In a surprising turn of events during last night’s episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver revealed that he had taken a recent trip to Russia to interview government tattletale Edward Snowden.
Oliver’s nearly 20-minute interview of Snowden discussed a variety of things, from what Snowden misses about the United States, including his family and Hot Pockets, to previously uncharted Edward Snowden interview territory–discussing whether or not the government has been snagging nude selfies around the globe.
John Oliver, known for his cheeky commentary, was at times hard hitting, questioning Snowden as to whether or not Edward had acted ethically in his distribution of thousands of classified documents to the media in June of 2013. Snowden admitted he did not read all of the documents he had forked over but that he was counting on the media to report responsibly. Oliver questioned whether or not that was the responsible thing to do, but Snowden stuck to his guns, stating he was concerned about the level of domestic surveillance the government was conducting.
Oliver, in an effort to hold Snowden accountable asked for clarification, “You want your spies to be good at spying, to be fair.”
“Right. What you don’t want is for them to be spying inside their own country. Spies are great when they are on our side but we can never forget that they are very powerful and very dangerous,” Snowden replied.
Oliver used this response as the springboard for what took up most of the conversation with Snowden: Is the government monitoring those naked “junk” pictures people email or text each other?
A series of man on the street interviews shown to Snowden by the host, revealed Americans weren’t all that interested in the information that Edward had leaked, as several people were unable to even answer the question, “Who is Edward Snowden?”
The interesting turn came when people were asked what they would think if the public government was snagging pics of their private parts from their electronic communication with most expressing outrage. Snowden took this opportunity to educate Oliver, not only confirming that the government snags those elicit pics but describing how they obtain them.
“Edward, if the American people understood this, they would be absolutely horrified,” Oliver replied astounded.
“I guess I never thought of putting it in the context of your junk,” Snowden answered.
When Oliver suggested that people stop taking “junk” pictures, Snowden remained defiant and encouraged Americans to continue to live their lives as they always have, “You shouldn’t change your behavior because a government agency somewhere is doing the wrong thing. If we sacrifice our values because we’re afraid, we don’t care about those values very much.”
Meanwhile, Edward Snowden sits in Russia, still trying to decide if he will return to the United States to stand trial for actions that have branded him a traitor to some, and a hero to others.
To view the Edward Snowden interview in it’s entirety, visit here.
[Image courtesy of TVLine]