I've sort of just sat back in muted horror all week as a lot of entertainment journalists have finally gotten their moment in the sun, to act like the Fourth Estate in the wake of the Sony hack, to act as if bitchy emails and spreadsheets documenting famous people's salaries somehow equate to The Pentagon Papers. I've read my computer screen, mouth agape, as writers have tried to explain it away as an unprecedented gray area, when all I see is fundamental black and white. The ethical ickiness has been shrill and it's been shrieking.
It seems “The Newsroom” creator Aaron Sorkin (no stranger to hot button issues, he) feels similarly. Sorkin wrote the script for an upcoming Steve Jobs biopic that made for much of the early fodder in this mess as it was chewed over in private emails between producer Scott Rudin and Sony co-chair Amy Pascal. Taking to the pages of The New York Times this weekend for an op-ed, he called outlets that have traded in the publication of this stolen material 'morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable.” He also calls on some sort of second act that might actually right the ship:
We create movie moments. Wouldn”t it be a movie moment if the other studios invoked the NATO rule and denounced the attack on Sony as an attack on all of us, and our bedrock belief in free expression? If the Writers Guild and Directors Guild stood by their members? If the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the movie industry in Washington, knocked on the door of Congress and said we”re in the middle of an ongoing attack on one of America”s largest exports? We”re coming to the end of the first reel; it”s time to introduce our heroes.
Oh, but he wasn't done. A few graphs down he takes a big swipe at Variety co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein, whose recent op-ed rationalizing the publication of all this material as “necessary” had to have left a number of foreheads red from smacking across the industry:
The co-editor in chief of Variety tells us he decided that the leaks were – to use his word – “newsworthy.” I”m dying to ask him what part of the studio”s post-production notes on Cameron Crowe”s new project is newsworthy. So newsworthy that it”s worth carrying out the wishes of people who”ve said they”re going to murder families and who have so far done everything they”ve threatened to do. Newsworthy. As the character Inigo Montoya said in “The Princess Bride,” I do not think it means what you think it means…[S]o much for our national outrage over the National Security Agency reading our stuff. It turns out some of us have no problem with it at all. We just vacated that argument…at least the hackers are doing it for a cause. The press is doing it for a nickel.
Sick burn, bro. Read the rest here. It's on point.