Happy Birthday C-SPAN!
As I type this post there are 18 hours of Book TV programming from C-SPAN on the DVR. That should sum up the joy we get from this public affairs network.
C-SPAN is turning 37 years old. It went on the air March 19, 1979 which started to then air live gavel-to-gavel TV coverage of the House floor. The Speaker of the House was Tip O’Neil and the first speaker that day was congressman Al Gore.
It is the must go spot on television for the tumultuous votes on national issues or the grand ceremonial ones such as swearing in a new speaker. The coverage of the political conventions remains the best as they allow for all the speeches to be heard with out banter from the pundits.
The programming from C-SPAN 2 and 3 ranging from lectures on books to old political speeches, tours of presidential libraries, reenactments of the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates makes a continual treasure trove for viewers.
Never once have we needed to hear anyone spout off about the federal dollars allocated for this programming. That is due to the fact none are used. Its revenue comes from fees paid by cable systems and satellite companies.
The only regret I have about C-SPAN is my schedule did not allow me to attend an event when Brain Lamb, a brainchild of the network, and host of Booknotes on Sunday nights, visited Madison’s University Book Store. There are so many who agree with me that Lamb is truly a great American and a sound journalist.
So let me, from this little spot on the information highway, express my pleasure and delight with C-SPAN for many decades of programming and countless hours of coverage of events which has nourished my interests and deepened my knowledge of world around me.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY C-SPAN!