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C-SPAN asks Pelosi to roll back rule that puts House Speaker in charge of TV cameras on House floor

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:40 AM
Original message
C-SPAN asks Pelosi to roll back rule that puts House Speaker in charge of TV cameras on House floor
The Hill: C-SPAN presses Pelosi on transparency
By Jonathan E. Kaplan

Noting that Democrats have pledged to increase transparency and accountability in government, C-SPAN Thursday called on House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to give television viewers the same real-time access to views of the House floor as anyone sitting in the gallery would have.

In a Dec. 14 letter, C-SPAN CEO and Chairman Brian Lamb asked Pelosi to roll back the three-decade old practice that put the House Speaker in charge of the cameras. C-SPAN and the House reached the current agreement in 1979 when cameras were first introduced to the chamber. He wrote that he sought a similar agreement in 1994 when Republicans captured control of the House, but he did not get it.

Lamb wrote that the current 28-year-old arrangement is "an anachronism that does a disservice to the institution and to the publicCongressional 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.

In addition, Lamb asked Pelosi to immediately post how individual lawmakers voted on a piece of legislation. Currently, the parties' totals appear on screen, but the individual tallies are not posted until hours later....

http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Fron...
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. I Agree With C-Span Completely And Hope SO BAD Nancy Gives 100% Approval As Well.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. And if she does, I hope c-span
and brian lamb start giving Dems breaks on neo-con Fridays.
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. I think Speaker Pelosi will agree with C-Span's request.
And I also agree with it. These guidelines are good ones.
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SoFlaJet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I'm with you all here
sunshine is a good thing-who knows what might have NOT happened the last 6 years had we had this in place.I never could believe some of the crap guys like Dreir and Bill Thomas were pulling with rules and excluding dems from having any kind of a voice.It would be harder to pull with these rules of access.
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RobofSWVA Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
3. Go C-SPAN!
This is a good thing. I hope it happens. We can never have too much information about what our government is doing (excluding the obvious exception of legit military actions such as D-day, etc.). We need the whole picture.
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okieinpain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. yeah, well why didn't he whine about this to his buddies... n/t
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Bukowski Fan Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. He did.
And they refused. Say what you want about Lamb's politics, but this is a great idea and I hope Speaker Pelosi agrees to the new guidelines. Speaking as an unabashed CSPAN junkie, I would like to see a lot more access.
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okieinpain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. good idea, but I don't remember it being out in the open before... n/t
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verse18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. No surprise here.
"He wrote that he sought a similar agreement in 1994 when Republicans captured control of the House, but he did not get it."
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. And of course he did not continue to make an issue of it
until NOW.. He's put Pelosi in an awkward position. If she refuses, he will be "mentioning" it a LOT to show everyoine why she's not interested in "openness", while downplaying the fact that republicans flat out refused the idea for over a decade.

If she accepts, you can bet that cspan will use the new access as a way to embarrass democrats and look for every opportunity to "prove that they are no better" at governing..

Brian is a republican..and blatantly anti-dem..One look at his choice of right wing "guests" every Friday tells me all I need to know about him..
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm skeptical that this will happen.
C-Span publicized this letter to put pressure on Pelosi. The practice has been in place while both Dems and Repubs have been in power. I doubt that she will change the rule now, otherwise, you'd be reading a story coming from her on this, not C-Span.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. No matter what his politics, he honors history. I hope it happens.
Sometimes I don't think they want the public to know how empty the chambers are. If they take their one or five minutes to speak about something ypassionately and there are only two legislators in the audience and they are talking to each other - it kinda takes the passion out of the picture. I think they think we will judge them wrongly if they are absent.

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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
11. Well, she has already said she's going to televise all the hearing...that open government thing,
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 AM by in_cog_ni_to
so I wouldn't think this would be a problem. I would have LOVED to have this when Tom Delay was running around the House floor twisting arms to get his Medicare Bill passed.

I love the immediate vote post too. I hope she agrees to this. The House will be so much more entertaining!
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Bobbie Jo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
13. Yes Ma'am!
Watch and learn republiks...watch and learn. :kick:
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
14. Yeah, why not?
C-SPAN is about the only source left for actual news, anyway.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
15. As any photographer can tell you ...
... there's a lot of control over the 'message' when framed by a skilled cameraman. The problem with the gallery metaphor is that every individual in the gallery has control over their own framing ... it's not a matter of sharing the same set of eyeballs.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. They will show Dem yawns only. .
odd scratching, nose probings, dozing off. .

And none of repugs doing the exact same thing. To handle this properly would require 2 cameramen at all times, one R, one D. . and the end result would be exactly what we watch now.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. It's no accident that "framing" is a metaphor for propaganda.
I suppose some might think it's about the painted wood around an oil painting, though. :eyes:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. I would not rush into supporting this...
The person behind the camera can pick and choose what to show. If a Republican is picking his nose at the same time a Democrat is dozing off, which do they show? It's not as simple as it seems, in my opinion.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Well, the House Democrats could attempt to demonstrate superior ethics ...
... and cede editorial control when the Speaker is a Democrat while allowing a Republican Speaker to hold onto that editorial control. After all, everyone knows that C-SPAN viewers are all very conscious of how the camera angles are chosen, right? People working for C-SPAN would nver have a political agenda, right? Everyone knows that Brian Lamb is "fair and balanced," right?

:rofl:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. I'm amazed at the naivete of many DUers lately...
They have a difficult time even recognizing the most obvious sarcastic remarks. Are we still getting the cream of the crop? :) By the way, 'Nut, you're on top of the game.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
21. There's no reason to cede even more power to the right-wing through C-Span.
Brian Lamb operates very clearly as a Republican operative: he's not as subtle as he imagines.

Allowing him total freedom to "frame" public perception (already denied him by Republicans) of a Democratic House or Senate is an invitation to suicide. Surely she won't be that foolish. Hope she's as tough as we've heard and will tell him to go pound sand, in a nice way, of course.

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Roxy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. That would be so great......I hope she opens the place up!!
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Roxy66, have you thought this through ?
Do you not see how this could be manipulated?
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