WashPost Reports British TV Channel Airs Edward Snowden 'Christmas Message' Smearing USA As Worse Than Orwell's '1984'

Britain’s Channel 4 turned itself into the Edward Snowden Propaganda Channel on Christmas. Washington Post deputy managing editor Griff Witte wrote a story for Thursday’s paper headlined “Spying worse than in ‘1984,’ Snowden tells Britons.”

But “1984" was a novel about a totalitarian state that attempted constant of surveillance and mind control of all citizens to rid the nation of Oceania from all “thought crimes.” How is Snowden comparing America to that dictatorship? He claimed children today have “no conception of privacy at all.”

Speaking directly into the camera from Moscow, where he has taken refuge after leaking vast troves of information on NSA spying, Snowden said government surveillance methods far surpass those described in Orwell’s dystopic novel “1984.”

“The types of collection in the book — microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us — are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go,” he said. “Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person.”

Yes, think about whether the U.S. government is actually paying someone to monitor your every thought and movement, 300-million-plus Americans. Sound like someone’s wildly exaggerating? Yes. Oh, he wasn’t finished. Let’s pick up where the Post left off.

A child growing up today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves – an unrecorded, un-analyzed thought.

Why doesn’t the Post submit this utterance to fact-checker Glenn Kessler for analysis? Better yet, perhaps Snowden should be considered for psycho-analysis. This passage sounds like the people who call up Congress and complain that someone’s placed a surveillance device in their dental fillings.

Witte preferred what the Post must feel are more sane-sounding thoughts. “[H]e sees an opportunity to ‘find a better balance, end mass surveillance and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.’”

So the next time an Islamic radical is planning to blow up an American skyscraper, let’s remember that Edward Snowden has argued that asking if he’s about to commit a terrorist attack with massive casualties is much cheaper than actually monitoring the plot.


Witte also explained: “His video was recorded for Britain’s Channel 4, which for two decades has broadcast the Alternative Christmas Message — an at-times irreverent counterpoint to the queen’s traditional holiday greeting. Previous alternative messages have been delivered by then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the cast of ‘The Simpsons.’”

UPDATE: CBS This Morning promoted the Snowden commentary by only showing the very end of the message: "Together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance, and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying. For everyone out there listening, thank you and Merry Christmas." Snowden sounds like a politician in this part, not like a traitor who's hiding in Russia to avoid going to jail.

Mediaite's Andrew Kirell reported Wednesday that Snowden’s remarks were filmed by radical leftist Glenn Greenwald‘s film collaborator Laura Poitras, from an undisclosed location in Russia. It aired in Britain at 4:15 pm on Christmas.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis