Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Hacking, cancellation of film release, and North Korea

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 21, 2014 4:45 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, December 22, 2014:

In what has to be one of the most unusual stories of the year, the United States and North Korea are engaged in a war of words over the release of the comedy movie "The Interview."

Last week Sony Pictures Entertainment cancelled the planned Christmas Day release of the film when several large theater chains said they wouldn't show it.  That came after terror threats were made against theaters.

This comes three weeks after a cyber attack on Sony disclosed confidential emails and files.

The plot of "The Interview" centers on an assassination attempt on North Korea's leader.

The Obama Administration said Friday the cyber attack can be traced back to North Korea.  North Korea denied it had anything to do with hacking into Sony and proposed a joint investigation with the U.S.

On Monday's Smart Talk, we'll look closer at the situation.

Our guests include Dr. Colin Helb, an Assistant Professor of Communications at Elizabethtown College, Dr. G.K. Cunningham, Associate Provost at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, and Chuck Davis, who is a cyber security expert and teaches at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

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Dr. G.K. Cunningham, Dr. Colin Helb & Chuck Davis

Also, StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick fills us in on if New York's decision to ban hydraulic fracking will have an impact on Pennsylvania.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Robert D Colgan img 2014-12-22 01:04

    If North Korea is the poster boy nation for anything in the world----it's censorship.
    Their government's treatment of their citizenry has effectively shown 1984 to be non-fiction.
    That such a dictator as Kim Jong-un-----one with blood on his hands------has the power to tell other nations, other people what they can say, portray, in their art, their books, their movies, their SPEECH----says much about the nature of free speech in the USA: that free speech is not that free....that it is more controlled and boundaried than it could be. Than it SHOULD be.

    Censorship of expression means taking away from people their ability to think for themselves, even if that speech is not comfortable or when it is critical.
    The only justification for censorship is when it definitively is protective of the rights of others.....and the last time I checked the assumption of the role of murderous dictator means that person's right to such protection no longer applies.

    Dictators like Kim Jong-un are bullies. Bullies need to be challenged, to be confronted, to be publicly castigated for their actions. What Sony is doing here is backing down before a bully, and telling that bully they have the right to bully others.
    They don't.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:12

    Curt emails:

    If Sony had released it and there was terrorist attacks Americans would have blamed them! Now they're upset they don't release it! Americans are too wishy washy

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:16

    Thomas emails:

    President Obama missed a point, what is most disappointing about Sony's actions is the lack of security provided to their employees. Furthermore, as an opinion Americans need to harden up a little bit.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:34

    Lauren emails:

    When I first saw previews for "The Interview" I thought it was a joke. A movie about assassinating a sitting leader of a country is ALWAYS offensive and NEVER funny. I honestly don't know what they (Sony, Hollywood, the producers, the actors, etc) were thinking. It still wouldn't be funny or okay if it was a country like England or Germany, but of all countries North Korea?? I'm glad they are not releasing the movie.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:40

    A listener emails:

    How would the American Public react to a movie produced by a nation with whom we are not on particularly friendly terms which premise was they were going to "take out" President Obama by name?

  • dunnlife img 2014-12-22 09:42

    A lot of people are missing the fact that Sony is a Japan based company with a presence in the US. In keeping peace in that part of the world I understand tha. However political satire is a huge business.. we have Jon astewart, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert who base their careers on political satire. How many times have they pushed the envelope and Comedy Central or HBO not pulled an episode? And didn't the US government ACTUALLY take out or capture Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin laden? So for these people who want to say that it's appalling to think this movie is so far fetched need a history lesson. Just because it's a comedy I think is what rubs people the wrong way and people get up in arms about finding humor in taking someone out. It us a comedy prople.. lighten up.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:43

    Amy emails:

    I think what has been brought to my attention the most about this whole controversy is the differences in cultures. Understanding cultural differences is a key component to having successful communication. Now, while we could say that the United States has made a mistake in cultural misunderstanding we must also consider that North Korea isn't being respectful of our culture. As mentioned earlier in the show America is privileged with the right to produce all sorts of movies that cater to all audiences. So here's what I think: everyone needs to understand that our cultures are so vastly different, so different that we may not even be able to comprehend some of the differences and the same goes for the citizens of North Korea. If people are upset about this there is an easy solution, just don't watch the movie if it's released. I think that this is more of an issue of personal accountability. Americans are relying way too much on needing someone to make a decision for them and always trying to determine who is at fault. If people really feel that this is wrong, they wouldn't need Sony to cancel the movie, all they need to do is not watch it and not support it and the movie would run its course and be the flop that all these people are hoping it will be.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-12-22 09:56

    Aggie emails:

    If fracking is safe, why don't we withdrawal our exemptions for frackers from regulation under our Clean Water Act; our Safe Drinking Water Act; our Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; our Superfund law; our Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; our Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; our National Environmental Policy Act; and our Toxic Release Inventory, which maintains a database with information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities in the U.S., under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Please also insist on the removal of our gag order on physicians.
    Do our spring water companies and municipalities have a list of the 650 or so chemicals used in fracking, and are they testing for the presence of those chemicals in our water supply? Let's give ourselves and, especially, our children the assurance of safe drinking water.
    Who will pay for the inevitable cleanup of movable superfund sites expected to leak deadly toxins into our drinking water from 6,000-feet underground.ommunicating with our environment?