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C-SPAN's Online Feed Started Airing Russian TV for Some Reason

The public-access channel is currently calling the glitch an "internal" issue, rather than something more sinister.

by Lauren Messman
Jan 12 2017, 10:30pm

Today, the retirees and confused, stoned teens who were watching C-SPAN got a taste of some Kremlin-sponsored programming after the public-access station's web feed went out and was replaced with a Russian TV station called RT.

At around 2:30 PM, the feed was tuned in to a Securities and Exchange Commission proceeding before it swapped out to a program called World's Apart, featuring a groovy travel segment about visiting San Escobar before jumping back to host Oksana Boyko. The feed switched back to C-SPAN after roughly ten minutes, but it didn't take too long for people on Twitter to notice that something was up.

C-SPAN released a statement on Twitter addressing the swap, chalking it up to a simple technical mixup, instead of something more sinister or deliberate. As Gizmodo pointed out, the recent US intelligence investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 US election found that the Russian government used RT during that time to "undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest."

"We are currently investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence," C-SPAN wrote. "As RT is one of the networks we regularly monitor, we are operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue. If that changes we will certainly let you know."

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