Props to WIRED magazine for getting the interview everyone wanted: a full-length on the record with Edward Snowden from his Russian hideout. But that cover! Oh, that cover. The full image has to be seen to be believed. It would have been a provocative sight were Snowden not so comically dorky-looking. And, you know, a traitor.
With the possible exception of Snowden’s media accomplice, Glenn Greenwald, I’m not sure any public figure is so ostentatiously fond of themselves. The more you read about Snowden, the more you realise what a diva the man is; an impression WIRED’s indulgent black and white photoshoot, which accompanies a long profile, does nothing to dispel.
With all the technical know-how at his finger-tips, it’s a wonder Snowden hasn’t hacked into the servers of a PR agency for some tips on how to present yourself to the public. For a start, the boy needs to invest in some contact lenses. Check out the prescription on those glasses!
And although it’s a trope among traitors, such as transsexual whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, to say they did it “for their country,” wrapping himself in the American flag doesn’t just make Snowden this week’s most stupid person: it makes him a gigantic asshole. How absurd, to make a fashion accessory out of a symbol of freedom, when he’s holed up in a Moscow flat paid for by Vladimir Putin.
Something tells me WIRED’s editors are not oblivious to how absurdly self-regarding – nay, comically preposterous – Snowden looks on the cover of their magazine. So the joke, as ever, is on Snowden: the flag he’s wrapped in on that cover is known colloquially as the “Pamela Anderson ass flag” after an infamous photoshoot in which it was used to cover her derrière. Honestly, they write themselves.