If there was any doubt that mainstream news programming hadn't become a reality show, the coverage of Edward Snowden's mad flight should do away with those doubts once and for all. John Oliver had a field day with the coverage on The Daily Show, and it still continues with so-called news hounds sniffing around the Moscow airport for his whereabouts, when apparently he has been seeking asylum in Russia.
Putin appears to have given him the green light with the interesting caveat that he "stops inflicting harm on our American partners." He probably meant embarrassment, because that is all it has been thus far. Still, the "29-year-old hacker" (as Obama referred to him) couldn't resist yet another dig, lashing out at the administration for revoking his passport, essentially making him a "stateless" person. Shades of Tom Hanks' Terminal here. One can only assume that Snowden has very little to offer, if Russia is treating him so blithely, but maybe this is Mr. Putin's way of concealing some valuable information he might have received from America's latest "whistleblower."
Snowden did cause a fair amount of harm recently by releasing information to Der Spiegel that implied that the United States had bugged EU offices in New York and Washington, DC, but London's The Guardian remains his prime source, which has been extolling the virtues of Snowden ever since he took flight. Apparently this latest Snowleak went through The Guardian and Washington Post, thereby verifying it in the minds of the editorial staff at Der Spiegel.
This did put the Obama administration on the defensive, forcing it to offer some kind of explanation, which Obama did, essentially saying it is all about getting additional information on our allies. I'm sure the EU won't be satisfied with this answer, having already voiced indignation over these allegations of spying, saying it is a return to the Cold War, feeling that it is being treated as an enemy. I can almost see the smile on Putin's face.
One can certainly read into this mad flight what one wants, and every news pundit has been doing exactly that. Why they haven't had this much fun since Julian Assange managed to evade Swedish and American authorities last year and gain asylum in Ecuador, where he continues his ongoing quest to rat out international intelligence agencies!