Happy B-Day, C-SPAN!


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.

NEXT: I'm Not Sorry, Ha Ha Ha Ha!

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  1. My opinion:

    Brian Lamb is one of those rare public
    figures you just can’t help but admire.

    Book TV is my first stop on weekends indoors,
    with the Food Channel a close second.

    Cheers, C-Span!

  2. New England Cable News ran a live feed from the Mass Legislature’s Constitutional Convention while they were “debating” the anti-gay marriage amendment. What a bunch of clowns – you could hear laughing and talking over the speakers, and the President kept stepping to the mike to tell the members to act like professionals, to no avail. It was like a frat house on a Friday night.

    Maybe constant coverage CSPAN style would encourage a little decorum.

  3. C-SPAN has proved that people do indeed
    enjoy watching sausage being made.

  4. My O’Reilly-worshiping uncle dismisses C-SPAN as another lefty outlet. Perhaps because the lefties get to talk as much as the righties, in proportion to their delegation.

    I like to see what the bloviators are up to. I even watch my city representatives on cable access. (wish I wasn’t subsidizing it, though)

  5. Mark Fox,

    A lefty outlet that is cozy with Al Neuhardt and treats USA Today representatives as real journalists on its talking head shows?

  6. Mark, lol.

    Your last comment is a little silly, though. Do you object to them having a pa system, so the people attending the meetings can hear what they’re saying?

    I’d expect an anti-government type to support such transparency.

  7. That was a great interview. Surely it’s time for a follow up.

  8. O.K., it’s a concession to the statists, but I’ll pay the impost for disseminating government proceedings on cable. Other programming on public access, like german-language muslim satanist astrologer movie review hour, I don’t want to pay for.

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