While it is certain that in a few weeks, not even America's staunchest "patriots" will remember The Interview, one thing is certain: the trolling comedy that has been unleashed by North Korea in response to Obama's own "proportional response" will live in infamy for a long time. Case in point, North Korea's full official statement following the re-release of the The Interview, which hit select theaters on Christmas day, just as initially scheduled despite the endless drama, as well as countless streaming distribution services (which at a rental price of $5.99 promptly made it the most pirated movie of 2014, despite an epic marketing campaign that essentially made it unpatriotic for Americans not to see the movie).
So the movie came and went, but not before for some inexplicable reason, "an unknown" power decided to escalate matters further and following the FBI's and Obama's threat for a "proportional response", killed North Korea's internet for hours, because surely that will teach those evil North Korean hackers to never again mess with one of the world's most powerful transnational corporations, and halt future dissemination of emails revealing Sony Pictures' execs as a bunch of coddled racists. Or, as the administration called it, a "matter of national security."
To be sure, North Korea did not keep quiet through this entire farce, and while it made it very clear that it had nothing to do with the Sony hack, it did demand a full UN-backed investigation, a proposal quickly shot down by none other than the US which always demands full "transparency" of all actions except when actions are its own, or when the resulting transparency would shine an unwanted light on the hypocrisy behind US national interests. Furthermore, in its first statements regarding The Interview, North Korea was actually quite cordial, and said nothing offensive regarding Obama.
All that changed overnight when in its first official statement since its Internet went dark - something which if indeed North Korea did not hack Sony, as it claims, would be seen as a clear act of war if it were to happen to any other "developed" country - North Korea finally lost it and decided that the time to troll the US president has finally arrived, when, as the TV anchor says beginning 1:10 minutes in the clip blow, "Obama always goes reckless in speech and action like a monkey in a tropical jungle."
Clearly, North Korea has had enough, and as the Former British ambassador to North Korea John Everard said, "they have calculated there is nothing to be gained from trying to be nice to him." That, and it also shows that not even deep technological backwaters, countries which barely have night-time lighting let alone supercomputers needed to bypass state of the art firewalls, have no fear, or respect, of the current iteration of the world's most powerful man.
What is perhaps even more disturbing is that while replete with the usual propaganda, the North Korean statement actually made some valid points. From the statement:
"We'd like to ask if somebody made a film concerning terror, and if somebody intends to instigate terror to do harm, can Obama talk about freedom of expression and value of modern civilization. We take this opportunity to clearly announce once again: the hacking attack on Sony Pictures has nothing to do with us. We make it clear that our target is not such individual corporations as Sony Picture but the US imperialist brigands who left grudge on our entire nation. If the US intends to insist that we are the hacking attackers they must present evidence now. Actually the big United States shamelessly began to obstruct the internet operations of major media of the DPRK like hide and seek of innocent children. We have already warned them not to act in the way of shaking fist after being hit by somebody. Of course, we do not expect our warning would work on the brigands because it is the United State that makes truth recognized by all people falsehood, triggers a war of aggression, and unhesitatingly intervenes in the internal affairs of a sovereign state if it is to satisfy their aggressive ambitions."
The trolling continued: "If the US persists in American-style arrogant, high-handed and gangster-like arbitrary practices despite (North Korea's) repeated warnings, the US should bear in mind that its failed political affairs will face inescapable deadly blows."
The full trolling statement below:
So what was the immediate response to the North Korean statement comparing Obama to a monkey, and the US to a schoolyard bully? Well, as reported earlier, "someone" managed to take down not only the communist country's internet but all its cell phone service.
And while Obama has yet to respond to North Korea's latest escalation in trolling, if not hacking, the president did take the time to provide some propaganda of his own, not surprisingly on a very contextual topic, and one very near and dear to Obama's heart: race. In fact his statement to NPR, as reported by The Hill, was no less laughable: "President Obama believes that the United States is less racially divided than when he took office in 2009. Asked in an NPR interview set to air starting Monday whether the nation is more racially divided than six years ago, Obama said "No."
"I actually think that it's probably in its day-to-day interactions less racially divided," Obama told "Morning Edition" host Steve Inskeep. Excerpts of the interview were released before broadcast by NPR.
And while there is Obama's version of reality, where his favorite TV channel, ESPN, apparently does not cover events like Ferguson or the slaying of NYPD cops, for everyone else things are different: a majority of Americans, 53 percent, believe that race relations have worsened under America's first black president, compared to 36 percent who say they have stayed the same and 9 percent who say they have improved, according to a Bloomberg Politics poll released earlier this month.
The NPR interview took place Dec. 18, a day after People magazine published remarks by the president and first lady Michelle Obama saying that they themselves had experienced racial prejudice.
"I think people forget that we've lived in the White House for six years," the first lady said. "Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs," she added.
"There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys," the president said.
Perhaps, or perhaps this is merely another example of "reckless speech and action" just like North Korea alleged, all designed to stoke, not sooth, racial conflict and hatred in America.
At the end of the day the only real question is whose propaganda is more convincing (or at least more amusing):