Last month, BP initially balked at congressional requests to live stream the Gulf oil gusher. Rep. Ed Markey persisted, using public pressure and shaming, and BP finally relented. Since then, the world has been able to watch in horror as now an estimated 60,000 barrels of oil spew into the Gulf every day. In Japan, the producers of the Oscar-winning "The Cove" have come under attack by right wing forces trying to stop the documentary about the slaughter of dolphins from being screened in Tokyo. Technology is not allowing the protestors to prevail.In total, three theaters in Tokyo have canceled screenings, meaning that no theater in Japan's capitol is showing the film. But on Thursday, the Japanese film's distributor, Unplugged Inc., announced that it will show the film free online to 2,000 viewers.
The film has stirred much online debate in Japan, even though most people commenting on it have not seen the film, said a company official from Unplugged, citing the distributor's president Takeshi Kato.
"People discussing the film on the Internet are talking without having watched it, and it seems they don't understand its meaning," he said. "It's okay to support or oppose the film, but we hope that will be discussed after people watch the film."
Without sounding to sanctimonous, free societies depend on the free exchange of ideas. We all should applaud Unplugged Inc. for pushing back on the protestors and getting the story of the dolphin hunt in Taiji out to the public. Likewise, Ed Markey is hero in my book for pushing BP to have full disclosure.