Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Sunday, February 26, 2017

C-SPAN coverage mysteriously overtaken by Russia state television

At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was speaking out against H.R. 78 — a bill that would decrease regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission— when C-SPAN’s live feed of her testimony abruptly switched to a stream of Russian state-owned television.

Notably, the unusual switch happened just after Waters expressed concern that Trump’s SEC might be unduly friendly with Russia.

“I urge my colleagues to join me, investor and consumer advocates, public pension plans, civil rights groups, labor unions and supporters of financial reform in opposing H.R. 78 to ensure that the actions of Trump’s SEC are in the interests of Americans’ economic stability and not in Russia’s or Wall Street’s interest,” Waters said. “At this time, with the bill that would basically take our cop on the block, the SEC, and literally obliterate — ”

The C-SPAN feed switched to Russia Today before Waters finished her sentence.

The legitimacy of the video was confirmed by Brandon Richards, a press intern for Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). Boyle told ThinkProgress he was watching a C-SPAN livestream on his computer when it switched over to RT. He was obviously confused, and when he looked at TVs in Boyle’s office, they were suddenly airing RT as well.

C-SPAN didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. But later Thursday afternoon, the station posted a statement saying staffers “are operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue.”

The incident occured six days after the U.S. intelligence community released its declassified intelligence report about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election. A significant portion of it details RT’s efforts to help Donald Trump.

In addition to accusing RT employees of collaborating with WikiLeaks, the report says RT “consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional U.S. media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.”

Following Trump’s victory, RT “hailed President-elect Trump’s victory as vindication of Putin’s advocacy of global populist movements — the theme of Putin’s annual conference for Western academics in October 2016 — and the latest example of Western liberalism’s collapse.”

Original Article
Author: Aaron Rupar

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