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
Between the leaked Donald Trump dossier and the president-elect’s own CIA director pick calling U.S. intelligence on Russia’s alleged election hacking “sound,” the artist formally known as the Soviet Union has enjoyed a lot of coverage in the American media. Nor did this change Thursday afternoon when, according to Deadspin editor Timothy Burke, the raw online feed for C-SPAN was interrupted by RT (otherwise known as Russia Today) for around 10 minutes. Twitter was just as quick to accuse Burke of perpetrating a hoax as they were to joke about the matter, but per a new statement issued by C-SPAN, it seems the interruption actually happened.
Burke first reported the interruption at 2:40 p.m. ET, saying “the official C-SPAN online feed was briefly taken over by Russia Today, somehow.” Whether or not the raw feed had actually been “taken over” by the Russian-owned news service, however, was far more difficult to determine. What’s more, many lay Twitter users and fellow journalists who became aware of Burke’s tweets began accusing him of perpetrating a hoax.
JM Rieger, a producer at the Huffington Post, tweeted his own rip of C-SPAN’s video feed at the very moment Burke claimed the interruption occurred. “RT did not air on C-SPAN today, per recording below,” he noted. The moment in question featured Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California), a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, giving testimony.
Yet Burke was quick to respond to his critics, noting the interruption happened on the “raw video stream” where he saw it. As for C-SPAN’s televised version of Waters’ comments, the Deadspin editor noted he couldn’t speak for those versions of the feed. Though he did find confirmation from Brandon Richards, a staffer for Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pennsylvania), who tweeted “this truly happened … watched it happen live … whole office was confused.”
C-SPAN finally confirmed the matter on its own Twitter account, saying their online feed was “briefly interrupted by RT programming” for unknown reasons. Conspiracy theorists’ charges notwithstanding, however, the network revealed they “regularly monitor” RT and what happened may ultimately be due to an “internal routing issue.”
Not that that stopped Twitter from being Twitter:
Everything is fine, comrades.