Here’s the moment Russia Today took over the C-SPAN1 feed. Unclear what happened. RT aired for about ten minutes before C-SPAN1 came back. pic.twitter.com/mhWVgCoFxF
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 12, 2017
In a strange “hostile takeover” of state TV broadcasters, not to mention a bizarre moment of startling symmetry with the current state of American politics, C-SPAN, the public affairs network that broadcasts political proceedings the United States House of Representatives and Senate, was interrupted by a live feed of Russian TV channel, RT, formerly known as Russia Today.
The state-funded Russian news network, which was accused by the US intelligence community of spreading “fake news” and directly influencing the US elections, took over the online feed of C-SPAN1, which had been broadcasting a discussion in Congress regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulatory Accountability Act, for about ten minutes at 2:30 pm ET.
As California Democrat Maxine Waters was speaking, the feed suddenly cut from the House floor to a broadcast of RT. The feed cut in with a commercial break before returning to the RT news desk, where an anchor spoke of a suicide bombing. As the IBT noted, multiple C-SPAN watchers (although hardly too many, as C-SPAN’s Nielsen Ratings are even lower than those of CNBC) made mention of the sudden change on Twitter, including Deadspin editor Timothy Burke, who captured the moment the C-SPAN feed switched to RT.
It is unclear what caused the issue, although some jokingly suggested, that this is yet another “hacking” of US media interests by Putin. Allaying concerns of a grassroots Russian takeover of US media by Russia, C-SPAN sent out a notice later stating that the mix up was due to an “internal routing issue.”