The controversy that gripped Washington in the wake of Edward Snowden's 2013 revelation of the National Security Agency's policy of collecting metadata from tens of millions of private citizens has just ended, not with a bang but with a whimper. After dominating news coverage for more than a year, the administration of Donald Trump has turned away from the practice.
Luke Murry, the national security adviser to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that the Trump administration "hasn't actually been using it for the past six months," noting that he was "not certain that the administration will want to start that back up."
The Washington Examiner — the only media outlet to cover the story prominently — noted that if the account is accurate, "President Trump has done what his predecessor would not, and the end of the collection of data does indeed seem likely."
In case you missed the reference, Trump's "predecessor" was the infallible Barack Obama.
So Trump has presumably ended an abuse of government power that tied the country up in knots for over a year and led to congressional passage of a reform that limited how the metadata could be stored (by phone companies, not by the NSA). Now it turns out that the bete noir of the left — Donald Trump — has come through in a way that Obama never did and his Administration wouldn't touch.
That the mainstream media did not cover the new policy with the same Pearl Harbor headlines that it used to report Snowden's revelation of the metadata collection and has not gone on day after day covering the story is understandable.
To do so would break the new 11th Commandment of journalism these days: "Thou Shalt Not Say Anything Good About Trump."
The Examiner points out that we need an act of Congress to codify the end of metadata collection so that a bright idea does not pop into the mind of some future national intelligence director and lead to the resuscitation of the program.
But people of the right and left should join in a tribute to President Donald Trump!