Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 24th, 2016

Turning off C-SPAN feed troubling for transparency

by . policy. June 22, 2016, 5:24 p.m

When word spread that Democrats were staging a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives over a vote on gun legislation, like many Americans, Sunlight staff turned C-SPAN, one of the most reliable sources of nonpartisan information about government, to see what was happening.

When we tuned in, however, we found the national public affairs network was running a crawl that the cameras in the House had been turned off by the majority party of the House.

We have a mission, a mandate, and a moral obligation to speak up and speak out until the House votes to address gun violence. We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent and the concern of our nation. We will use nonviolence to fight gun violence and inaction.

John Lewis's photo.

Here’s how it works:

C-SPAN does not own or operate any of the cameras, it simply broadcasts the “feed” of events.

The House recording studio owns and operates the cameras, meaning it controls the video, the audio and the camera angles.

C-SPAN simply takes that video feed and broadcasts it.

“Independent, non-government TV cameras (are) not allowed to broadcast regular floor proceedings (neither House nor Senate),” C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman told us in an email.

Mortman also wrote that C-SPAN has a lengthy history of asking for greater access. You can read the organization’s letters on its website, which show they have been asking to install cameras since 1994.

This conflict of interest in who controls the cameras seems to be an ongoing problem.

Today, that decision was made by Republicans, but in 2008, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took the same action during a debate on an energy bill. Both of these instances are cause for concern.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“Shutting off the cameras sends a terrible message to other countries with new, struggling democracies that you cannot trust your people to evaluate the actions of their government.

Instead, it shows that even in the Land of the Free, censorship is utilized to minimize the voice of the opposition.”

Crawl on the bottom of C-SPAN notifying viewers cameras in House were turned off during the June 22 Democratic sit-in. (Image credit: C-SPAN/Twitter)

Selective transparency in broadcasting action on the floor contradicts the constitutional principles that House Speaker Paul Ryan recently published and embraced.

Americans on both sides of these issues have a vested interest in seeing which House members were taking part, what was playing out on the House floor, and being informed about the content of the debate over how the Second Amendment should be interpreted.

Representative democracy only works when people can see how their government is conducting business and, in turn, hold politicians accountable for those actions. C-SPAN’s camera coverage is a valuable tool in that process.

In an age of limited resources, there are many organizations and news outlets that depend on that livestream of events. At any time, you can tune in and see what is going on in American government as it is happening.

The live broadcast allows you to watch events as they unfold, consider the information and make your own opinions about what is happening, free from cable news pundits talking over speeches on the floor and cutting away from the debate.

You can go back in C-SPAN’s archives and see exactly what people said and in what context they said it. You can see how your representatives act and vote in real time.

C-SPAN is offered as a public service, and is perhaps one of our finest areas of transparency.

While some lawmakers are using social media and live-streaming apps on their smartphones to route around the shutdown, demonstrating how technology has leapfrogged the single point of control of the “official feed,” the structural issue of political control of the cameras remains.

In an unprecedented move, C-SPAN switched to the Periscope feed of a congressman this afternoon, and then to a Facebook Live feed of another.

The fact that advances in technology enable members of Congress to route around censorship of the House floor, however, does not mitigate the decision to shut down the C-SPAN cameras.

Some lawmakers ignored the “independent camera” rule — which bans using devices for still photography, audio or video recording — and started broadcasting via Periscope. C-SPAN switched to a Periscope feed this afternoon:

It is troubling that the cameras were not turned back on when it was clear this was something the American public would have an interest in observing. If you agree, we encourage you to use our tool Email Congress to let your lawmakers know.

(Would anyone dare turn-off the cameras of a football game?)

A Dream Real (1999)

1.   My fellow Realtors make fun of me, of my choice of name.

Advertising Dr. Adonis is intimidating, it scares people off.

A few, maybe.  Many call on me.

They keep me busy, friendly, alert and happy.

2.   Dr. Adonis has no business selling homes.

Dr. Adonis was meant to teach, to be employed.

Dr. Adonis joined the rank of the selfish, the greedy.

Dr. Adonis is banished from the elite gangs.

3.   I got to know the mind of the Realtor.

You see one, you see all.

Like you, I don’t like him.

He sells your houses for fees.

4.   Long hours, long days and nights.

I sell a friend what he will call “My Home”.

I make his cherished dream come true.

I am associated with a few dreams, long lasting dreams.


Kids have their own rooms; I never had mine.

Kids play in the basement; I sleep in part of one.

5.   I call, I mail, I follow up and I serve.

I serve and call no more:  I just drop by.

Big hearts, big smiles open the door for me.

I have no home of mine:  Home is where that heart is.


I am a Realtor.  I don’t like him.

I sell dreams, Real ones, at last.

An annual father-daughter ritual:

posing for the same picture, on the same corner

One of the most important things we all make are memories.

A long time ago in New York City, Steve Addis stood on a corner holding his 1-year-old daughter in his arms; his wife snapped a photo.

The image has inspired an annual father-daughter ritual, where Addis and his daughter pose for the same picture, on the same corner, each year.

Addis shares 15 treasured photographs from the series, and explores why this small, repeated ritual means so much

Steven Addis. Brand strategist. A photography buff who, by day, harnesses the power of branding for social change. Full bio

Photography has been my passion ever since I was old enough to pick up a camera, but today I want to share with you the 15 most treasured photos of mine, and I didn’t take any of them.

There were no art directors, no stylists, no chance for reshoots, not even any regard for lighting. In fact, most of them were taken by random tourists

TED. 22 hrs ·

“One of the most important things we all make are memories.”

0:34 My story begins when I was in New York City for a speaking engagement, and my wife took this picture of me holding my daughter on her first birthday. We’re on the corner of 57th and 5th. We happened to be back in New York exactly a year later, so we decided to take the same picture.

you can see where this is going. Approaching my daughter’s third birthday, my wife said, “Hey, why don’t you take Sabina back to New York and make it a father-daughter trip, and continue the ritual?” This is when we started asking passing tourists to take the picture.

 it’s remarkable how universal the gesture is of handing your camera to a total stranger. No one’s ever refused, and luckily no one’s ever run off with our camera.

Back then, we had no idea how much this trip would change our lives. It’s really become sacred to us. This one was taken just weeks after 9/11, and I found myself trying to explain what had happened that day in ways a five-year-old could understand.

So these photos are far more than proxies for a single moment, or even a specific trip. They’re also ways for us to freeze time for one week in October and reflect on our times and how we change from year to year, and not just physically, but in every way.

Because while we take the same photo, our perspectives change, and she reaches new milestones, and I get to see life through her eyes, and how she interacts with and sees everything.

This very focused time we get to spend together is something we cherish and anticipate the entire year.

Recently, on one trip, we were walking, and she stops dead in her tracks, and she points to a red awning of the doll store that she loved when she was little on our earlier trips. And she describes to me the feeling she felt as a five-year-old standing in that exact spot.

She said she remembers her heart bursting out of her chest when she saw that place for the very first time nine years earlier. And now what she’s looking at in New York are colleges, because she’s determined to go to school in New York. And it hit me: One of the most important things we all make are memories.

 I want to share the idea of taking an active role in consciously creating memories. I don’t know about you, but aside from these 15 shots, I’m not in many of the family photos. I’m always the one taking the picture. So I want to encourage everyone today to get in the shot, and don’t hesitate to go up to someone and ask, Will you take our picture?”




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