Alan Dershowitz feels the cyber-hacking of Sony and the end result of them pulling the plug on releasing their "[The Interview](movie:900924)" film is "Pearl Harbor on the First Amendment and that Sony "made a big mistake" by giving in to threats from the North Koreans.
Speaking to Don Lemon on CNN, Desrhowitz addressed the controversy in the harshest possible terms, saying:
They have won the first victory. This is Pearl Harbor on the First Amendment. But then, we have to decide how to respond.
Dershowitz went on to say that Sony capitulating to the cyber-terrorists by pulling the movie that offended them, with no plans to release it in any form, was a huge blunder:
We must respond! First of all, Sony - I think - made a terrible mistake - not in pulling it from the theaters, but in not immediately announcing that they were going to make it available free on the internet so that millions of people could watch it..At least make it available on demand! So that people could watch it outside of the context of theaters which (could) endanger our malls, and potentially endanger a lot of people.
This way people could choose whether to see it! You can't give them a total victory over our First Amendment!
CNN's Don Lemon then asked Jeffrey Toobin:
Pearl Harbor? Do you think that this was a mistake by Sony?
Yeah, this is a very big deal! I mean, you know, this story started out for a lot of people - I think - as sort of a joke. I mean, that a Seth Rogen movie could be a serious issue.
What Korea has learned is that they can stop a movie, which means they think they can stop a newspaper if there's a story that they don't like or they can stop a cable news network, if they don't like what we're broadcasting.
Lemon then asked:
Where does it end, right?
Toobin then went on:
That is a very chilling message and unfortunate - I understand why the movie theaters - it wasn't Sony that pulled the movie, it really was not. It was the movie theaters that refused to show it. Those are separate companies.
Lemon then interjected:
But to Alan's point, though, they didn't say they were going to release it on the internet or -
Then Toobin continued:
That may yet happen. It only was pulled from the theaters, but this is a very big deal and we have to figure out a way to respond to this early because doing nothing has a very big cost.