The media has created its own uproar over the Sony Hack. Business Insider has called it an “act of war,” and now Sony is trotting out its lawyers and demanding that media agencies refrain from reporting the contents of the stolen data, and delete anything they may have acquired as a result of the hack.

Of course, outlets have turned Sony’s demand into its own story, and debate over the ethics (and legality) of reporting on stolen data has gotten heated even as the initial furor over “racist” and “shocking” e-mail conversations has tapered off.

On Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, host John Heilemann defended the newsworthyness of the hacked e-mails, taking on Aaron’s Sorkin’s position that it is “morally treasonous” for other media organizations to profit off of Sony’s misery.

Via Mediaite:

Sorkin dismissed the idea that any content found in the leaked emails was “newsworthy” and said it was “morally treasonous” for news organizations to aid the hackers by printing their content.

But Heilemann was not so sure. “There are a lot of things that have been reported that would have been considered news if they had been found in another way,” he said, citing the racially-charged conversation between Sony co-chair Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin about President Barack Obama as an example. Echoing Al Sharpton, Heilemann compared those “racist emails” to those made by former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and said no reporter would have ignored them if they had been leaked by internal employees at the studio.

Heilemann’s co-host Mark Halperin reluctantly sided with Sorkin, saying the source of the information has to be taken into account before it is reported. “As I’ve always said, Aaron Sorkin: voice of reason,” Halperin added sarcastically.

I’ll leave it to the comments: is this stuff newsworthy? Or should there exist honor amongst those attention thieves who run highly competitive entertainment companies?


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