Rodney Hide on Sony and Hacking

Rodney Hide gives the NZ Herald editors a little lesson in freedom of speech.

But were they reading it?

George Clooney called it correctly: “We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty.”

What’s next? The tyrant wanting to dictate news? The hackers’ success will only embolden them and others. What happens if news networks come under fire because of how they report news?

What is it about free speech that makes it so easy to toss away? We don’t give in when hostages are under threat. Why give in when they aren’t?

It’s not the first time. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 ordering Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.

Muslim fanatics in 2006 rioted and attacked diplomatic missions and killed dozens in the wake of a Danish newspaper publishing offensive cartoons.

There was a great hullabaloo in each case and each instance produced precisely the chilling effect that the oppressors desired.

Newspapers and publishers don’t need the grief. Authors don’t want to become targets. Our freedom to reason and debate is bit by bit eroded.  

We don’t have to agree with the movie, the book, the cartoons to defend and to stand up for them. Free speech is not saying only what is politically acceptable or what we agree with. It is about being offensive and controversial. It means standing up for people to have the right to say things we disagree with.

That’s what makes reason and debate possible and ultimately the progress of our ideas and knowledge.

My mother taught me the right response to Kim Jong Un. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. And likewise the message for the rest of us: there’s a big principle at stake.

Rodney is dead right…the NZ Herald in particular should be re-visiting their behaviour over Dirty Politics.

I’ll repeat the line that is most relevant to the NZ Herald, to Giovanni Tiso, to Russel Norman, to anyone defending criminal hackers and their shills.

Free speech is not saying only what is politically acceptable or what we agree with. It is about being offensive and controversial. It means standing up for people to have the right to say things we disagree with.

That’s what makes reason and debate possible and ultimately the progress of our ideas and knowledge.

They won;t listen though, they will continue to want to shut people down they don;t agree with, even if they resort to criminal actions.

 

– Herald on Sunday


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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