In a rather unusual role reversal for cable news, a conservative pundit was slammed for siding with “big government” over privacy rights and the fourth amendment, when discussing the constantly evolving case of Edward Snowden and the NSA spying and phone tapping programs.
Columnist David Sirota joined CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and conservative commentator Ben Ferguson to discuss a federal judge’s statements today, which called the collection of American phone data “almost certainly unconstitutional.”
During the thirteen minute segment, after referencing both the judge’s statement as well as a 60 Minutes special in which NSA Snowden task force chief Richard Ledgett stated that he would be open an amnesty offer in exchange for a complete return of the data Snowden possesses, Ferguson launched into a series of tirades, comparing the NSA whistle-blower to a terrorist and labeling him a traitor.
In response, Sirota (as seen at minute marker 9:28 of the video below) fired back saying,
I find it interesting that a conservative, an alleged conservative, would berate a whistle-blower for blowing the whistle on crimes against the fourth amendment that conservatives hold up as supposedly so sacred to them.
From there, a brief but heated exchange between the two guests erupted both over the definitions of conservatism and where between abiding by the law and exposing crimes by government officials true and honest patriotism can be found.
The debate continued, escalating to he cacophony of competing voices which have come to define cable news, until finally Baldwin stepped in, calling repeatedly for a time out. Then switching gears and delving into the purely hypothetical and effectively irrelevant, Baldwin asked the two what Snowden might do for work, were he ever to return to the United States without facing espionage charges.
Neither could imagine a scenario where Snowden returned, nor what he would do if he did, though Ferguson, unable to resist the temptation to add some additional snark, compared the whistle-blower to stand-your-ground conservative hero George Zimmerman, stating that “Snowden is about as employable as Zimmerman.”
Returning then, for a moment, to the topic of what a proper conservative opinion on the Snowden matter should be, Sirota once again called out the cable news pundit, saying that “A conservative is not someone who takes the side of violating the fourth amendment.”