Why Do Our Senators Keep Calling Ed Snowden 'Eric Snowden'?
from the and-if-they-can't-get-that-straight dept
Three times in the past two weeks, Senators debating surveillance reform on the Senate floor have referred to Ed Snowden* as “Eric Snowden.” This includes Senate Intelligence Committee boss Richard Burr, the NSA’s own Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Dan Coats. All three of them have spoken out angrily about Snowden’s revelations. Mikulski has called him “Eric Snowden” multiple times (in that speech, as Dave Maass points out, she also claims that NSA employees “work 36-hour days” and “10-day weeks” — so perhaps Mikulski’s issues go beyond just remembering people’s names…).
Yes, people make mistakes, but it seems fairly bizarre that three separate Senators, all of whom are seen as staunch defenders of the surveillance state, can’t even get Snowden’s name right. It makes you wonder what other details they don’t really pay much attention to. And, of course, it’s not just a recent thing. The Guardian has an article noting that a bunch of others have made this mistake as well going back further than just the past couple of weeks, including Senators Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul, and one-time Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Either way, it must be interesting times for people actually named Eric Snowden. Kevin Collier, over at DailyDot, has put together a fantastic interview with one of a few Eric Snowdens out there, asking him how he feels to be called a traitor to the country by Senator Richard Burr. The interview is hilarious as the <a href=”http://www.ericsnowden.com/’ target=”_blank”>70-year old sculptor in New York seems to handle the situation in the best possible way. Here’s just the opening snippet, but really, go read the whole thing:
So Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) just said that you, Eric Snowden, are a traitor.
Eric Snowden: Well, you got that right, I’m a traitor. What’s he gonna do about it?
And Sen. Barbara Mikulski—
Oh, from Maryland.
That’s her. She said, and she’s referred on the floor to “Eric Snowden” several different times in the past few weeks—
That is so odd! Maybe I have a bunch of fans, a fan base I wasn’t aware of.
Meanwhile, another Eric Snowden (this one works at Adobe) seems perplexed by all of this:
It’s a bit of excellent comic relief to a bizarre situation. But, really, the question remains: why do our elected officials, who are supposed to be experts, have so much trouble remembering Snowden’s name?
* Some people have asked why we refer to him as Ed, rather than the more regularly used “Edward” and it’s as simple as this: he always appears to refer to himself as “Ed” from the very first video interview that he conducted with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Thus, we refer to him as Ed, even as pretty much every other media outlet calls him Edward.