George Will: Sony’s ‘Self-Censorship’ Exposes Problem With Liberalism

Conservative columnist George Will appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the Sony hacking scandal and the fate of liberalism in America. 

Speaking during a panel discussion, Will argued that Sony’s decision to pull the Interview was “self-censorship” and “there are two great citadels of American liberalism unchallenged in America, Hollywood and college campuses.”

The conservative columnist began his remarks by arguing that Sony’s actions “happens in America all the time, and I wish the president would come to the party and talk about it.” Will then went on to call out liberalism for promoting this form of “self-censorship”:

College campuses constantly restrict speech in the name of a new entitlement, not to have your intellectual serenity disturbed, your emotional equilibrium upset, or your feelings hurt. Happens all the time. So when this occurred, Sony had no vocabulary, no philosophic basis for pushing back.

While Will admitted that he sympathized with Sony he argued that liberals in Hollywood and on college campuses need to stop self-censoring themselves: 

That said, you have to sympathize with them because they're operating in an era and a place where we need new protocols, if not formally negotiated some understanding. Was this or was this not an act of war?

See relevant transcript below. 

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace 

December 21, 2014

CHRIS WALLACE: So George [Will], did Sony make a mistake? What should they have done when the big movie theater chains said that they weren’t going to run the movie? And how serious a threat do you see this to freedom of expression in this country? 

GEORGE WILL: Well, the president is right. You can't have a free society if a dictator can impose censorship on us. That's true but not exactly pertinent because North Korea did not and does not have the power, unless the country is full of sleeper cells of North Koreans ready to act against every cineplex in the country. This was self-censorship, and it happens in America all the time, and I wish the president would come to the party and talk about it. That is, there are two great citadels of American liberalism unchallenged in America, Hollywood and college campuses. College campuses constantly restrict speech in the name of a new entitlement, not to have your intellectual serenity disturbed, your emotional equilibrium upset, or your feelings hurt. Happens all the time.

So when this occurred, Sony had no vocabulary, no philosophic basis for pushing back. That said, you have to sympathize with them because they're operating in an era and a place where we need new protocols, if not formally negotiated some understanding. Was this or was this not an act of war? The president understandably is reluctant to say that, understandably for a number of reasons, one of which is called Stuxnet. That is the United States probably was involved in using a computer virus to physically manage Iran's nuclear weapons program. Good but dangerous. 

Censorship Foreign Policy North Korea FOX Fox News Sunday George Will

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