Like many Americans were at the time, “The Daily Show” fill-in host John Oliver was confused about National Security Administration whistleblower Edward Snowden’s whereabouts Monday night – and he let the world know that.
“This is either incredibly embarrassing for the US government or the most brilliant thing they could possibly do,” Oliver said during the show’s middle segment. “Because for a while there, Edward Snowden had me believing the US government was all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful.”
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Snowden is still in the Moscow airport but is allowed to leave the country because he hasn’t committed any crimes in Russia – a key requirement for extradition.
Nonetheless, the awkward little British host continued on to point out just how wrong the mentality that the government could easily extract the former NSA employee is.
“When we last checked in, he was in Hong Kong, with whom we have an extradition treaty, so it’s only a matter of time before he just comes flying home, right?” he added.
Wrong. As “Daily Show” viewers quickly learned, Snowden was able to hop on a plane to Russia Sunday because Hong Kong stopped returning the American government’s phone calls.
“Basically the United States, the most powerful government on Earth, was turned into a sad ex-boyfriend,” Oliver quipped.
It wasn’t just the government’s lack of ability to bring back Snowden that fell under Oliver’s scrutiny, however. The media and their “12 exclusive photos of an empty chair” on the plane Snowden was believed to have been on received some ridicule from Oliver who said the media was “literally reporting on nothing” except for the confusion over where he is hiding.
“Then stop guessing! News is not a game show. You don’t win a car if you happen to be right,” Oliver said. “Although if it was like a game show at least if it was like a game show when you got everything wrong you would not be invited back the next day.”
And Oliver might just be the one to get it right. He suggested that Snowden’s technology might just be so advanced that he’s wearing an invisible suit.
See Oliver’s full NSFW segment below.