Tulsa's own C-SPAN


Long before Fox News, before Rush Limbaugh did talk radio, before the emergence of the blogosphere, even before CNN, there was C-SPAN, which gave America the opportunity to see for themselves how Congress works, unmediated by newspapers and TV networks, and unmodified by unanimous consent requests to "revise and extend" remarks in the Congressional Record. C-SPAN marked its 25th anniversary this year. Without even trying, C-SPAN deserves a lot of credit for the end of Democrat rule in the House of Representatives in the 1994 election.

For many years, Tulsa's weekly City Council meetings were broadcast using C-SPAN's channel, preempting the network's programming for as long as the meeting lasts. Now the City has a dedicated channel on Cox Cable Tulsa, TGOV channel 24, which broadcasts the regular City Council meeting, City Council Tuesday committee meetings, and meetings of the City of Tulsa Board Of Adjustment and the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. The channel also features some specially produced programs, like "This Week at City Hall" and "Talk of the Town". Last week's schedule is online here. I suspect they will follow this general pattern, although adjustments may occur as meetings in a given week are longer or shorter. Up-to-date listings should be on the TV Guide Channel (channel 2 on Cox Cable); TV Guide Channel's listings are also online -- free registration.

This is a wonderful development, as it gives us a chance to see for ourselves what goes on at these meetings and how our public officials are conducting themselves. Bright light tends to send the cockroaches scurrying away, and we've noticed that a camera in the room has an interesting effect. And I imagine this meeting might have been different had the cameras been running.

Speaking of bugs, there are still a few to be worked out. Remember the Saturday Night Live parody of C-SPAN's coverage of a 1992 Democratic Presidential debate? The intro included the line, "Our C-SPAN camera -- the only one we have -- is there." It seems that TGOV only has one camera at its disposal, which it must use at the Council Committee room for those meetings and over at the Francis Campbell Council chambers, where the regular meetings of the Council, BoA, and TMAPC are held. Remember this -- it will be important in a later item.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 8, 2004 11:00 PM.

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