Matt Gaetz wants C-SPAN’s cameras to KEEP recording drama in Congress after they showed the meltdown and near-fights during the chaotic speaker vote in full
- Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to keep C-SPAN’s cameras rolling in the House chamber, calling static government cameras too ‘boomer-fied’
- During last week’s speakership fight they showed meltdowns and near-fights by being able to pan the House chamber
- Once House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was elected, C-SPAN was back to having to broadcast using a government feed, which mainly points at the dais
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to keep C-SPAN’s cameras rolling in the House chamber despite the cable channel showing meltdowns and near-fights during last week’s speakership drama.
Fox News Channel reported Tuesday that Gaetz said he would offer an amendment that would permit C-SPAN to have its own cameras in the House chamber, as the government cameras locked in position to capture just the dais are, in the Florida congressman’s words, ‘boomer-fied.’
C-SPAN was allowed to bring in its own cameras last week because no House rules had been adopted without a speaker being elected.
That allowed the network to pan the room during high-stakes moments – like when Gaetz voted ‘present,’ tanking McCarthy’s speakership bid a 14th time, and Rep. Mike Rogers had to be held back from physically attacking Gaetz.
C-SPAN’s cameras captured high-drama moments during last week’s speakership fight, including now Speaker Kevin McCarthy confronting Rep. Matt Gaetz after the Florida Republican helped tank McCarthy’s bid on the 14th vote
The cameras also captured Rep. Mike Rogers having to be held back from having a physical altercation with Rep. Matt Gaetz. Gaetz said Tuesday that the government cameras are a ‘boomer-fied’ as they stay in place
‘I’ve received a lot of feedback from constituents about how interesting it was, and that you were able to see in real time how our government is functioning, what alliances are being created, what discussions are being had, what animated moments drive the action,’ Gaetz told Fox. ‘And the pool view of the Congress is antiquated and a little boomer-fied,’ he said, a reference to baby boomers.
Gaetz’s call came the same day C-SPAN’s co-CEO Susan Swain penned a letter to McCarthy asking to bring additional cameras into the chamber.
‘We do not propose replacing the existing House Recording System or its output,’ she wrote. ‘Instead we request to install a few additional cameras in the House chamber. When mixed with the existing House production, shots from our cameras would allow us to create a second journalistic product, just as we did last week.’
She also asked that even if the Republican speaker didn’t wish for C-SPAN to have its own cameras in the chamber for all House proceedings that McCarthy would consider allowing them in for ‘key legislative sessions.’
C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art tweeted out what C-SPAN watchers would have seen if they cable channel hadn’t been permitted to bring in its own cameras during the speakership drama last week
Rep. Matt Gaetz’s call came the same day C-SPAN’s co-CEO Susan Swain penned a letter to McCarthy asking to bring additional cameras into the chamber
A copy of the letter was also sent to Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Minority Leader, Democrat Hakeem Jeffries.
Previous similar asks of House speakers have fallen on deaf ears.
Gaetz, who was one of the 20 right-wing rabble-rousers who almost cost McCarthy the speakership, has allies on the progressive left as well.
Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, the former leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote a ‘dear colleague’ letter obtained by The Hill that said he would introduce legislation that would allow television cameras to actively pan the House chamber.
‘One feature of the new Congress that made this debate so compelling was the fact that cameras recording the U.S. House of Representatives were free to broadcast the full Chamber during votes and debate, and not merely the rostrum, well, and Members recognized to speak,’ Pocan wrote. ‘I hope you will agree that opening our deliberations to the full view of the American people is good for democracy, and that you will join me in this endeavor.’
In a tweet Monday, previewing the move, Pocan said C-SPAN’s coverage of the 15 speakership votes was ‘worthy of an Oscar.’
Starting with Monday’s proceedins and votes, C-SPAN was back to using the official government feed.