John Oliver interview with Edward Snowden.

John Oliver has been knocking it out of the park ever since he left The Daily Show to start his own comedy news show on HBO. Last Week Tonight manages to both entertain and inform and, in some ways, is a better show than TDS. Best of all, HBO and Oliver makes full length segments of the show available on YouTube so you don’t have to pay for HBO to see it.

Each week Oliver picks a topic and does a deep dive on it and this week he’s tackling surveillance and Section 215 of the Patriot Act and how we’re not having the debate we should be about the NSA and domestic spying. It’s a great segment, but it’s even better because he managed to score an interview with the man who arguably made it possible to have this debate, Edward Snowden, and he doesn’t pull any punches with his questions:

Once again I have to marvel at how a comedy news program manages to do better journalism than the supposed news channels. It also breaks things down into a context that is not only funny, but which the average person can comprehend.

As Oliver points out, part of the reason we’re not having this debate is because the subject matter is so highly technical and hard to understand for most folks. It’s doesn’t help that too many people barely pay attention to what’s going on around them. Ask them who Taylor Swift is and they can recite lyrics from her latest single, but ask who Edward Snowden is and too many don’t have a clue. These programs need to be seriously revised and given more transparency, but that’s not going to happen so long as we don’t bother to talk about them.

Finally, this gives me a chance to make use of this:

Would've been funnier back when it was still winter, but fuck it.

Would’ve been funnier back when it was still winter, but fuck it.

3 thoughts on “John Oliver interview with Edward Snowden.

  1. Thanks for posting this, surveillance is something the government needs to do, and if reasonable people ran the programs, not so much of a problem. But reasonable people don’t tend to run things lately, much of anywhere, though they can approximate reasonableness if their feet are held to the fire. BTW, hope you’re getting some spring up there.

  2. Surveillance is a necessary evil, but if you’re going to do it on your own people then there should be as much transparency as you can manage on exactly what you’re looking at and what you’re looking for and how long you’ll be keeping it and who will have access to it. I think most Americans are less concerned with spying on other nations, but it gets persnickety when you turn your cameras inwards.

    As for spring, it’s getting here slowly but surely. This week it’s been raining a lot, but that beats the hell out of snow. Might get into the 50’s this weekend!

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