C-SPAN’s regular footage was replaced by RT’s newscast from Moscow for 10 minutes, switching from their live coverage of proceedings in the House of Representatives on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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
The incident took place in the middle of a speech of Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) at 2:30pm ET. The situation was likely result of a common technical mistake, but speculation and conspiracy theories went viral afte the event. Some people even claimed that it was a kind of cyber attack. C-SPAN’s statement on the topic also contributed to the idea of the cyberwarfare.
“We don’t believe that we were hacked,” the statement reads. This looks as a denial of the attack, but indeed it’s a common black PR/propaganda trick. A close analogue of this phrase is “We don’t believe that John is a sex offender“.
C-SPAN staff made an important technical mistake (by an accident or by some reason). The right reaction from C-SPAN could be to make an apology for this. But no, the organization prefers to shift the blame to RT (the Kremlin).