Thursday, December 14, 2006

C-SPAN Wants Even MORE Buffoonery?

According to The Hill, C-SPAN is 'pressing' Rep. Nancy Pelosi to "increase transparency" by loosening the television rules for video transmissions while the House is in session. The CEO of C-SPAN, Brian Lamb, thinks the public is being cheated:

Lamb wrote that the current 28-year-old arrangement is "an anachronism that does a disservice to the institution and to the public…Congressional technicians are limited to taking static, head-on shots of the representative who's speaking at the podium."

Rules and established practices prevent cameras from taking individual reaction shots or from panning the chamber, leaving viewers with an incomplete picture of what's happening in the House," he added.

Ahem, Mr. Lamb?

No Way.

How much imagination does it take to see how all the petty pompousness, preeening, and posing we get whenever committee hearings are televised would only be amplified and come at us a hundred-fold whenever the whole House was in session? It wouldn't take long before the camera hogs started vamping in competition for 'reaction shots' -- and not long after that the House in session would start making the House of Commons look well-behaved.

Beyond the decay of decorum and debate, which is about the only thing that could make our Legislature even less productive than it already is, Who would decide which shots get taken? Whose 'reactions' get shown? Will Representative Serious get as much air play as Representative Showboat? Will the "Bravado Caucus" supplant the Gang of Fourteen as the greatest usurpers of majority rule? I think we have enough variables in the government at this time, thank you very much.

C-SPAN's quest is simply a lousy idea that would make better TV, but outside of C-SPAN, everyone would suffer.

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