I am coming out of the closet. On this historic date, I proudly admit I am a CPAN junkie. (I really have been hooked since I was younger but with two toddlers I love throwing late night C-Span on the tube to keep me company bottle to bottle. My favorites include C-span radio (listen to and watched Senator Byrd fight the war resolution. ( I tune in for all the State of the Unions and love Book Notes) I encourage folks to take a moment to "watch sausage being made." C-SPAN has survived for 25 years and amazingly emerged as the 7th most watched cable network!
This little control and low production quality network has made significant contributions to political debate. In towns across the America there are informed political hacks that are fellow C-SPAN junkies. These political hacks from Scranton PA, Millidgeville GA, Eugene OR, or any other small town can tune in just like the wonks from the Hill. C-Span viewers both vote more and engage in politics.
The same dynamics that support C-SPAN's growth will take root in our advocacy movement. The gavel to gavel coverage makes the process a bit more transparent and low production quality makes it a bit trusted. The more transparent we can make the process the better (unfortunately, most of the really interesting staff takes place off camera. I want to see the Tom DeLay cam) . There may even be a value to covering the people sitting down before or getting up after a panel? The whole model is based on raw feeds and real pseudo-reality TV.
My (quick off the top of my head) C-Span Network (Senate too) Top 10
1. Senator Byrd : We Stand Passively Mute
2. NASA hearings on Shuttle Failure
3. Random Lectures from Kennedy School of Government (great on e the other night on the Fog of War4. Impeachment debates and Hearings in the Committee
5. Franken vs. O'Reilly (book notes)
6. National Press Club Annual Dinner and Political Roast
7. Jim Traficant's Censure
8. All the Sunday talk shows replayed by radio without commercial every Sunday
9. Ollie North's "Irangate" Testimony
10. Washington Notes and all the crazy bastards C-span lets on the air.
Tune in an enjoy. C-SPAN