HBO’s Last Week Tonight took its act on the road this week as host John Oliver traveled to Russia to interview America’s most famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, where he suggested the American expat stoke fears about the NSA looking at “dick pics” in order to generate concerns about government surveillance at home.
Oliver began the segment by noting that Congress is faced with reauthorizing the Patriot Act on June 1, which contains many of the loosely interpreted laws allowing the government to spy on U.S. citizens.
“Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard about strange-sounding programs, such as XKeyscore, Muscular, Prism, and Mystic, which are, coincidentally, also the names of some of Florida’s least popular strip clubs, ” Oliver explained, before using the voice of a pitchman. “Welcome to XKeyscore — our dancers are fully unredacted and Tuesdays are wing nights.”
Oliver used the program names to segue into a look at the Patriot Act’s Section 215, which allows the government to require businesses to hand over records of “any tangible things, including books, records, papers, documents, and other items.”
“If that sounds broad, it’s because it was very much written that way,” Oliver said. “Section 215 says the government can ask for ‘any tangible things’ so long as it’s for an investigation to protect against international terrorism, which is basically a blank check. It’s like letting a teenager borrow the car on the strict condition they only use it for car-related activities.”
“Okay, mom and dad, I’m going to use this for a hand-job in the Wendy’s parking lot. That is car-related, so I think I’m covered,” he said the voice of a teen.
Prior to running footage of an interview he conducted with Edward Snowden in Russia, Oliver pointed out that almost 50 percent of Americans are unconcerned with unchecked government surveillance, which he found shocking.
Calling Snowden “the most famous hero and/or traitor in recent American history,” Oliver conducted a wide-ranging interview with the former NSA analyst, touching on homesickness, the U.S. surveillance state, and asking him how much he misses Hot Pockets, to which Snowden replied, “I do miss Hot Pockets very much.”
Following a surprisingly contentious back and forth over whether Snowden may have put people at risk with his revelations, Oliver pressed the whistleblower to speak up for Americans who are “terrified” that the government might have access to naked pictures of them and “dick pics.”
“Well, the good news is there’s no program named, ‘the dick pic program,’” Snowden said. “The bad news is, they are still collecting everybody’s information, including your dick pics.”
Watch the video below, uploaded to YouTube by Last Week Tonight:
Mississippi fast food cashier ‘terminated immediately’ for ugly racist slur on customer’s receipt
The owner of a fast food restaurant in Mississippi "terminated immediately" an employee after a racist and misogynistic slur of patrons.
When Lex Washington visited Who Dat's Drive-Thru in Oxford with her roommate, the cashier listed them on the receipt as "black b*tches in a silver car."
A manager reportedly refused to apologize at the time, and instead "laughed in her face."
A photo of the receipt then spread on social media.
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"Let's talk about Hope Hicks," said Witt. "What do you expect to hear from her that she has not already offered in testimony?"
"Here's what's important about Hope Hicks," said Deutch. "She was a key part of the Trump campaign, which is a large part of the report is focused on. She was a key part of the Trump Administration in the early days, and that's the reason that she's a prominent figure in the Mueller report."
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"Before we get to the debate, I just want to ask you, if you were the president right now, how would you be addressing the situation with Iran?" asked Witt. "Do you think you would try to de-escalate the tensions and move forward in some fashion? Have you given some thought to that?"
"Of course you want to de-escalate it," said Ryan. "The war in the Middle East at this point, in addition to what's going on in Iraq and Syria and all of the other activity there, would be a disaster."