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.
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
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.”
"an internal routing issue" pic.twitter.com/1Htue3Ef61
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) January 12, 2017