial information that they’ve sent internally that could be leaked if they were to get hacked much in the same way as Sony did.

If ethical journalism actually still existed these people would have been made aware of this information and ignored it. Because while it might have been “headline worthy,” the means by which it was gathered lacked all integrity and broke the law. In fact, this hack was worse than others because it’s clear that it was a malicious attack directed at the company because they made this movie.

To put it bluntly, this was a cyber attack apparently from some sort of North Korean entity that many members of our media empowered because they really wanted that “headline worthy” story. Then Sony further empowered them by caving into canceling the movie’s December 25th release date, possibly at least partially out of fear that these hackers had more information they were going to release. Is this how we show our power as a nation, by empowering a bunch of cowards in this way?

But when I get right down to it, the biggest problem I have with all of this lies with the hypocrisy of the “outrage” from media companies or websites (and even some of the people reading these stories) that I can guarantee would not want personal emails or private correspondence of theirs to be made public.

People who’ll stand up on a pedestal and judge others, who I damn sure know wouldn’t want to be judged themselves if the world was ever given access to their private information.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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