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This Week in the Narrative: Wiretaps and Smoke Signals

Nigel Clarke

There is something perversely amusing about the idea of having a President who tweets shots at other world figures while sitting on the can in the morning. When, this week, Trump casually accused Barack Obama of having him wiretapped during the presidential campaign, it seemed a piece of typically uninformed Trumpian tomfoolery with an obvious conclusion — No shit Donald Trump was under surveillance. Everyone is under surveillance.

As with most of Trump’s preposterousness, the mainstream media has devoted robust coverage to the story, with each outlet comfortably falling into their usual roles; sources like Fox News condemning the nefarious Obama, others, like CNN, defending his benevolence, and none presenting questions of the surveillance state.

What I find most interesting are the types of storylines the establishment media has recently been pursuing most ravenously. First, they partied like it was 1957 and told us “the Russians are coming!’ Now, we are being told that the President might be wiretapping his political adversaries. With their influence waning, it seems as though they are attempting to go through a ‘greatest hits’ of storylines from a time when they still held some level of legitimacy or respectability.

Sorry establishment media. It’s not 1972, this isn’t Woodward and Bernstein, and even antiquated but loaded terms like “wiretap” fail to ensure control of the narrative.

Much of the public response to the story has not been to shout ‘Damn that Obama!’ or ‘Obama would never!’, as the mainstream media is encouraging, but rather to state ‘If I am under surveillance, why the hell shouldn’t Donald Trump be?’

The truth is, Obama didn’t need to “wiretap” Trump to surveil him any more than he needed to intercept Trump’s CB radio transmissions or find a hawk to take down his carrier pigeons.

No shit Donald Trump was under surveillance. (Unless the idea is to create a system in which the masses are under surveillance and the elite are exempt)

This article was originally published on Medium.

Written by Nigel Clarke

Nigel Clarke

Writer and notorious vagabond. From the frozen north. Follow Nigel on Twitter @Nig_Clarke.

Nigel Clarke is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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