Daily Show on Edward Snowden’s staycation in Moscow

John Oliver of the Daily Show discusses the latest Edward Snowden news, including the fact that Snowden may be leaving Moscow shortly.


“Oh snowden, why did you seek aslym in a country run by an actual cartoon villain.”

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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45 Responses to “Daily Show on Edward Snowden’s staycation in Moscow”

  1. karmanot says:

    “making the President out to be a torturer does not help your cause either” But he is Blanch, he is, now eat your did din.

  2. karmanot says:

    Except a sexting pic of say, Giuliani’s gray, withered ‘man thing’ might bring on a red code alert, negating all his heroic announcements of 9/11, 9/11.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    Getting personal will get you nowhere.

  4. FLL says:

    No. You are a comedian. Sometimes, entertainment is a valid goal in and of itself. Therefore, do us all a favor. Never stop posting.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama and Putin are both villains who conduct wars of aggression and of the two Obama is the worst. Both are anti-gay but Obama has rebranded to fool those willing to believe him. He deserves no credit for it.

    Snowden is a hero.

    Oliver is a comedian.

  6. FLL says:

    Declaring victory is not the same as winning.

  7. FLL says:

    It seems that some commenters take exception to John Oliver calling Putin “an actual cartoon villain,” and they take equal exception to John Aravosis quoting Oliver’s comment in his post above. In modern times (let’s say starting at the beginning of the 20th century), I don’t think I can recall any country (civilized or not) that takes young children away from their gay or bisexual parents, unless of course their is clear evidence of abuse. You could, perhaps, point to extreme examples in the 20th century, such as campaigns of the mass murder of an entire population, but these are indeed extreme examples. In general, countries just don’t take children away from their gay parents. In an New York Times op-ed article by Harvey Fierstein, he repeats rumors that Putin is considering signing a law that will do just that. You may say that it’s not reasonable to pay attention to mere rumor, but apparently, there is documentation that some families in Russia with gay parents are making preparations to flee the country. Certainly some people are taking these rumors very seriously. Here is an excerpt from Fierstein’s article (link here):

    Finally, it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian. The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents.

    Not surprisingly, some gay and lesbian families are already beginning to plan their escapes from Russia.

    This is beyond anything contemplated by any other nation, civilized or not. I am not saying that Fierstein or anyone else should rely only on rumor, but if the situation is so bad that families are already making preparations to flee the country, that in itself is telling.

    P.S. I’m sure the vast majority of commenters, including me, condemn drone warfare and would like to see it end. However, please do not reply to this comment with pointless flames about drone warfare. That would be implying that anyone who criticizes Putin’s war on gay people support drone warfare, which is a sick implication. Yes, I think readers with basic reading comprehension skills understand an implied main idea.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    Be my guest. Dig it deeper and you’ll never get out.

  9. FLL says:

    Projection again. I have never disagreed with anyone who condemns drone warfare—on any thread—and you know that. On the contrary, I agree with those who condemn U.S. war crimes (such as the collateral murder incident of 2007 exposed by Bradley Manning). I have no intention or desire to declare U.S. war crimes or drone warfare “off-limits,” and you know that too. It is you, not I, who wish to make Putin’s repressive actions off-limits by flaming anyone who criticizes them. Your cut-and-paste disclaimer that you “have criticized Putin elsewhere” does nothing to excuse your consistent flames whenverver anyone criticizes Putin and your campaign to shut down discussion every time Putin is mentioned. You are the one who wishes to declare discussion that you don’t like “off-limits,” and that attempt is a failure. How can I claim that your attempt is a failure. Easy. You have made your wishes to censor discussion of Putin’s repression very clear for some time now. Obviously, John and other bloggers have not granted your request. Therefore, your attempt is a failure.

  10. FLL says:

    If you don’t have time to review the various comments on this thread, I understand. People are busy. For your convenience, I’ll paste a paragraph from my original comment on this thread (which I posted long before you posted your reply):

    I think Edward Snowden has very few options in his quest to get to Latin America, which is apparently where he wants to go. He’s probably waiting to make the very complicated, expensive arrangements for a flight that would avoid his plane flying over unfriendly airspace…

    For anyone, including me, who wishes Snowden well, John Oliver’s question “What does Putin plan to do with Snowden” is very relevant. Listen to Putin’s disturbing answer at the 4:05 mark of the Daily Show video:

    Reporter: “What will happen to him… To Snowden?”
    Putin: “How should I know?”

    I understand that you might not have time to read comments previous to your own reply, but before you give me a patronizing lecture about how I don’t understand that the U.S. government asked other countries to ground Snowden’s plane, you could at least check to see if I mentioned that in my own comments.

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    Psychobabble and distraction.

    Obama and the Democrats are the the enemy, and so are Republicans.

    Your attempts to declare Obama’s war crimes off limits are a failure.

  12. FLL says:

    The desire to censor is yours, not mine. Your comments on this thread are a classic case of projection. If I were doing what you are doing, then I would get on a thread about drone warfare in the Middle East and post a comment saying that you have no right to complain about U.S. foreign policy because Putin is repressive in Russia. Obviously, I never do that, but that is exactly what you do on any thread that criticizes Putin. Classic projection of your own behavior on others. As far as your ongoing campaign for a third-party majority in Congress (or to put it more honestly, a Republican majority in Congress), I’ll leave you to your own devices. Who gives me the right to suspect your motives? Are you kidding? No one needs your permission for anything any more than you need anyone else’s permission to comment. Until some moderator tells you, you are free to post anything you want. Well, guess what? The same guideline applies to me and everyone else. Until some moderator tells us otherwise, anyone is free to question your motives, and we sure don’t need your permission to do so.

  13. Ty Morgan says:

    And of course you have PROOF of that?

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    We haven’t come to any agreement at all. So no it’s not OK. My disagreement in this matter is with you, your desire to censor and your loyalty to the Democrat party.

    You got very angry when I and others compared Putin to Obama. Obama, on the world scene, is much worse than Obama and that’s true domestically except that Obama rebranded. Both are anti-democrats building, or in Putin’s case, rebuilding, police states.

    I posted my opinions about Putin from another site above. I’m not likely to change them except to be even more critical as the left rebuilds in the RF and challenges United Russia.

    You’ve left questions unanswered. How am I a hysterical supporter of Putin? Why is it wrong to condemn the racist murders of the Obama Administration? What family are you taking about? Why are my motives suspect and who gave you the right to question them?

  15. nicho says:

    Well, they took out Michael Hastings in the third act.

  16. nicho says:

    No, I’m talking about what President Obama did to a 16-year-old kid.

  17. nicho says:


  18. FLL says:

    OK, I’ll keep an open mind, and I’ll wait to see if John has any future posts about Putin that do not relate to Edward Snowden. I understand your disagreement with John about Snowden because I share the very same disagreement. Shockingly, that means that you and I are on the same side of that issue. Like you, I believe that Snowden did people a favor by revealing the extent of domestic surveillance. I’m well aware, as you are, of the abuses of domestic surveillance involving the FBI and Martin Luther King (and others) during the 1960s. So I’ll keep an open mind about opinions that either you or John post after the Snowden affair is over. I’m sure Putin will still be around. Fair enough?

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re not telling the truth. I regularly criticize Putin and his party just as I regularly criticize Obama and your party.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    Why are you trying to shut down the discussion, again.

    My relatives? Hysteria?

    If you had a clue or looked at my comments you’ll see that I regularly criticize Putin and his party as being anti-worker and anti-democratic, just like Obama.

    From two days ago: “The sure sign of a society in disorder with a fearful government is minority scapegoating. The disorder began when the USSR collapsed and there were no socialist groups strong enough to win state power. Nationalist, neo-Nazis and the cults filled the vacuum.

    Stalinist era bureaucrats combined with a new breed of gangster capitalists (based on the Russian Mafia – Bratva) a loose association of gangsters who, had the capital from profits on prostitution and drug sales to begin buying up state owned enterprises and state farms after the collapse along with some of the richer and most corrupt Stalinist bureaucrats.

    They created an unstable and non-democratic regime with unemployment stable at about 6% and a low standard of living that only began to recover in 2010 and is making very modest gains. Many imperial problems inherited from the USSR and the old tsarist regime ,continue to haunt the new regime.

    Russia needs what we need, a socialist state that can destroy the power of the rich, end antigay bigotry, racism and misogyny and create economic democracy. As we’ve seen in both nations political political democracy is meaningless without economic democracy.


  21. Indigo says:

    I don’t really think so, at least not within the next few years, considering how long it took to find and revenge kill Osama. As things stand, all we have is theater. Putin postures. Obama hunches his shoulders. Greenwald sputters. Snowden grandstands. Aravosis rhetoricizes.It’s all theater, Tallulah, all thea-tuh! If this is Shakespeare, there will be dead bodies all over the stage in act 5, but we’re nowhere near that point.

  22. FLL says:

    Trying to shut down the discussion. Again. The post was about John Oliver’s criticism of Putin. Yes, what are your motives? No, I don’t think you’re a Russian agent. I do think many white American evangelicals (and Mormons) admire Putin for the reasons I mention in the comment you replied to. Rather than being a Russian agent, I simply think that you’re involved in a doomed attempt to kiss up to your relatives. That sounds much more likely to me. That’s why I think you react so hysterically whenever anyone criticizes Putin’s campaign of anti-gay persecution. And yes, your predictable responses to criticism of Putin are hysterical.

  23. FLL says:

    You are actually the one who tries to shut down discussions by remaining resolutely and consistently off-topic. Every time a blogger posts anything relating to the repression going on in Putin’s Russia, you immediately try to shut down the discussion by posting non-stop comments about drone warfare. I certainly don’t do that when a blogger posts something about the Middle East, do I? So you see, you’re projecting when you say that I’m trying to shut down the discussion. The discussion on this thread was about John Oliver’s criticism of Putin. Your tactic of shutting down the discussion borders on spam. You just barely avoid the moderator’s definition of spam because your comments are not quite cut and pastes of previous comments.

  24. goulo says:

    This post did not appear in a vacuum; John has made his negative feelings about Snowden very clear in previous posts.

    The very notion that Snowden intentionally decided to seek asylum in Russia as his goal country (when Russia was only intended as a way-station en route to another country, and then the US invalidated his passport, leaving him stuck in Russia unable to leave) is already a loaded and dubious anti-Snowden way to frame the situation.

  25. Bill_Perdue says:

    “Putin hunts a lot.” So does Obama, but he does it with drones.

    “He persecutes gay people.” How do you describe Obama’s work to galvanize the bigot vote with ‘gawd’s in the mix’ in 2008. How do you describe the decades long refusal of the Democrats (and Republicans) to pass ENDA or repeal DOMA, even when they had the votes.

    “He’s a devout Christian.” So is Obama. Ask Donnie McClurkin or Rick Warren.

    Obama has plenty of non-Russian, not christer critics.The fact that rightists criticize him is not a justification for his callous abandonment of people of color in this country.


  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’ll criticize Obama and other US mad dog warmongers like the Clinton and the Bushes whenever I see the need.

    Why do you object to accusations that Obama ordered the racism murders of Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed.

  27. htfd says:

    FLL, you know this first hand? When did Putin force a sovereign nations president to force land? When did Putin call several South American countries and threaten their economic status. As nicho wrote, it’s not shielding Putin from criticism. It’s realizing that Putin is acting like the adult and the US government, Congress and the Obama Administration, is acting like nasty spoiled children. FLL get a hold of some English translation of foreign papers and see what they are saying about Obama so you have a clearer picture.

  28. FLL says:

    From your comment: “The Constitution and Civil Liberties are more important than remaining loyal to the administration all the time John.”

    Your remark about John Aravosis mystifies me. This is one of the shortest posts John has every written. Shall we analyze it? First, a brief summary of the Daily News show in which John Oliver ridicules Vladimir Putin:

    “John Oliver of the Daily Show discusses the latest Edward Snowden news,
    including the fact that Snowden may be leaving Moscow shortly.”

    The second (and last) sentence in John’s post is a quote of John Oliver’s ridicule of Putin: “Oh snowden, why did you seek aslym in a country run by an actual cartoon villain.”

    Now you tell me where, in this very brief post, you can somehow find evidence of John Aravosis (or John Oliver, for that matter) stumping for Obama. Do you have special 3-D glasses that the rest of us don’t?

  29. Leota2 says:

    You can defend Snowden but it is foolish to pretend he is in a better position in Russia with Putin smiling down at him.. You are defending the indefensible.
    And making the President out to be a torturer does not help your cause either.
    Here’s hoping Edward is indeed heterosexual—and doesn’t say anything against flying sky fairy religious stuff. His ass will be publicly bloodied.

  30. voltronforce says:

    I view Snowden as a hero. I am glad I pay my ACLU dues. The Constitution and Civil Liberties are more important than remaining loyal to the administration all the time John.

  31. FLL says:

    I have no objections to criticizing Obama on a thread that’s somehow related to Obama, but Obama is not the topic of this thread. This thread contains criticism of Putin from John Oliver and John Aravosis. When a commenter objects shrilly every time anyone criticizes Putin, it is definitely worth asking what that commenter’s motives are.

  32. karmanot says:

    Exactly so

  33. okojo says:

    I think you are confusing what President Putin actually did to a former Russian agent, to President Obama’s statements about a System Admin who was worked for three weeks at the Threats Center in Oahu.

  34. Drew2u says:

    Just say he renounced his US citizenship and switched sides to the terrorists, right?

  35. Drew2u says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if, as its last-hurrah, Anonymous hacked NSA and released all the naked-elected-official pics the NSA is hoarding?

  36. nicho says:

    People still don’t get it:

    “The true objectives of surveillance programs by intelligence agencies like the NSA, CIA, and FBI having nothing to do with ‘security’ or ‘protection’ but rather political repression. Systematic surveillance can only be understood as an essential part of state repression, the purpose of which is to intimidate those that question the status quo by promoting a culture of fear. One can never be separated from the other.”


  37. nicho says:

    It’s not shielding Putin from criticism as much as showing that Obama is no different.

  38. nicho says:

    No. They would have figured it out, and he would have been quietly annihilated. Going public was his best choice. Otherwise, Obama just would have had him murdered.

  39. Zorba says:

    Putin is a devout Putinist, no doubt about it.

  40. FLL says:

    Agreed. He’s an opportunistic schmuck who wants to distract the population from his failed policies by demonizing Russia’s gay minority.

  41. Thom Allen says:

    Yes, he’s just as devout a christian now as he was a devout atheist in his KGB days.

  42. Indigo says:

    It’s like watching a very bad movie interpreting one of Tolstoy’s more tedious stories. Snowden is beginning to register with me as a breath-takingly naive young man who jumped the shark when he decided to go public. He could’ve remained Anonymous. Glenn Greenwald was pretty good about that. But no . . . he had to get up on the soap box. Now it’s just one more soap opera in search of a sponsor.

  43. FLL says:

    Non-sequitur. It’s worth asking why you want to shield Putin from criticism.

  44. Bill_Perdue says:

    “Oh snowden, why did you seek aslym in a country run by an actual cartoon villain.” As opposed to a real villain like Obama who ordered the racist murders of Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed.

  45. FLL says:

    Putin hunts a lot. There was indeed a report several years back of Putin killing a Siberian tiger, although I’m not sure if the photo on the Daily Show segment is from that incident. What I do know, however, is that white evangelical Xtians in the U.S. have been searching for a hero. The anti-gay leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa and Jamaica are out of the question because they’re… well, you know… black. Apparently, they have found their hero. White evangelical checklist for Vladimir Putin:

    (1) He persecutes gay people.
    (2) He’s a devout Christian. Yes, gentle reader, Putin is a devout Russian Orthodox Christian. Any number of news articles will verify that he regularly attends the most important services of the Russian Orthodox Church. Please view Putin’s very own religious propaganda video in which he adroitly inserts his personal call to support male-female marriage in the name of increasing Russia’s birthrate (link to video is here).
    (3) Of utmost importance to white evangelicals, Putin is white! He’s white! He’s white! He’s white!

    I think Edward Snowden has very few options in his quest to get to Latin America, which is apparently where he wants to go. He’s probably waiting to make the very complicated, expensive arrangements for a flight that would avoid his plane flying over unfriendly airspace. However, when John Oliver said, “Oh snowden, why did you seek aslym in a country run by an actual cartoon villain?” and John Aravosis quoted Oliver’s question in his post above, they were merely pointing out the obvious.

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