Supposed Snowden supporter spends entire TV segment discussing Edward Scissorhands

A U.S. television host finished an entire segment on Edward Snowden without remarking that her guest, who she thought was a Snowden supporter, was actually talking about Edward Scissorhands.

The host didn't seem to notice, even when he said the character's name aloud

Jon Hendren, better known as @fart, is a Twitter satirist, which makes him an odd choice for a news segment about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Twentieth Century Fox, Associated Press)

A U.S. television host finished an entire segment on Edward Snowden without remarking that her guest, who she thought was a Snowden supporter but was actually a comedian and internet prankster, was actually talking about Edward Scissorhands.

The Daily Share, a news program on the U.S. channel HLN, invited Jon Hendren on air via video to discuss the new Twitter account of Snowden, the U.S. computer analyst and whistleblower, and why his account is allowed to remain online. The host, Yasmin Vossoughian, compared having Snowden's account online to having an ISIS account online. 

"He's a hero, he's doing what any one of us should've done in that situation," Hendren replied. "He's got a voice, he's been isolated for so long. He's got valid things to say, we should listen to what he says."

Vossoughian then asked about a clip from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, pointing to a moment in the segment where he inquires whether some classified information could harm Americans. 

(The Daily Share)

"Well, you know, to say that he couldn't harm somebody with what he did — he could, absolutely, he could," Hendren responded, and then gave a hint that they weren't talking about the same Edward. 

"But to cast him out, to make him invalid in society simply because he has scissors for hands — I mean, that's strange. People didn't get scared until he started sculpting shrubs into dinosaur shapes and whatnot."

Hendren is a Twitter satirist better known as @fart, which, he admitted to Esquire, makes him an odd choice for a segment about the National Security Agency whistleblower. He said he had little clue why the show had contacted him in the first place.

"I got an email last night asking if I wanted to come on and replied immediately saying, 'Yes I absolutely would,' before I even read the entire email," said Hendren, indicating that the following tweet might have been the cause: 

Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 film starring Johnny Depp, about a boy with scissors for hands. 

"I was surprised that they didn't cut me off immediately, so I just kept rolling with it assuming at some point they'd hang up," Hendren told Esquire. "They never did for some reason."

The segment continued with Vossoughian asking about Snowden's move to Russia. 

"Just because he was created on top of a mountain by Vincent Price, and incomplete, with scissors for hands and no heart ... Edward Scissorhands is a complete hero to me," he said on The Daily Share, and despite the character's name  being said aloud, the anchor just moved onto her last question. 

"But what about the choice he made to live in a country like Russia?" she asked, seemingly not noticing the remark. 

"We cast him out. We got scared when he poked a hole in a waterbed with his scissor fingers, and that was unreasonable of us," Hendren replied. 

"Well Jon, I appreciate you giving us your opinion. Thank you," she said, ending the segment. 

Hendren said the producer gave him an all-clear sign and then hung up on him, with little indication that anything was odd. 

The satirist is known partially for his elaborate larks, having once convinced the lead singer of the band Smash Mouth to eat between six to eight eggs because Hendren raised $10,000 US for charity.  


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.