Trump was right that Obama authorized surveillance?

The answer is simple, sort of.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s “The Media Today” newsletter from

Question: Was Donald Trump under surveillance during the 2016 campaign? How you answer that query likely depends on where you get your news. Yesterday afternoon, Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, met with President Trump to inform him that “the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

Sean Hannity-watchers saw a banner screaming “SURVEILLANCE CONFIRMED.” Those who get their news straight from the President’s Twitter feed learned that “Trump always ends up being right.” (Trump retweeted that comment from conservative radio host Bill Mitchell.) Trump himself told reporters he felt his wiretapping claims had been “somewhat” vindicated by Nunes’s comments.

If, however, you favor more left-leaning news outlets, you would have seen focus on the term “incidentally collected information (Vox),” and learned that Nunes’s decision to take his information directly to Trump shows the necessity of appointing a special prosecutor to carry out an “independent, non-partisan investigation (Daily Kos).” Meanwhile, you may also have read CNN’s report on Trump associates coordinating with Russian officials over the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign or the Associated Press’s story on Paul Manafort’s ties to Vladimir Putin.

CNN’s Brian Stelter called it a case of “choose your own adventure,” and the way different media outlets chose to cover the day’s events certainly allows one to understand them in whichever manner bolsters previously held partisan proclivities. The velocity of news coming out of Washington means everyone is reporting on the same events. Our fractured journalistic landscape ensures that most consumers only hear one interpretation of the story.

So, you may now choose your own adventure.

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