The story of the Hollywood movie, The Interview, North Korea and the hacking of Sony Pictures made news and a fair amount of gossip, around the world.

The media immediately accepted the FBI narrative that North Korea was responsible for the hacking.  We’ve seen the United States government present an intelligence profile of a country.  And then, expect the world to fall into lock step with that account. 

Christine Hong, University of California

By now you probably know - the plot has a couple of American journalists recruited by the CIA to kill North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. Just days before it was to premiere in cinemas, Sony Pictures pulled the film fearing "9/11-styled attacks" on theatres that showed it.

The threat came from a group of hackers that had already caused havoc with a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, and leaked reams of the studio's confidential information. Washington was quick to blame the hack on North Korea and many in the US media could not wait to do the same.

The New York Times and Washington Post were among the outlets that, once again, quoted anonymous intelligence officials pointing the finger, despite consistent denials from North Korea and a chorus of cyber experts who were beyond dubious.

Pyongyang's official response to the film - that releasing it would amount to an act of war - also struck people as a reach, but when you consider the way the country is depicted by Hollywood and take a closer look at what was actually revealed in the hack-job on Sony Pictures, you may reconsider.

The Listening Post's Nic Muirhead reports on how a screwball comedy turned into a serious story that failed to get the journalistic coverage its seriousness deserved.

The Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.  

Watch more The Listening Post.  

Source: Al Jazeera