Is Edward Snowden The Hottest Whistleblower?

Seems like everyday there’s more news about Edward Snowden, because, you know, there is. It’s a huge story, on lots of levels. Privacy implications, national security, Snowden’s own odyssey from Hong Kong through Moscow’s airport to who knows where as of this posting. It’s even got it’s own term of art, the Snowden Effect, the “direct and indirect gains in public knowledge from the cascade of events and further reporting that followed Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified information.” Here’s the thing, though: would this story be as big if Edward Snowden wasn’t kind of hot?

Well, it would be different. There have been lots of complaints that the media is concentrating too much on Snowden’s own story with not enough emphasis on the staggering information he’s shared. But with every revelation there’s that screenshot from Glenn Greenwald’s original interview with Snowden in Hong Kong: boyish, earnest, clean cut, scarily eloquent and, you know, doable. This kid doesn’t look like any treasonous villain I know. I mean he’s no Ethel Rosenberg, right?

Or is he? Compare him with whistleblowers, leakers and/or traitors throughout history help. We thought so. Herewith, a list.


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

The Rosenbergs were convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets and executed in 1953. They denied their involvement to the end, but Soviet cables declassified in 1995 confirmed Julius acted as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets; they were ambiguous about Ethel. There was widespread belief among left-leaning intellectuals at the time, including Jean-Paul Sartre, in the Rosenbergs’ innocence, or that their punishment was too harsh, but after two years of appeals and protest the Rosenbergs became the only American civilians to be executed for espionage during the Cold War. Like Nixon with Kennedy, the Rosenbergs came off just a little five o’clock shadowy. Maybe it would have been different on radio.

Snowden 90% more appealing


Erin Brockovich

She was a law clerk without any real legal training, and haunted by a series of mysterious illnesses in the town of Hinckley, California linked to wastewater from a nearby power plant. And Julia Roberts played her in the 2000 movie. She also did a really bad reality show for Lifetime in 2003 called Final Justice but we’re not holding it against her, she’s awesome.

Snowden 10% more appealing


Bradley Manning

Private First Class Manning was arrested in Iraq in 2010 on suspicion of downloading over half a million classified documents to Wikileaks, including army reports, combat videos, and a bunch of really frank and, for many of the subjects, embarrassing, diplomatic cables that may or may not have played a role in the Arab Spring uprisings. The video of a U.S. Apache helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians in Eastern Baghdad racked up over 13 million hits on YouTube. He’s on trial now for aiding the enemy. Manning is tiny, gay, and unassuming, we’re told, though he has not had the benefit of nicely produced video that might prove otherwise.

Snowden 80% more appealing


Mark Whitacre

In the 1990’s Whitacre worked for Archer Daniel Midlands, the super giant agribusiness, and fell in with the FBI to expose a massive price-fixing scheme. More importantly, he was played by Matt Damon in the movie version of the story, “The Informant!” But Damon’s not who we’re comparing with.

Snowden 70% more appealing


Julian Assange

Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and claims over 1.2 million leaks since, including Manning’s. Last year Sweden pressed charges and Assange was forced to find asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he’s been holed up ever since. He and WikiLeaks have been providing Snowden with counsel, because they’re pretty expert at this leaking and international evasion business by now. Some people think Assange bears passing resemblance to Bill Maher. Don’t see how that helps his case.

Snowden 60% more appealing


Sherron Watkins

She blew the whistle on Enron with her internal memo about accounting irregularities that proved executives knew exactly what the hell was going on, Ken Lay. With Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, she was named one of Time’s Persons of the Year 2002: The Whistleblowers. Rowley’s a nice looking lady from accounting. Fun at an office party, probably.

Snowden 75% more appealing


Daniel Ellsberg

Like Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg was a contract player in the military-industrial complex, a former U.S. military analyst then employed by the RAND Corporation. In 1971, Ellsberg leaked a top-secret Pentagon study, to become known as the Pentagon Papers, to the New York Times and the shit hit the fan. The military, and by extension the Nixon Administration, was flat out lying to the American public about what was really happening in the Vietnam War. The godfather of leakers says, “Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an ‘executive coup’ against the US constitution.” Ellsberg’s personal story played basically no part in his revelation.

Snowden 50% more appealing


Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat

He kept it a secret for more than thirty years but one of the modern era’s most famous leakers finally came out in 2005 and admitted he was Deep Throat. It was FBI agent Mark Felt who supplied damning information to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, which helped lead to President Nixon’s resignation in 1974 and the political thriller All the President’s Men starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Hal Holbrooke played Deep Throat, all petulant and demanding. Since Felt was leaking off the record late at night in a subterranean parking garage, there’s really no comparison.

Snowden 95% more appealing


Mordechai Vanunu

When this former Israeli nuclear technician revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986 it confirmed what everyone had thought for a long time and what Israel still denies, that it has the bomb. Later he was lured to Italy by a Mossad agent, where he was drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence agents, transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial behind closed doors. He served 17 years in prison, and is routinely hounded by Israeli authorities to this day. Secrets! They get you in trouble, but he’s a solidly handsome man in that sun-kissed on a Tel Aviv beach kind of way.

Snowden 30% more appealing


Frank Serpico

Another whistleblower immortalized on film, this time by Al Pacino. Serpico was an NYPD detective in 1971 when he testified about rampant corruption on the force. He was later shot in the face and left the country.

Snowden 80% more appealing


Vidkun Quisling

Quisling was the Norwegian Minister of Defense and founded the country’s fascist party in 1933. When the Nazis invaded Norway in 1940 they installed Quisling and his quisling followers as the puppet government. And that’s where we get that great term that’s defined as “a slur for any individual who seems to favor a foreign nation more than his own.” And the guy basically looks like a blonde Hitler, which made him no more appealing than the original.

Snowden 80% more appealing


Jeffrey Wigand

In an appearance on 60 Minutes in 1996, Wigand, a former tobacco company executive, claimed Big Tobacco knew their products contained addictive levels of nicotine. And he was played by the more appealing Russell Crowe in the 1999 film “The Insider.”

Snowden 80% more appealing


Linda Tripp

Oh, God, remember this bitch? Sorry, I meant self-aggrandizing cow who plunged the country into the ridiculous, all-consuming Monica Lewinsky scandal of the entire late 90’s? What a colossal waste of time and column inches and international prestige, and everything! Not all whistleblowers are the good kind.

Snowden 100% more appealing


Benedict Arnold

At the beginning of the American Revolution, Arnold was a successful American commander but felt unappreciated and humiliated by his adversaries, so he offered the British enemy West Point. The plot was exposed and Arnold fled, joining the British army outright. It’s said he regretted his treason and on his deathbed in London uttered: “Let me die in this old uniform in which I fought my battles. May God forgive me for ever having put on another.” God may have forgiven him, but his name remains synonymous with traitor in America.

Snowden 90% more appealing

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  • Mofdgheb

    Erin Brockovich is not exactly a whistle-blower. And neither is Assange.

  • Lefty

    There’s not much competition really, is there?
    He’s definitely the hottest, though.
    Beautiful; and your actual courage is always hot.
    I hope everything turns out okay for him, though it will probably be a miracle if the b*stards don’t grind him down one way or another. Like Manning and all these listed, though: he’s set an example of I think many will be inspired by that…

  • 2eo

    Not sure I’d put the Rosenberg’s and Quisling on a list of whistleblowers. There is a uniform difference between traitors and those who love their country and doing what is morally and intellectually just.

    Heroes like Snowden, Manning, Ellsberg, Serpino and company could and should be offended at your spurious reasoning to include them on the same lists.

  • the other Greg

    @2eo: After reading it, I’m just glad they didn’t include Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist!

  • Tackle

    Hell yes he is!! Without a doubt.

  • CleJoke

    Julian Assange is creepy.

    Remember when he was accused of rape/sexual assault?

    I was so sure the victim was going to be a 12 year old boy.

    I was shocked to find out it was a woman.


  • Dakotahgeo

    Linda Tripp and Monica Lewwhatshername were both sleazy sluts, not whistleblowers. For the majority of the rest of them, there should be a Hall of Fame for those who tried to save the USA government from themselves! The paralyzed military hasn’t won a military victory since WWII and probably would have lost that if Germany hadn’t been so inept. The USA was darn lucky to have Great Britain and the other countries behind it. We even lost the Intelligence War when Pearl harbor was bombed… our country KNEW it was coming! And did… NOTHING!

  • IowaMan

    @Mofdgheb: And neither is Snowden!
    But that little legal fact would have screwed up what is really a very creepy story.

  • DistingueTraces

    This is a weird fucking list.

    whistleblowing and treason = pretty much the same thing?

    I know it’s intended flippantly, but it’s a pretty huge insult to many people of conscience on this list to lump them in with Benedict fucking Arnold.

  • Jackhoffsky

    @DistingueTraces: I agree. I’m not even sure which direction to respond.

    BUT I will say this, JUST AS A SIDE NOTE, if you want to talk about NSA whistle blowing, you should go back a few years. There is a good article found here that gives an example.

    Some of these (Linda Tripp for example) acted more out of politics than for any ‘concern for American citizens’… and for me (PERSONAL OPINION) Snowden seems to be leaning in that direction.

    Some things a country needs to keep secret from other countries just like any company needs to keep their Product Development confidential (except Apple, apparently). The Rosenbergs could be thought of ‘leveling the playing field’ AT BEST. Still, their concept of treasonous justification is on par with Benedict Arnold, not on the level of Mark Felt or Frank Serpico.

    If Snowden would have handled all this like Mark Felt I would probably think a lot better of him. Again, just a personal opinion.

  • jeff4justice

    Thank goodness LGBT media is helping facilitate an intelligent conversation about the people who fight the 2partys system tyranny charade… Oh wait.

  • jwrappaport

    Snowden is a total cutie. I’d love to blow his whistle, if you catch my drift.

  • Jackhoffsky

    @jeff4justice: LOL. Thanks for that. It’s why we love you.

    Although, if you notice… if one takes the general direction of the comments on here verses the general direction of the article itself, I would venture to say that demographically, you might just be correct! :-)

  • blech

    Mark Felt is definitely the sexiest of the bunch

  • Lefty

    @jeff4justice: It’s primarily a gay blog, though.
    They only really report on shit from a gay perspective. And most superficial and apolitical gay media is probably only interested in non-gay heroes like this in a superficial sense.
    On the other hand, any positive pieces about this great hero is a good thing.
    Better this than ignoring him altogether.

  • Saralikesyarr

    Yes, he is the hottest whistleblower.

    I want him to have my baby.

    (Sorry, little bi moment here)

    I totally love him though. He’s so great.

    Let him get all the help he needs and deserves, Thank you Edward Snowden!

    You rock!

  • Lefty

    @Saralikesyarr: Best comment ever! I agree completely x

  • Spike

    Whistleblower . . NO.

    Traitor . . . YES.

  • erasure25

    @Spike: Agreed. He is a total traitor and needs to stand trial in court.

  • Merv

    Traitor/whistleblower aside, he might be kinda hot if he would get rid of those moles. I don’t understand why people keep them. It’s a relatively simple procedure to have them removed.

  • jeff4justice

    @Lefty: I would hardly call LGBT media apolitical. They perpetuate the 2partys system charade narrative while mostly ignoring any voices outside of it. Also, if you look at the major LGBT blogs, despite supposedly having editors, they all post 90% of the same stuff – which is content from other sources. It’s all dumbing down people.

    Also if you’re referring to Snowden he’s heterosexual.

  • andy0529

    …..and This is what’s wrong with this country, their both traitors and malcontents, who acted out of revenge when they got called out for their shit. The exterior is what counts, there will never be a black,brown or female Manning or Snowden because the same people defending Snowden and Manning would claiming sour grapes and quota babies. Manning assaulted a lesbian NCO and if Fox news is only one pointing out that Snowden got job by playing XBOX, liberals saying that everybody else in Washington is too smart for a 122K a year job………Really! But as long as you look good in your undies then everything else is fine.

  • 2eo

    @andy0529: Wow, that was drivel even by your standards Andy. Nice to see you here, aren’t you usually hassling PZ Myers?

    Oh wait, you were banned. Good luck posting here though, that level of utter spastication really helps you stand out.

  • Fawkes

    @Spike: @erasure25: No, you little quislings should stand trial for treason. You nasty trolls would sell your country, your Constitution and your principles of liberty and republicanism down the river just so you could feel certain that this blood-thirsty government is in absolute control. Sadly, it appears that your evil is winning out as this government continues to grow at an alarming rate. I fear for what is coming to this country. However, when the government comes for you and hand-feeds you a taste of your own medicine, for one brief moment I’ll just sit back and laugh.

  • bma83

    I thought you had to expose illegal activity to be considered a whistleblower. So how exactly does Snowden get to be called that? He’s cute. I wouldn’t kick him out of bed. But his hypocrisy makes him ugly to me. He says he wants the US to succeed but he takes a job at the NSA specifically to spy and then fleas to countries with worser human rights records than the US. He asks for asylum from countries that are hostile to his home country. The guy is a weasel.

  • 2eo

    Anyone notice the direct correlation between lack of intelligence and not understanding the facts of a given situation.


    Notice their opinions, and see how they move in a group, like attracts like, ill educated, fundamentally intellectually inferior people.

  • Fawkes

    @bma83: Even by the Patriot Act’s standards what the government was doing was illegal (which is ignoring the fact that the Patriot Act is itself unconstitutional and thus illegal). If this has to be explained to you than you either have not been following this story or are willfully ignorant. Snowden is unquestionably a whistleblower. And how dare you slander this man by saying he took a job at the NSA specifically to “spy”. You have been watching too much MSDNC, err, I mean MSNBC. He refused to give China or Russia information which is precisely why both countries refused to grant him asylum. What a big government sheep you are. Did the State Department pay you to post that filth, or were you just feeling charitable today?

  • Merv

    @Fawkes: I must be willfully ignorant, because I’ve been following this and still don’t understand what is new about Snowden’s revelations. We’ve known about phone call metadata since the Bush administration. We’ve known for a long time that FISA is hardly better than a rubber stamp court. We’ve known the NSA intercepts foreign communications and cooperates with foreign intelligence services (60 Minutes did a story on this years ago). The only thing I heard that was new was the charge that the NSA had “direct access” to the data from service providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. But soon after, this was disputed by all the service providers, and it seems like “direct access” might actually mean direct access to FTP servers to retrieve files dropped there for NSA retrieval, not direct access to databases and data traffic, as most people assumed.

    For the record, I don’t approve of the amount of information that is being gathered now, and have let my elected representatives know. I just don’t understand what’s new since Snowden. Hopefully, you’ll educate me.

  • whatisthis

    How on Earth can people actually call this guy a traitor? Would you honestly we rather not know that our own government is spying on us, collecting every single email, phone conversation, Internet history, etc.? I can’t even begin to fathom how people can be against someone who exposed unconstitutional activity going on in the government. It’s like you people want us all to become slaves to the elite (as if we already aren’t…). And some people are hating on him for his personal life? What the actual fuck?

    This country has seriously turned into one big pile of red vs. blue, rich vs. poor, black vs. white. We’ve become a nation that hates each other. It’s disgusting to say the least.

  • Fawkes

    @Merv: What you’ve said is precisely what Obama apologists have been saying all along. Before, anyone who said that the government was monitoring everyone’s phone calls and emails rather than just those of a select few were demonized as “conspiracy theorists.” However, now that Snowden has leaked official documents and information proving that the U.S. government has been illegally spying on three hundred million Americans, all the big government cronies who repeatedly denied Prism’s existence now say that this isn’t anything new. You’re correct in that most people who could think for themselves rather than swallow whatever the media-government complex gave them knew that the government was doing exactly that. Snowden forced the issue. He took away the government-media complex trolls’ option of continuing to hide on this issue. Now everyone, sheep and thinkers alike, know precisely what the government is doing and as such we can have a serious, informed discussion about it. More information is always better than less.

  • hf2hvit

    EEEEEWWWW! Snowden looks like he’d have pimples all over his skinny white ass

  • the other Greg

    @hf2hvit: At last – an intelligent comment! :(

  • Milk

    As if the gender of the victim makes the difference.

  • Milk

    Why? You’ve seen him applying Clearasil on his ass?

  • bma83


    I’ll just simply say, go fuck yourself. How’s that for ill educated.

  • Milk

    Dude, I just want to have sex. Now shut up and let’s fuck!!

  • 2eo

    @bma83: You delivered far beyond my wildest expectations.

  • JT Hawkins

    @Fawkes: @2eo: Oh, I get it — you two are the resident Queerty trolls. LOL!!!

  • Fawkes

    @JT Hawkins: Genius. Anyone who disagree with you is immediately a “troll.” Just go back to sleep, little fascist. Uncle Sam will take real good care of you.

  • 2eo

    @JT Hawkins: Bless, have a look at his reply to me on the Cory Monteith thread, it’s genius.

    Also JT Hawkins is regular poster and paedophile protector BJ McFriskey. The IP addresses match, and heonly posts after BJ stops, never, ever before.

  • JT Hawkins

    @Fawkes: @2eo: LOL!!! Your responses proved me correct!

  • JT Hawkins

    @Fawkes: By the way, you don’t know whether I agree or disagree with you. I am merely observing the nasty personal attacks you and 2eo launch against others and am appalled. Cyber bully much?

  • Fawkes

    @2eo: You know, he also sounds like the poster Caleb in SC. I haven’t seen that troll in a while. I wonder if it he/she/it was successfully shamed into a rebirth.

  • 2eo

    @Fawkes: That’s a good point, I neglected to cross-reference the addresses, that’d be a turn up but makes sense.

    I’ve missed the window for WordPress transaction access unfortunately, but that does make sense. After Caleb’s absolute meltdown when his hate for women and homosexuality was exposed it makes sense he’d troll here under a new name.

    Haven’t been able to peg BJ as anyone until he forgot to switch proxy yesterday. Either was JT is definitely BJ.

  • viveutvivas

    Snowden is absolutely hot, and a smart and principled guy. Not to mention braver than all of us put together. The same can be said for Manning.

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