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Free speech wins at box office

“The Interview” opened last week to packed theaters, albeit about 300 theaters rather than the 2,000 to 3,000 Sony Pictures originally planned. Still, it was impressive considering that only a few days before, Sony had canceled the movie’s release in the wake of hacks to its computer system by North Korea, and threats against any theater that showed the movie.

This silly comedy about a plan to assassinate North Korea’s leader might have been one of those forgettable, quick-to-DVD films if it weren’t for the threats. Many critics say the movie is all-too-typical dumb toilet humor that isn’t very funny. Instead, “The Interview” will be remembered as the film that gave Americans renewed appreciation for their right to free speech. People in the United States decide what movies they see, not terrorists.

North Korea reportedly slammed President Obama for pushing Sony to release the movie after all: “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”

North Korea likes free speech when it’s doing the talking. If only it would respect that right for others.