C-SPAN, arguably the most important advance in newsgathering (and surveillance of the criminal class known as the US Congress) in the past quarter-century, turns 25 years old today.
In our 35th anniversary issue (December 2003), we counted C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb among our 35 Heroes of Freedom, writing:
The Great Stone Face of C-SPAN has produced more must-see TV than anyone else in the history of the medium. There?s no reason to pick a favorite among the likes of Booknotes, Washington Journal, and all the other C-SPAN fare, but his greatest contribution may well be his first: turning a surveillance camera on the den of iniquity known as the U.S. House of Representatives
And here's an exceptional 1996 interview we did with the man himself.
Update: Bill Powers at National Journal has an excellent column about C-Span. He notes,
The truly revolutionary thing about C-SPAN…was the way it downsized Washington, revealed it not as the city of giants it always pretended to be, but of mere people who gather endlessly in these drab rooms and clamber for attention, sway, turf, a quote in the paper, some little change they can call their own.