Michael Lynton, chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment spoke exclusively with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. In the interview, which aired tonight on Anderson Cooper 360°, Lynton addressed President Obama’s criticism today and talked more about the recent cyber-attack on Sony which is now determined to have been launched by North Korea.
The full interview will encore on CNN at 10:00amET on Sunday, Dec. 21 on Fareed Zakaria GPS.
The following are excerpts from an interview between Michael Lynton, chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that will air inside ANDERSON COOPER 360°. The excerpts below relate to the recent cyberattacks upon Sony Pictures, now determined to have been launched by North Korea, and took place following the press conference with President Obama that took place earlier today. The full interview will air tonight on CNN at 8:00pmET.
***** MANDATORY for reference and usage: “FULL INTERVIEW WILL AIR INSIDE CNN’s ANDERSON COOPER 360° TONIGHT AT 8:00PM/eSt” *****
Michael Lynton on reaction to President Obama’s recent statements about Sony Pictures decision to pull The Interview
FAREED ZAKARIA: The President says Sony made a mistake in pulling the film. Did you make a mistake?
MICHAEL LYNTON: No. I–I think actually the unfortunate part is. in this instance. the President, the Press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened. We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters. So, to sort of rehearse for a moment the sequence of events, we experienced the worst cyber-attack in American history and persevered for three and a half weeks under enormous stress and enormous difficulty. Umm and all with the effort of trying to keep our business up and running and get this movie out into the public. When it came to the crucial moment– when a threat came out from what was called the GOP at the time– threatening audiences who would go to the movie theaters, the movie theaters came to us one by one over the course of a very short period of time– We were completely surprised by it and announced that they would not carry the movie. At that point in time, we had no alternative but to not proceed with the theatrical release on the 25th of December.
ZAKARIA: So you don’t…
LYNTON: That’s all we did
ZAKARIA: So you have not caved in your view?
LYNTON: We have not caved. We have not given in. We have preserved. And we have NOT backed down. We have–We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie”
LYNTON on options open to Sony for releasing The Interview
FAREED ZAKARIA: Why not release it online in some form or the other – video on demand?
MICHAEL LYNTON: There are a number of options open to us and we have considered those and are considering them. As it stands right now – while there have been a number of suggestions that we go out there and deliver this movie digitally or through VOD, there has not been one major VOD – video on demand distributor – one major e-commerce site that has stepped forward and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us. Again, we don’t have that direct interface with the American public so we need to go through an intermediary to do that.
LYNTON on his prior support of President Obama – and whether that has now changed.
FAREED ZAKARIA: You are well known as somebody who supported President Obama.
ZAKARIA: Were you disappointed in what you heard today?
LYNTON: umm I would be fibbing to say I wasn’t disappointed. Ummm.. I I—You know, the President and I haven’t spoken. I don’t know exactly whether he understands the sequence of events that led up to the movies not being shown in the movie theaters. Umm… and umm therefore I would disagree with the notion that it was a mistake. It’s a generally held view by the public and the press that that’s what happened and maybe that’s how that view was –was held by uh him. But, knowing as I do the-the facts and how they’ve—how they’ve unfolded…um …You know we st-stood extremely firm in terms of making certain that this movie would appear in movie theaters.”
LYNTON on whether Sony Pictures made a mistake by producing The Interview.
FAREED ZAKARIA: Would you make the movie again?
MICHAEL LYNTON: Ya, I would make the movie again. I think, you know, for the same reasons we made – made it in the first place. It was a funny comedy. It was a – it, it served as political satire, I think – I think we would have made the movie again. I, I, knowing what I know now, we might have – done something slightly differently but I think a lot of events have overtaken us in a way we had no control over the – over the facts.
FAREED ZAKARIA: And you’re saying you still want the public to see this movie?
MICHAEL LYNTON: We would still like the public to see this movie. Absolutely.
United States law enforcement sources have told CNN’s justice reporter Evan Perez that U.S. investigators have determined that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. An official announcement could come as early as Thursday. This report first aired on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, 5-7 p.m. ET.
CNN Special Report Airs Tuesday, Dec. 16th at 9pmET/PT
As the year comes to a close, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and HLN’s Robin Meade will take a look back at the inspiring stories of five notable people – some famous, some not – who did extraordinary things in 2014. From the Canadian Sergeant-at-Arms who stopped a gunman to an Ebola nurse to an NBA MVP, the CNN Special Report Extraordinary People will touch on 2014’s most talked about events and the remarkable people behind them.
The hour-long special will also feature CNN Anchor Don Lemon and CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen who sit-down with two of the five extraordinary people profiled, including: FULL POST
CNN also wins Best News Program, Best Current Affairs Presenter, and Best Documentary Series
CNN International’s editorial leadership and strength was recognized at last night’s 2014 Asian Television Awards in Singapore, with the network dominating the evening winning 5 awards.
For the second consecutive year, the network clinched the coveted ‘Cable & Satellite Channel of the Year’ title, and was also named ‘Cable & Satellite Network of the Year’. CNN also won ‘Best News Program’, ‘Best Current Affairs Presenter’ and ‘Best Documentary Series’ at the ceremony. FULL POST
As 2014 draws to a close, CNN anchor Richard Quest presents a special week of programming dedicated to next year’s travel agenda – the destinations, events, gadgets, tips and technology that will define the industry in 2015.
From hotels springing up, to new aircraft taking to the skies, Quest highlights the hottest trends global travellers should be watching out for in the year ahead.
Ellana Lee, SVP and Managing Editor, CNN International, said: “As we nudge ever nearer to the New Year, who better than Richard Quest to lead the way in providing CNN’s global audience with all they need to know about the world of travel in 2015. This special theme week has its finger on the pulse of travel trends, developments and initiatives, all told with Quest’s inimitable style and expertise of the industry.” FULL POST
CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Naftali Bennett, the economic minister in Prime Minister Netanyahu's cabinet and the leader of the ultra-conservative Jewish Home party, to discuss the Israeli elections, Palestinian statehood, and European divestment of Israel.
On rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state: “The notion of injecting a state, dividing Jerusalem, dividing up the country and splitting and slicing it, is not sustainable. When we did it in Gaza, we gave them Gaza, right? And it turned into a terrible Afghanistan in the middle of Israel. We can't do it again. We can't commit suicide. We have to be more rational about things.”
On European divestment of Israel: “The boycott and divestment against Israel, in my opinion, is simply anti-Semitism, because we're the only country that takes care of its minorities, the only country where everyone can vote, Arabs and Jews. We're not cutting off heads. We allow women to drive, not like in other Arab countries. So to pinpoint the Jewish state as a - as a target for a boycott and divestment is blatant anti-Semitism. And I have no sympathy for that.”
Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST
CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley features interviews with Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Peter King. Senator Schumer described the dynamics of the internal and external relations of the Republican and Democratic parties. He also provided his prediction on the 2016 elections, as a strong proponent of Hillary Clinton. Representative King, member of the House Intelligence Committee, defends the CIA following the scathing new Senate report about the agency’s interrogation methods.
Sen. Schumer on the internal schisms in congress: “I think the soul of the Democratic party is economic issues, and I think on economic issues, we are united. And I think Elizabeth Warren, even if people don’t agree with her, she’s constructive. She’s not like Ted Cruz.”
Rep. King on the CIA : “I think it’s important for people like myself and people in the media to speak out and say the people at the CIA did an excellent job, that the people of the CIA operated under the most extenuating circumstances, that they’re responsible for stopping attacks against the United States and that we have to stop this self-loathing.”
Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST
Today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, as Democrats look to repair the damage from this year’s elections, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) offers his prescription for what ails his party, bridging America’s racial divide, and the nature of capitalism in America.
On the results of the midterm elections: “I think the reason in the outcome in the elections is because Democrats didn't stand for anything. And the Democrats who lost are the ones who were saying, look, we're just not as bad as the other guys and gals. I think that we are a party that believes in the American dream. We believe in the collaboration between government and the private sector to enable the American dream. ”
On the possible Democratic candidates in 2016 : “I'm a great admirer of Senator Warren, as I am of Secretary Clinton, and the others who are - who are circling around...”
On the recent protests across America: “They weren't interested in engagement, because part of the point was to be disruptive. And I think it does beg some questions, what is it we're trying to accomplish beyond disruption? Certainly, part of it is to make sure people understand just how broadly the concern lies around being understood, and not being fearful, either as unarmed black men or as police. And that huge chasm of misunderstanding between the two has got to be bridged.”
On being business friendly: ” I just don't believe that markets solve every problem in everybody's life. And I don't think government solves every problem in everybody's life. I think they have to work alongside each other. “
Full transcript after the jump.
On today’s Smerconish, Former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Bob Graham spoke about the Senate C.I.A. Torture Report.
According to the Report, the C.I.A. claims that then Committee Chairman Bob Graham and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, and staff directors, received a briefing on EIT’s on September 27, 2002.
When asked by host Michael what he was told about the EIT program while he was Chairman, Graham said: "On the one day where there was a briefing, I saw in my notes that there were people at the briefing who were not cleared to a security level that they would have been briefed on a topic as sensitive as enhanced interrogation. So I think that confirmed in my mind that I was never briefed on the use of this new technique by the CIA."
Smerconish airs Saturdays at 9 am ET and replays at 6 pm ET.