Steve Jobs screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has rehashed his “unethical American journalists exploited the Sony hack for their puny contemptible gains” riff in a 9.29 Hollywood Reporter piece by Alex Ritman, which stems from quotes Sorkin gave during a London round-table discussion.
“The worst part [of the Sony hack] was seeing the American press as a willing accomplice, an eager accomplice to terrorism,” Sorkin said, repeating a view that hit the press on or about 12.17.14. “I don’t know how these reporters who printed the stuff can look at themselves in the morning.” He stated that the Sony hack was a “low point” for the American press, which he claimed had “absolutely aided and abetted terrorism.”
Sorkin believes that journos should have ignored the hacked material, adding that “you cannot tell me that an argument about Angelina Jolie is newsworthy or what Cameron Crowe’s troubles are in post-production on Aloha is newsworthy or any of the Steve Jobs stuff was newsworthy.”
Sorkin is really living in a bunker on the other side of the canyon these days.
If Sorkin had been a staffer at any entertainment-oriented magazine or website and had refused to touch the Sony hack material on ethical grounds, he would be taken off the beat and regarded askance — I can tell you that. When accurate or verifiable information has been released by whatever means, that’s it — you go with it. Once toothpaste has been squeezed out of a tube, it’s out there and you can’t put it back in, and you can’t pretend it hasn’t been exposed. I would never steal anyone’s private info, but if someone else has and the content of the stolen info has been verified as accurate, I don’t see how you ignore it. Yes, I know how that sounds.
The essence of Sorkin’s view is that the emails were understood by all parties to be private, and that printing them after the Sony hack is/was a violation of that privacy, which the authors were fully entitled to. But Mitt Romney assumed that he was speaking privately when he went on about the 47%, and the tape of those remarks was recorded surreptitiously. Publishing the Romney comments is/was different than posting the Sony emails, but not by a great degree.