DC Trawler

In Which I Agree With Aaron Sorkin

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It happens less and less often, as the world moves on and Sorkin’s whole schtick doesn’t. But writing in yesterday’s NYT, he puts his coke-dappled finger on exactly what’s been bothering me about the Sony hackers:

Three weeks ago Sony Pictures Entertainment was the victim of a massive cyberattack by an outlaw group calling itself the Guardians of Peace. They breached Sony’s security and stole tens of thousands of internal documents and emails…

The Guardians just had to lob the ball; they knew our media would crash the boards and slam it in. First, salaries were published. Not by the hackers, but by American news outlets.

Then came the emails. A squabble between the Sony executive Amy Pascal and the producer Scott Rudin, an inappropriate and racially charged exchange, an insulting critique of recent Adam Sandler movies, a new idea for the “Spider-Man” franchise. Published. Everywhere.

Finally the media got serious. Not because no one gets more use out of the First Amendment than they do, and here was a group threatening to kill people for exercising it. Not because hackers had released Social Security numbers, home addresses, computer passwords, bank account details, performance reviews, phone numbers, the aliases used when high-profile actors check into hotels (a safety measure to keep stalkers away), and even the medical records of employees and their children. But because a stolen email revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was being undervalued.

Exactly. As delicious as it is to gloat at Hollywood jerks being exposed for the backbiting hypocrites they are, it’s also none of our damn business. We only know about it because somebody committed a serious crime to reveal it, knowing that human nature and “journalistic ethics” would do the rest.

Of course, Sorkin is up in arms about it because he’s been directly affected by the Sony hack. His private correspondence has been revealed, and he doesn’t like it. Nor should he.

I just hope that he and his ideological brethren remember this feeling when the same thing happens to somebody they think it’s okay to hate. Like Sarah Palin, or George Bush, or the next designated demon who gets hacked and has his dirty laundry strewn all over the lawn. I hope they think twice about pointing and laughing at it.

It’s good to have hope.

Anyway. That’s what’s been bugging me about the whole thing. It just encourages the next hacker creep, and the next, and the next. And the next time, it could be you.