If you were watching last night’s episode of the “Colbert Report,” you may have noticed an odd flash over host Stephen Colbert’s face. The mysterious blip came while Colbert was interviewing Salon.com journalist Glenn Greenwald about the crazy cyber shenanigans of hacktivist group Anonymous, and their prickly relationship with cyber security firms HBGary and HBGary Federal. Turns out, the flash was actually a Fight Club-style insertion of a Guy Fawkes mask, a staple accessory of Anonymous.
Internet detectives slowed down the clip to make the Guy Fawkes-Anonymous mask appear clear as day. That clip was subsequently posted various places online, including Reddit.com and the forums of ColbertNation.com, which sparked a flood of speculation about the mask flash.
The main questions on people’s minds seems to be, Did the “Colbert Report” put the mask in on purpose, as a prank? Or was it the work of Anonymous?
The answer is… we don’t know. As far as we can tell, no one from the “Colbert Report” has commented about the mask one way or another. But it certainly doesn’t seem like such a stretch that Colbert and his crew would insert the mask as an inside joke to the show’s tech-savvy fans.
Anonymous, famous for their defense of anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, certainly has taken on some powerful enemies recently, including Paypal, Visa and Master Card. Most recently, Anonymous took on the cyber security punks of HBGary, who caught hell for their attempts to infiltrate the loose-knit hacker group. It does seem unlikely, however, that Anonymous was able to sneak the mask into the show’s final edit, no matter how capable their hacking skills.
That is, unless they’ve recruited Tyler Durden into their ranks. In which case, nice work, Mr. Durden.
Watch a close-up edit of the Anonymous mask’s appearance here:
Watch the full “Colbert Report” interview with Glenn Greenwald here. (Hint: Mask appears at 3:22):