Neil Patrick Harris should be chastised and fired for what he said about Edward Snowden at the Oscars last night (Feb. 22). His remark was not the least bit funny, and it was an insult not only to Snowden but also to Laura Poitras, who had just accepted her Academy Award for Citizenfour and had saluted Snowden "for his courage." The feckless Harris then said that Snowden "couldn't be here for some treason." I couldn't believe my ears, but the NY Times confirmed what I thought I heard.
The host of the awards has no place contradicting the view of a documentary filmmaker who has just spoken eloquently of the subject of her film. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, even if this was funny I wouldn't like it. Far from funny, as I said, it was a double insult.
In my view Snowden is a hero. As Laura Poitras said last night, he took action to protect our democracy from falling prey to a government with secret powers to do with us what it will. All three branches of government have benefited and have taken action inspired by Snowden's revelations. The government should make more reforms of its surveillance programs, and before he leaves office, President Obama should pardon him.