John Cusack wants you to stop paying attention to Edward Snowden.
The actor lashed out at reporters Tuesday for fixating on Snowden's saga, which has taken on the flavor of an international thriller in recent weeks.
Criticizing media personalities by name who have questioned either Snowden's or Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald's character—such as CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, The New York Times's David Brooks, and NBC News's David Gregory—Cusack in a conference call said focusing on Snowden at the expense of the information he uncovered was "the oldest bait-and-switch in the book."
"We're not morons," he said. "The questions this NSA scandal raises aren't going away. How long do we expect rational people to excuse the abuse of power?"
Cusack is a board member of the newly created Freedom of the Press Foundation, whose founders include Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg and BoingBoing editor Xeni Jardin.
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves the government's requests for phone logs and other metadata, is a "kangaroo court" that has been "used and abused since the tragedy of 9/11 … to spy on perhaps every human being on the planet," Cusack added. "Whether you agree with his tactics or not, whether you like him personally or not—which I find interesting, because nobody's met him," Cusack said, Snowden doesn't deserve to be attacked on the basis of his character.
Snowden is said to be stuck in legal limbo inside Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, where he has met with officials from various countries in an attempt to seek asylum. Eleven out of the 21 countries to which he's applied have turned him down. Cusack's exhortations aside, the endgame appears to be nearing either way.