Failing The Interview

Readers got worked up over Amy Nicholson's stories (“Why Is Kim Jong-un So Afraid of Seth Rogen?” and “Pulling The Interview Is the End of Free Speech in Hollywood”), especially after theater chains AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Cineplex refused to show The Interview, prompting Sony to withdraw its release.

Songwriter-producer JericoDeAngelo insists, “SONY should have moved ahead with the movie debut, and EVERY good American should have gone to see it to show North Korea that they cannot bully Americans and censor our art and entertainment!” JamesR123 said, “What a bunch of cowards. Sony could have spun this with a mass marketing campaign of 'This is America! We don't bow down to cy­ber­terrorism and North Korea! … It could have been the biggest blockbuster of all time.

Other commenters found this attitude wildly naive. Dick Wagner notes, “For future reference, Comedy Central caved on showing the image of Muhammad when terrorists threatened them in 2006, so free speech in Hollywood has long been dead.” TeufelWolf adds that, in that case, “Viacom pulled an episode of South Park off the air forever after ONE Muslim made a '9/11' threat against Viacom.” SoulHonky also notes, “Studios have shied away from making China a bad guy because China invests in Hollywood.” 

But bouncingbrick78 defended the big theater chains and Sony, saying, “Imagine they had released the film and one person was shot at a screening of this film by a crazy person taking advantage of the controversy. How much worse would that be for Sony than just not running the film?”

Pony Ride Politics

Westsiders brayed at one another over “Closing Down the Ponies: Santa Monica Wrestles With a First World Problem.” Animalequalitynow writes, “Just as the carriage-horse industry in NYC is being challenged and should be banned due to the cruelty and suffering of those horses, so it is with pony rides!

But Peisly found the entire dustup — over Santa Monica's decision to close a farmers market pony ride — absurd, suggesting the attraction's owner “try remarketing it as a fresh, all-natural manure-for-sale stall.” 

Two sides battling over a libel lawsuit arising from the dispute jumped in, with attorney Don Chomiak noting that pony owner Tawni Angel, got 1,896 signatures for her cause because “the injustice of what was done to my clients is manifest and people see it.” Buddygottlieb, identifying himself as the spouse of pony ride opponent Marcy Winograd, who was sued by Angel, said: “Tawni will have to shoulder the burden that her case has a probability of success, and thus justifies the concomitant speech suppression she has wrought by filing suit. This she will not be able to do.

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