Originally published: February 4, 2011
Last updated: February 4, 2011 - 9:47pm
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) this week rejected C-SPAN's latest appeal to put cameras in the House chamber.
C-SPAN wants the freedom to pan away from speakers to capture conversations between members and lawmakers’ reactions to things said during debate. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Boehner’s predecessor as speaker, rejected similar appeals. “Consistent with the precedent set by former speakers, I believe the American people and the dignity and decorum of the United States House of Representatives are best served by the current system of televised proceedings provided by the House Recording Studio,” Speaker Boehner wrote C-SPAN Chief Executive Brian Lamb. In November, right after the election, Lamb wrote then-speaker designate Boehner renewing the cable network’s longstanding request to set up cameras inside the chamber to capture action on the floor. Rules established when television cameras were first installed in the chamber in 1979 require that operators fix their shots on members speaking from podiums on the floor. C-SPAN didn't want to tinker with the current recording system that captures every second of floor debate; instead, they proposed supplementing that system with their own robotically operated cameras to capture reactions. The network made similar requests of Speakers Pelosi and Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
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