Technical Problems Affect Tavis Smiley Forum
April 1, 2010
On March 20, C-SPAN covered a forum sponsored by Tavis Smiley featuring Cornel West, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and others. Because the House was in session and C-SPAN2 was live with the House Rules Committee all day, the program was recorded for airing on Monday, March 29. The crew we hired to cover the event experienced a technical problem in the recording and transmission of the event causing a five-minute segment of Minister Farrakhan’s remarks to be missing. C-SPAN put up a notice during the March 29 airing that technical problems caused C-SPAN to miss a portion of Farrakhan’s speech. Since that time, we have located another copy of the entire program. Once we have that video in our possession, we will reair the entire three hour and forty minute event with the missing portion included. In the meantime, the program as aired can be viewed in the Video Library. Keep an eye on this blog for an announcement of the airing time.
How does C-SPAN deal with calls that are inaccurate or distasteful?
While the vast majority of calls are not of this nature, the live, town-hall format of our call-ins can occasionally give rise to calls that contain factual inaccuracies or distasteful language. Fact-checking for live viewer calls is impractical, something of the nature of the beast. Regarding distasteful language: When a caller makes ad hominem attacks or uses indecent language or obviously racist language, program hosts are certainly permitted to step in. Given that this involves quick judgment during a live television production, it’s an imperfect process. The network does not endorse any comments made by our callers, or, for that matter, our guests.
This question and answer is reprinted from C-SPAN Washington Journal Frequently Asked Questions to remind viewers of C-SPAN’s policy on offensive and racist calls which are occasionally heard on our call-in programs. See also C-SPAN co-president Susan Swain’s comments on the April 1 Washington Journal which is also available on YouTube.