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Russian Propaganda Saps, Impurifies Our Precious C-Span

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Everyone was glued to C-SPAN this past week for the riveting wall-to-wall coverage of old (mostly white) people quibbling back and forth for hours. So while Jeff Sessions tried not to sound like a lifelong racist, and Rex Tillerson dodged questions about exploiting every country on the planet for money, Yr Wonket diligently churned out 'splainerings until we collapsed into pools of (ALLEGED) hooker pee. But while C-SPAN's coverage of House and Senate proceedings was reminding us all how genuinely boring U.S. politics tends to be, something strange happened.


As Rep. Maxine Waters was on the House floor chiding Republicans for their most recent attempt to gut the Securities Exchange Commission, the C-SPAN livefeed suddenly switched to R.T., the Russian state-owned propaganda channel. This sent the Twitterati into a frenzy, assuming that Vladimir Putin had begun his invasion of America a week early with a bad Polack joke.

The switch only lasted for a couple of minutes, and C-SPAN tweeted out a brief statement that amounts to, "Oops, my bad," by calling it a "routing issue."

R.T. has unsurprisingly denied doing anything nefarious in an email that is full of snark, and devoid of substance.

"Of course we hacked C-SPAN. We also stole the Linbergh baby, and ALL the aliens from Area 51.

Now it's entirely possible that someone over at the Span crossed some wires or pressed the wrong button and accidentally brought up the feed from one of 30 other different T.V. networks C-SPAN follows. It is, after all, a common practice in the news business to monitor other networks so that you can see what your competitors are doing. Besides, those control rooms have a shitload of T.V.'s, and buttons, and switches, and levers -- can you imagine the damage a single unsupervised intern could do in 30 seconds?

It's also (unfortunately) not that crazy to ask whether or not someone at C-SPAN is wearing a fuzzy hat with ear flaps, or if someone is a secret ROOSHIAN agent. Homeland Security recently warned that Russia has been unsuccessfully trying to break into U.S. utilities and businesses.

There's also reports that people in Trump's inner circle have been in possible conspiracy cahoots with Russian state actors, and Trump himself grows a long rubbery one whenever he thinks Putin might pay him a compliment. Since all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia engaged in a sophisticated campaign to influence the election, it's not insane to wonder if Russia gained access to the most benign cable network in the U.S. and piped in a shitty Eurotrash joke.

[BBC / Gizmodo / Snopes / NYT]

Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.

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