Sen. David Vitter, R-La., says the White House should invite Congress to screen "The Interview" at the White House. Sony Pictures this week decided not to release the movie Christmas Day as planned in the face of threats against theaters from reputed North Korean hackers.
The Seth Rogen-James Franco satire about a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un led to a massive hack in which five unreleased pictures were released as well as thousands of emails, some of them critical of the studio's movies and stars.
"The policy of rewarding terrorists, authoritarianism and cruelty with concessions should not be the legacy we pursue," Vitter wrote. "Therefore, I ask that you host a screening of the comedy film 'The Interview' for members of Congress in the White House the week of Jan. 5, to be followed by a serious discussion of the strong, substantive retaliatory measures we plan to take as a nation against cyberattacks."
The head of the Republican party sent a letter to theater owners Saturday, saying giving in the threats "is ceding our freedom to the whims of a totalitarian regime. We are setting a troubling example and a terrible precedent."
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus said if theaters agree to show the movie, "I will send a note to the Republican Party's millions of donors and supporters urging them to buy a ticket -- not to support one movie or Hollywood, but to show North Korea we cannot be bullied into giving up our freedom."
Obama told a news conference Friday the United States is considering retaliatory action against North Korea, and a senior administration official Saturday told the New York Times Washington may seek help from China to block Pyongyang's cyber mischief. The North has denied any government involvement in the hack although it praised the action as "righteous."