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At the White House petition site:

We petition the Obama administration to:

Urge Sony pictures to release the film “The Interview” and protect our 1st Amendment.

We the people of the United States of America feel that our 1st amendment is under attack by a foreign government. Our right to produce comedy motion pictures that depict anyone or anything is greatly at stake. We want our government to defend our first amendment by urging Sony to release “The Interview” and offer protection to movie goers as well as those involved in the production of the movie.

Published Date: Dec 18, 2014

Issues: Foreign Policy, Homeland Security and Disaster Relief, Technology and Telecommunications

Signatures needed by January 17, 2015 to reach goal of 100,000 99,787

Total signatures on this petition 213

[emphasis added]

Uh, it’s a violation of the First Amendment if Congress makes a law restricting access to the film. That hasn’t happened, has it?

We petition the Obama Administration to:

Encourage Sony to Distribute “The Interview” to Those Americans Who Wish to See the Film.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson

If the people of the United States of America think seeing “The Interview” will make them happy, they should be allowed to do so from the safety of their own homes.

Sony should be protected and allowed to digitally release “The Interview” for purchase as a digital download immediately.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

We cannot allow a foreign nation to terrorize our citizens out of seeing a harmless, satirical film.

Published Date: Dec 18, 2014

Issues: Arts and Humanities, Civil Rights and Liberties, Homeland Security and Disaster Relief

Signatures needed by January 17, 2015 to reach goal of 100,000 99,711

Total signatures on this petition 289

[emphasis added]

Right. It’s all about the principles (via Twitter):

Micah J. Murray ‏@micahjmurray

#TheInterview

Take off your shoes. Get patted down at airports. Militarize the police force. Arm school teachers. Torture people. Drone-kill children. Wiretap all the phone.

America: “Meh.”

Pull one stupid comedy movie from theaters.

America: “THIS IS WHERE WE DRAW THE LINE. WE ARE NOT A NATION RULED BY FEAR.”

7:42 AM – 19 Dec 2014

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out how preview audiences reacted?