I found this video just awful.
As you know I've provided two long blog posts here and here with a thorough thrashing of the Vanity Fair piece on Snowden, knocking it as a cut-and-paste job with a few self-serving quotes phoned in from Snowden. I'm totally unimpressed.
What I hope for in a report like this -- even though I know in advance I won't agree with their take on Snowden -- is actual new news or new insights. I don't feel they were there.
So in this show, we get Suzanna Andrews contributing editor of Vanity Fair, extolling the wonders of not only Snowden, but Laura Poitras, who she thinks is the unsung heroine of the hour -- after all, Glenn Greenwald blew off Snowden because he was too geeky asking for encryption, and Bart Gellman - and Suzanna is frank on this as I am -- wimped out of going to Hong Kong.
So what else does she think? She is struck that Snowden "has no plan B" -- "maybe kinda go to Iceland, maybe kinda go to Cuba". Because she says this with an air of New York shrewdness, it seems convincing.
But it's nuts, and comes from not asking the most basic questions about this case, as those of us critical have been saying from word one, jumping up and down and asking why nobody is asking about the Cuban visa, or the Russian visa -- even if a transit visa - or Sarah Harrison's visa to stay there -- after all, she didn't ask for asylum. We're not being told the truth about it, and we don't buy the story of the expired passport "passing" or the flimsy Ecuadorean travel document being accepted.
The only way it was possible was that it was pre-wired by the Russians. It took meetings with Russian diplomats in advance; it took planning; it took conspiracy with Russia. The Chinese were happy to wash their hands of Snowden; the Cubans were under pressure (although Castro denies that they would have caved to US threats if Snowden actually arrived), but the Russians *wanted* Snowden. Putin offered him to apply for asylum on June 11. That is so often overlooked. You can't take a situation where the head of Russia offers you asylum on June 11, where the US doesn't file its extradition request until June 21, and say that for 10 days, you had no choice, you "just had to" be forced to go to Russia, and had no options.
Suzannah also decides -- again, in her infinitely shrewd magazine editor's wisdom -- that he is not a traitor -- and has a good chortle with the TV host about Rep. King who has called Snowden a traitor -- aren't these conservatives backward?! Blah blah.
I look out the window and think to myself: this TV studio is only 30 or 40 blocks away. I live in the same city with this woman. Yet we have such diametrically opposed views -- and she claims to be more worldly-wise because of her position in one of the most glossy magazines on the planet.
What sustains me when I see how stricken the media empire is with Snowden-mania is that ultimately, the veils will fall away and we will get the story. Maybe it will be in 50 years. But it will come out -- and I suspect it will come out from either Snowden himself -- he's an awfully vain creature -- or one of his comrades like Jacob Appelbaum who just wants to chatter and get the limelight -- and maybe some sort of plea-bargain.