Howard Kurtz gets it wrong about North Korean censorship of American movies:
Sony’s unforgivable blunder was in making this misbegotten movie in the first place. I mean, an assassination “comedy” that includes Kim Jong Un’s head being blown up, with an internal debate over how much his hair should be on fire? As Greta Van Susteren tweeted, “Anyone who has been to NK knows how dangerous it is and would not have been so stupid to make that movie.” Sony Pictures and Seth Rogen didn’t even have the wit to make it about a fictional regime with a short leader.
Imagine the outrage if the North Koreans or anyone else made a film that showed President Obama being graphically killed? Yes, I know “Death of a President,” a 2006 film that showed the murder of George W. Bush, won an award at the Toronto film festival, and I find that despicable. But fortunately, most people never even heard of that monstrosity.
Going back to Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, films have been ridiculing tyrants. That the film displeases the tyrant is to be expected. Kurtz is right that the film about George W. Bush’s assassination is despicable. Bush was the twice-elected leader of a liberal democracy—indeed the sort of fellow who kills tyrants, just ask Saddam Hussein. Kim Jong-un is not George W. Bush. Kim Jong-un causes the suffering and premature death of millions through his policies. Kim Jong-un deserves assassination, both on film and in real life. Kurtz ought to learn that.