November 15, 2011 |
The C-SPAN network, which has tried without success for more than 20 years to bring the Supreme Court into the TV era, is trying again. A day after the high court announced it would hear more than five hours of oral arguments in March to decide the constitutionality of President Obama's healthcare law, C-SPAN asked permission to televise the proceeding. “We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument,” Brian P. Lamb, C-SPAN's chief executive, said in a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “It is a case which will affect every American's life, our economy and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.” The public affairs network has broadcast proceedings of the House and Senate since the 1980s.
February 13, 2011 |
Finally, some bipartisan agreement in the House of Representatives. The new speaker of the House, Republican John A. Boehner, has agreed with the former speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Their point of agreement: Neither one wants independent television cameras prowling their lenses all over the House sessions. It's a transparent issue of transparency. Federal pols love to talk about it. Remember all those Barack Obama-Joe Biden promises about historic governmental transparency and how the healthcare legislative negotiations would be on C-SPAN?
January 23, 2011 |
Those Ticket readers who memorize all of our items will recall that in November, we wrote about new House Speaker John A. Boehner's efforts to dramatize how differently his Republicans would run the people's House from the way it was operated by the previous crowd ousted in the Nov. 2 midterm elections. The visionary founder of C-SPAN, Brian Lamb, took the occasion of those election upsets to plead with the Ohioan that finally, after all these years, C-SPAN's independent TV cameras be allowed in for daily coverage of the proceedings.
December 7, 2010 |
There are ample reasons to be skeptical about the desirability of cameras in the courtroom, most of them turning on broadcasters' propensity to train their glassy gaze only on the most lurid or sensational trials. As well founded in experience as those reservations may be, Monday's broadcast of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' hearing in the Proposition 8 case was a powerfully compelling argument for the camera's indispensability when the issues at stake are as broadly consequential and as deeply divisive as they are in the struggle over marriage equality.
November 21, 2010 |
C-SPAN, as everyone knows, is a 31-year-old living national treasure financed by cable companies whose letters stand for Comprehensive-Substantive Programming Ad Nauseum. No "Speaking Like the Stars" contests on C-SPAN's three channels. In modern Washington, C-SPAN has become the de facto national sedative for sanity in a hectic verbal swamp seething with name-callers and screamers. Keith Olbermann wouldn't even be allowed to buy decaf in C-SPAN's cafeteria. When Armageddon occurs, C-SPAN will televise the mushroom clouds while taking viewer reactions to the end of civilization on phone lines for Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
June 19, 2010 |
People have mistaken him for John McCain. People have mistakenly thought he's been off the airwaves for years. And inside the Beltway, where egos are the size of Montgolfier balloons, Brian Lamb doesn't have a problem with any of that. The founder and CEO of C-SPAN believes that if he can't retire from the airwaves without a big fuss by viewers, the channel isn't the no-star vehicle he designed it to be. C-SPAN began in 1979 with a no-brand brand: all governing, all the time, no jokes, no spin.