C-SPAN Cameras for House Speaker: Paul Gosar in a House Speaker’s Correspondence with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez
You may have noticed that the camera shots on the C-SPAN coverage of the unfolding drama in the House are not the usual wide-pans that saturate the channel on a day to day basis.
The House usually forbids independent media coverage of proceedings and networks must rely on a government feed for coverage. Independent coverage can occur when there are special events in the House.
“It would be great if we could provide this kind of coverage even during deliberations on major legislations or other times beyond the speaker election and more ceremonial functions of Congress,” he said. We hope some day cameras are allowed in there more often.
For example, C-SPAN’s cameras showed Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, who has voted against Kevin McCarthy for speaker, on the floor speaking Tuesday with Democratic Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. According to Lauren Hitt, Gosar asked if any Democrats were planning to vote present or leave the floor so McCarthy could have a lower threshold. Ocasio-Cortez, according to Hitt, told Gosar that there was no plan to do that.
The image of seeing the two next to each other is striking: The House voted to censure Gosar and remove him from committees in November 2021 after Gosar photoshopped an anime video to social media showing him appearing to kill Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden.
C-SPAN: Bringing back the cameras: The unusual move of Rep. Joe McCarthy to the House Select Committee on the January 6, 2018 Insurrection
“We are able to show Paul Gosar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sitting down and speaking to one another. We are able to show Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan talking before the next votes,” Ben O’Connell, C-SPAN’s director of editorial operations, told me by phone. “We are able to show scrums of members migrate across the floor as negotiations go on. You don’t see that during standard coverage.”
O’Connell said that C-SPAN would like to do this far more often. The organization has petitioned Congress numerous times in order to be able to control the camera shots it airs.
I think it is important for journalists to be behind the camera rather than the government, says O’Connell. We have a government entity that covers the government on a typical legislative day. I think it would be good to have journalists behind the camera.
cameras became a potent political weapon when they first started being used. Gingrich lectured Democrats for TV cameras in the late 1980s and early 1990s, eventually becoming the House speaker. It seemed as if there weren’t answers from the other side because there were so few people in the chamber.
GOP lawmakers within McCarthy’s ranks wanted to review the material on their own, but were likely to look for footage that supports their claims. McCarthy has been outsourcing the task of making videos to right-wing media since giving them to Carlson.
The highly unusual move – a House speaker handing over a massive trove of internal government materials to a friendly media outlet – comes after the California Republican faced significant pressure from his right flank to relitigate the work of the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
McCarthy told the select committee to keep all of its records after he became speaker, promising to hold hearings on the security failures that led to the Capitol getting overrun.
The FBI and the Congressman apologized for not releasing the January 6 Security Video of the March 17 Insurrection against President Donald Trump
Carlson has been one of the most prominent promoters of January 6 conspiracy theories. Most notably, he has devoted significant airtime to the false claim that liberal “deep state” partisans within the FBI orchestrated the insurrection as a way to undermine former President Donald Trump. He has conducted interviews with some of the rioters who were charged by the Justice Department.
A Fox News publicist told CNN that their report was accurate, but declined to give more information. Carlson told Axios, “there was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret” and that the videos will shed light on “what actually happened on January 6.”
When asked at a press conference about how some Republicans had urged former Speaker Pelosi to release the full January 6 security footage, McCarthy signaled his support. The public is supposed to see what happened.
The January 6 committee had access to all of the US Capitol Police footage but did not release certain clips for security reasons. The panel’s footage was considered sensitive due to its showing the movements of top officials as they fled to safety, a source told CNN.
Bennie Thompson said that if McCarthy granted Carlson access, he owes the American people an explanation.
January 6 defendants have access to thousands of hours of unreleased footage from the attack, as well from an online database, but the videos are tightly controlled by a protective order and defendants are not allowed to publicly release the clips.
The public can know what the capabilities of the U.S. Capitol interior camera are through the release of a single video from that camera.