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


david_shankbone / Foter.com / CC BY

Following 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.