Comedian John Oliver blended humor and hard-hitting journalism in a wide-ranging interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that covered surveillance, the renewal of the Patriot Act and, naturally, d— pics.
The Last Week Tonight host actually traveled to Russia, where he sat down with the 31-year-old who, back in 2013, revealed details about classified U.S. government surveillance programs. The interview started on a lighter note, with Oliver questioning how much Snowden misses America and, most importantly, Hot Pockets. But soon Oliver probed Snowden on why he really did what he did and whether or not he actually read the documents he handed over.
“I do understand what I turned over,” Snowden answered. “There’s a difference between understanding what’s in the documents and reading what’s in the documents… because when you’re handing over thousands of NSA documents the last thing you’d want to do isread them,” Oliver responded.
When Snowden said that journalists are using grave security measures to protect the leaked information when reporting about it, Oliver referenced aNew York Times slide that failed to redact properly. “It is a fu– up, and those things do happen in reporting. In journalism, we have to accept that some mistakes will be made. This is a fundamental concept of liberty,” Snowden responded. Oliver continued to press him adding, “Right. But you have to own that then. You’re giving documents with information you know could be harmful, which could get out there.”
Finally, Oliver lightens the mood a bit and shows Snowden taped interviews with people about having their d— pictures stolen. “Well, the good news is there’s no program named ‘The D— Pic Program,” Snowden said. “The bad news is [the government’s] still collecting everybody’s information–including your d— pics.”
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