These Five Celebrities Broke Ranks and Bashed Obama for the NSA Scandal

david_shankbone / Foter.com / CC BYdavid_shankbone / Foter.com / CC BYFollowing Edward Snowden's exposure of the NSA's massive clandestine surveillance program, celebrities did something that most of them aren't used to doing. They criticized Pres. Obama. 

And we're not talking about just the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs of the world. Many celebrities, typically ardent supporters of Obama, are speaking out against the president and the scope of government.

Here are a few of them: 

Russell Brand: The actor and comedian has adopted a serious demeanor about domestic surveillance. He has taken to MSNBC several times and denounced it: “Under the masquarade of security, many injustices can be done.” “I don't want [the government] rooting around in my gear.”

Brand added that he doesn't trust the government and that “we have to test the veracity of their intention to protect before handing over such enormous power.”

Jay Leno: The late night television personality has been increasing his criticism of the president for some time. In Monday night's monologue, Leno assured Obama that he had "good news" for him: the “IRS ruled he can write off the first half of his second term as a total loss.” Earlier this month, he also joked, “We wanted a president that listens to all Americans. Now we have one.”

Michael Moore: The millionaire filmmaker is known for his outspoken advocacy for bigger government in the form of taxes and gun control. Apparently, the NSA scandal is too big of government even for Moore. He declared Edward Snowden “Hero of the Year” for exposing the program. He also jibed, “Good news from @Guardian – the government's not tracking everything we say, just where/when/how & to whom we say it.”

Al Gore: As a Nobel Peace Prize winner and national figure in the Democratic Party, one might expect him to see eye-to-eye with the president. Not so. The environmental activist and former vice president had this to say:

"This in my view violates the constitution. The fourth amendment and the first amendment – and the fourth amendment language is crystal clear," he said. "It is not acceptable to have a secret interpretation of a law that goes far beyond any reasonable reading of either the law or the constitution and then classify as top secret what the actual law is."

He also tweeted: "In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?”

Mick Jagger: The rock 'n roll superstar kept it short and sweet last night. He stated before a crowded Rolling Stones concert in Washington, DC last night, “I don’t think President Obama is here tonight... But I’m sure he’s listening in.” Numerous claims on twitter immediately surfaced, stating that the mere mention of President Obama's name elicited stadium-wide booing.

Dishonorable mention: Alec Baldwin, a major supporter of Obama, also bashed the NSA, but blamed the program on a lazy American public. 

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  • Warrren||

    I, too, am opposed!

  • Paul.||

    Opposed too, am I.

  • sasob||

    Opposed by whom?

  • ||

    By me, actually. I combat Warrens in any shape, form, or fashion in which they appear. They are a scourge which must be wiped from the pages of history.

  • Warrren||

    Ha! Right here!

  • Warrren||

    Now I'm over here!

  • ||

    Damn you! Indeed, these are troubling times in the Kingdom.

  • A Series of Tubes||

    Even Warren G. Harding? What about Warren Moon?

  • Almanian!||

    This still doesn't make up for the rest of Michael Moore's life

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Beat me to it.

  • crashland||

    And he's still a big fat fuck...

  • Gordilocks||

    You know who else was a big fat fuck?

  • HellsBells||

    The Staypuff Marshmallow man?

  • SIV||

  • ||

    They guy who warned us about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor?

  • Agammamon||

    Hey now, there's nothing wrong with being a fat fuck.

    Only being a fat fuck who blames someone/something other than your own lifestyle choices for making you a fat fuck.

    So MM is still an odious human being by that measure.

  • Jerryskids||

    Alt txt - Barry, mah bukee, keel-ee caleya ku kahr.

  • Ranter||

    Well, you know, the rest of them were GOING to speak out, but it's really busy this summer and all, and the president's had them over to the WH a couple of times to jam out with the Boss, and they're sure he would've mentioned it if he thought it was important.

    Blah blah blah... It's amazing those jerkoffs can even walk upright with all the contorsion they've been doing to twist into justifying/ignoring his zeal for abuse of power.

    It should be the leadoff question to any tool celebrity the second they breach the subject of politics or Rockin' the Vote: "You supported Obama's initiative to dig into background and privacy for the sake of gun laws and healthcare. Care to weigh in on his abuse of surveillance, expanded drone warfare and retribution from the IRS for differing political beliefs?"

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It should be the leadoff question to any tool celebrity the second they breach the subject of politics or Rockin' the Vote: "You supported Obama's initiative to dig into background and privacy for the sake of gun laws and healthcare. Care to weigh in on his abuse of surveillance, expanded drone warfare and retribution from the IRS for differing political beliefs?"

    Why? Doing that would only legitimize their opinions even more. Fuck these assholes. When I want an opinion on how to act like a douche, I'll ask Alec Baldwin. Personally I don't give a shit what his opinions are on anything else.

  • Sevo||

    "Why? Doing that would only legitimize their opinions even more. Fuck these assholes. When I want an opinion on how to act like a douche, I'll ask Alec Baldwin. Personally I don't give a shit what his opinions are on anything else."

    OK, how about this:
    "Halle Berry describes daughter's harassment terror"
    "With dozens of journalists tailing her every move, Academy Award-winner Halle Berry appeared at the California Capitol on Tuesday to testify for a bill that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph the children of celebrities and public figures."
    http://www.sfgate.com/entertai.....620587.php

    I'd sure be interested in hearing what *she* thinks about Obozo's spying.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Breitbart News had a few more:

    Rob Schneider of Deuce Bigalow fame:

    The brea[d]th and reach of the NSA's Domestic Spying Program on innocent Americans is a national disgrace.

    Patton Oswalt:

    If the NSA is truly reading my Tweets, I could use some saltines right now.

    John Cusack:

    Mr snowden, a man of remarkable courage- country owes our gratitude -for courageous civil disobedience

    Janine Turner:

    'Security is paramount but liberty is essential!' These were my words on @foxandfriends about recent #NSA #scandal

  • John||

    Turner in addition to being a massive babe, is a pretty big conservative.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think Cusack turned somewhat on this administration a while back, at least on it blowing shit up with drones.

  • Paul.||

    Cusack was one of the early turncoats. Asking hard questions when no one was listening.

  • ||

    Shoulda put the answers on youtube.

  • SIV||

    "upload"

  • Killazontherun||

    I recall a long form interview he did for a mag back in the 90s. Came across as pretty much a left libertarian with syndicalist views.

  • RBS||

    I know Oswalt was trying to be funny but everyone can read his fucking tweets, no PRISM needed.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Opening this week: Jude Apatow's *Dude, where's my spy program?*

    Several buddies from Chicago take a road trip to Washington, DC, where they use the War on Terror as a pretext to install surveillance on showers in girls' dormitories.

    Rated N - nobody should see it, because anyone old enough is too mature to enjoy it.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    "Dishonorable mention: Alec Baldwin, a major supporter of Obama, also bashed the NSA, but blamed the program on a lazy American public."

    why does this one warrant dishonor? Ultimately systems of government like libertarianism/socialism/communism/monarchy can all result in heavens, hells, or anything in between. The relevant factor is always the attitudes of the people, what they're willing to put up with what their ideals are. The american people deserve criticism for supporting a government that would do such things.

  • Sevo||

    "The american people deserve criticism for supporting a government that would do such things."

    +1 election

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Cannot speak for Zenon....but it should be dishonorable because in this specific case, it's an excuse to deflect blame.

    Now I do firmly agree, we get the government we deserve, but Alec doesn't want people on here paying attention, only the right people.

    And even if that's incorrect - where Alec's logic fails is this: one cannot be 'lazy' for failing to complain about that which is unknown to them.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    True about the unknown part I guess, but I might counter that if people would demand a transparent government they would not have been able to implement these policies in the first place.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed.

    And for full disclosure: It's possible I only want to object to this since it's Alec.... sort of like how I would react if OJ started doing domestic violence PSAs.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    lol we are all guilty of that, like me when I saw this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk3TbAUDBd8

  • gaoxiaen||

    The bear should have eaten that asshole first.

  • Marginal||

    Listicles suck. reason: Stop wasting Zenon's considerable talents!

  • Irish||

    How will he ever live on a space station if Reason keeps forcing him to do grunt work?

  • ||

    It just makes me happy that Phillip Rhys who played rockstar Proto Zoa in that Disney movie was in an episode of Showtime's Hot Springs Hotel two years prior. My sister was watching Zenon and I heard his voice and almost fell out of my chair.

  • John||

    I was at the Rolling Stones show last night. And yes there was booing. I am not sure if I would call it widespread. But it was not contained and very audible. And they were not booing Jagger. Jagger said "I don't know if President Obama is here tonight, (chorus of boos) but I am sure he is listening (loud laughs and cheers throughout the crowd). When Obama has lost a crowd of white boomers and their kids in Washington DC...

  • Sevo||

    There's the additional point that liking Obozo is a fashion statement. No one ever liked him for his policies, they liked him for his promises and because the people with whom they associate liked him.
    It doesn't take too much change before he'll be as popular as a zoot suit in 1955.

  • John||

    Yes. For most people liking Obama was a fashion statement. It was a way to tell the world how cool you were. That bodes very ill for Hillary in 2016. I can't see it ever being cool to like Hillary no matter how hard they try to make it so.

    It was a fantastic show last night. Better than when I saw them in December. Keith was in great form. And him and Jagger seemed to be able to stand each other. Mick Taylor is probably the best guitarist I have ever seen in person. He just took over Midnight Rambler. At the end of it Richards is standing with his arm around Taylor looking out at the crowd pointing at him with this smile on his face like he was saying "I can't believe what he just did either.".

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You two get a room and wipe each other down before you leave it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No one needs to hear your sexual fantasies.

  • Paul.||

    The progressive room is feeling a little emptier these days?

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 6.25.13 @ 5:52PM |#
    "You two get a room and wipe each other down before you leave it"

    You sleazy turd. I've wasted far more bandwidth on you than I've ever spent on John, and I wouldn't touch you with your mom's dick.

  • Killazontherun||

    Toss between Dimebag and Beck and Carlos Alomar of those well known that I've seen live.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Probably Danny Gatton for me, followed by Steve Vai.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Guthrie Govan

  • Warrren||

    He's the Moot Suit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They'll be back.

  • John||

    Not too Obama. But defeinitely to Hillary in 2016. She will be different.

    And I am pretty sure Jagger is a Tory. He is a big capitalist. What people forget is the major figures in the 1960s were not boomers. The boomers were kids in the 1960s.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Only two of the ones listed up there mentioned Obama by name. It's easy to rag on a faceless bureaucracy.

  • John||

    Good point. I would think the people who are old enough to remember the 1960s and actually did rebel against the establishment would look with a bit of bemusement at the incredible conformity of today's youth. 2013 looks a lot more like 1955 than it does 1968.

  • crazyfingers||

    I don't know about that. I was just out at an intersection for a few hours with an "I am Edward Snowden" sign. Young people gave me thumbs up, honked their horn, stopped to take pictures, etc. Baby Boomers, people obviously in their 50s and 60s, were mostly flipping me off and calling me a traitor. I honestly think most from that generation have heavy fascist tendencies.

  • Paul.||

    Who knew the so-called anti-government, anti-establishment generation would become so jarringly patriotic?

    Fuck them.

  • sasob||

    Fuck you, Paul. Some of us never gave up our ideals or principles. There is nothing patriotic about sucking up to Obama's government anymore than there was to sucking up to Nixon's - or Johnson's.

  • Paul.||

    No, fuck them, with something sideways. They swung hard, pro-government in nearly every metric and fashion. It was always about power. They just wanted the right people in charge.

  • Sevo||

    Paul.| 6.25.13 @ 8:03PM |#
    "No, fuck them, with something sideways. They swung hard, pro-government in nearly every metric and fashion. It was always about power. They just wanted the right people in charge."

    Yep. Kennedy would have saved us from Nixon!
    Right. We get a slimy murderer and no evidence that Kennedy wouldn't have done what Nixon did. Given that JFK did, there's strong suggestions he would have done that and worse.
    It was rarely about limiting government power; it was about 'teams'.
    You really had to search for samizdat publications to find otherwise; Ramparts started well, and then sucked. The Berkeley Barb? It is to laugh!

  • HellsBells||

    These are the people that also believed the govt when it told them crawling under their desks would save them from a nuclear blast.

  • sasob||

    Little kids will believe pretty much whatever they are taught, if you get them young enough. Why else do you think government took over public indoctrination education?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Best thing is to just shoot government employees/toadies/lickspittles in the head at point blank range.

  • ||

    At least they're ragging on it. It's better than before.

  • Libertymike||

    Is neoliberal kochtupus the old TAO?

  • ||

    I'm not familiar with TAO (before my time?), but nk jumped into things like he was a regular and I was wondering what he posted under before nk.

  • ||

    wow, Al Gore's stance is impressive, though talk is cheap. I wonder how things would've turned out if he'd won in 2000. Perhaps not quite such a police state.

  • Warrren||

    He hung some dude named Chad and he wasn't even elected yet. Who knows what he would have gotten up to if he had been.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No Patriot Act, no Iraq War, no financial meltdown, no Obama (seriously, the GOP would have won back the cycle in 2008).

  • Lolo Stahko||

    "no financial meltdown"

    "Classical liberal" my ass.

  • ||

    I think I agree with all of that except the meltdown. The two parties went hand-in-hand to annihilation on that one.

  • Irish||

    I'm confused as to what policy of Bush's made the meltdown happen that Gore somehow would have avoided.

  • ||

    Yeah, no such policy. The only thing Gore could have done differently, which there's scant reason to suspect he would have, would have been to let the banks fail and get liquidated.

  • ||

    Zero chance that Gore doesn't bail out the banks.

  • gaoxiaen||

    That would have been better than awarding them multi-million dollar bonuses. See point-blank shooting above.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bush eliminated the Net Capital Rule - letting Wall St lever up to suicide levels.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_capital_rule

    Obviously, there would have still been a recession.

  • Irish||

    Considering that Clinton repealed Glass-Steagles, is there any reason to believe that Clinton's VP wouldn't have eliminated the Net Capital Rule?

    Plus there's this:

    Since 2008, many commentators on the financial crisis of 2007-2009 have identified the 2004 rule change as an important cause of the crisis on the basis it permitted certain large investment banks (i.e., Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley) to increase dramatically their leverage (i.e., the ratio of their debt or assets to their equity).[7] Financial reports filed by those companies show an increase in their leverage ratios from 2004 through 2007 (and into 2008), but financial reports filed by the same companies before 2004 show higher reported leverage ratios for four of the five firms in years before 2004.[8]

    Honestly, do you even read your own links? 4 out of 5 companies were more leveraged prior to the rule change than afterwards.

  • tarran||

    Honestly, do you even read your own links?

    /snicker

  • DK||

    I think I agree with all of that except the meltdown.

    I don't see the Patriot Act being avoided. 9/11 just provided the TEAMs with the opportunity to enact it. The Clinton Administration (via Joe Biden) introduced the blueprint in the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. I agree with the Iraq War probably not happening; though, other war(s) would probably have taken its place. The financial meltdown was going to happen, regardless. It may have happened earlier, maybe even later beyond a Gore Administration. And, who knows if there's no Obama. There's no guarantee Gore wins in 2004.

  • Sevo||

    "The financial meltdown was going to happen, regardless. It may have happened earlier, maybe even later beyond a Gore Administration."

    And all of this ignores the damage that idiot could have caused if the had a willing congress to enforce his dirt-momma religion on the rest of us.

  • DK||

    Oh, but we would be living in a Green Utopia right now. Plants would be singing kumbaya as they would learn to share their limited CO2. The evil CO2 hoarders (trees) would willingly set themselves on fire in order to replenish mother Gaia and allow the weeds of the world to thrive.

  • Sevo||

    DK| 6.25.13 @ 8:08PM |#
    "Oh, but we would be living in a Green Utopia right now."

    Well, yeah. I sorta missed that part.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Should have been Federal Reserve employee/ Wall Street banker = summary execution.

  • Calidissident||

    The Patriot Act was passed by a veto-proof majority in Congress, and there's no way Gore would have had the balls to veto it any ways, even if he wanted to. Iraq is debatable, but the Clinton Administration was far from laissez faire in its approach to Sadaam

  • tarran||

    Al Gore was a big enabler of Enron. He'd have brought full on national socialism to the energy sector of the economy, with Enron, T Boone Pickens and all the Dallas style crony capitalists cheering him on.

    Gore is lucky that he didn't take the oath of office; pretty much everything he touches turns to crap.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Pretty much anything the Federal Government (Team Red or Team Blue)touches turns to crap.

  • Paul.||

    I wonder how things would've turned out if he'd won in 2000.

    We'd all be organic gardening in a hunter-gatherer (more gatherer than hunter, I'd bet) society with a "proper" earth carrying population of around 150,000 humans. Paradise, really.

  • HellsBells||

    And a lockbox. Don't forget the lockbox.

  • Hyperion||

    ManBearPig is pissed at Barry because he didn't deliver him the big carbon credit crony dollars, yet. But you see, he's right on that now. Big Al will come around as soon as that happens.

  • ||

    I remain unimpressed by big government advocates who are merely arguing that different TOP MEN could do it better.

  • Lolo Stahko||

    I don't know. I'd rather have TOP MEN who represented me than those who treated me like I was everything that was wrong with the world. Some would say it is hypocrisy to worry more about these things now that Obama is in office. I say it is perfectly justified considering Obama's racist, socialist ideology.

  • ||

    Trying to get the correct TOP.MEN is never more than a band aid when successful, and a placebo when failed (it's almost always the latter).

  • Hyperion||

    I remain unimpressed by big government advocates who are merely arguing that different TOP MEN could do it better

    That's really all that the progressives have left. Well, that and it was all the fault of Boosh. That's pretty much it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Ron Paul as Top Man would have straightened it out. Not many croney capitalists nor corrupt government parasites would have been happy with that.

  • Skip||

    With the exception of Jay Leno who I don't even think is a liberal, all of these dopes would vote for Black Jesus again over the squishiest of RINOs in 2016 if he could run.

  • sasob||

    True.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I have to say, I'm happy with the level of pushback this is getting. Most of my extended family, and about half of my immediate family, is quite liberal. Those who are conservative tend to be neo-con types. Most live in NYC. Yet from both sides I'm hearing a lot of dislike, and even genuine hatred of the policy.

    When NYC decides you're not fashionable...

  • Warrren||

    They'll still find a way to vote for him again.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Maybe, but they won't give money or get out the vote -- and in the case of the conservatives in my family, they've become pretty big fans of Cruz and Paul, and really dislike McCain.

  • Loki||

    Dishonorable mention: Alec Baldwin, a major supporter of Obama, also bashed the NSA, but blamed the program on a lazy American public.

    Obama: "You are useress to me Arec Bardwin!"

  • Gordilocks||

    +1 redmisted Susan Sarandon

  • ||

    Wow. Go Manbearpig. Who knew?

  • Hyperion||

    I think that Pork Chops Moore didn't have a choice, and he realizes that. If he came out against Snowden and in support of the big surveillance state, the level of hypocrisy would be too much for even Moore to pull off.

    Nope, only Obama could pull off that level of hypocrisy.

  • Paul.||

    I don't trust Moore. There's something in this criticism for him. Something in the Biden administration I'd bet.

  • PapayaSF||

    He can always claim "Bush started it, and McCain or Romney would have been worse."

  • Skip||

    I predict that sentence will be an official part of the 2016 DNC platform.

  • jorgeborges||

    The important thing here is that Michael Moore looks like a muppet in this picture.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, if they ever release another sequel to The Dark Crystal, I can see him playing some sort of swamp ogre, no costume or makeup required.

  • Anders||

    "It's strange though isn't it, they're all men and they're all white."
    - Chris Matthews

    "This proves once again that racism is alive and well in AmeriKKKa"
    - Morgan Freeman

    "We can always find room for these people in Gitmo"
    - Feinstein

  • sasob||

    So what is Chris Matthews - a light-skinned black guy trying to pass?

  • 21044||

    Apparently, the NSA scandal is too big of government even for Moore.

    I'll need to rethink my position. If Moore and I agree, then one of us must be wrong.

  • lap83||

    There's a line from Thomas Sowell's column today that seems appropriate for this article.

    "People who refuse to accept unpleasant truths have no right to complain about politicians who lie to them. What other kind of candidates would such people elect?"

  • buybuydandavis||

    Obama can't be elected again, so it's time for Progressives to throw him under the bus and find a new Dear Leader.

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