Brian Lamb is a genius.
He might the smartest journalist in America. Why do I say that? He founded a network that has managed — through all the revolutions and incarnations of other media outlets — to keep the organization he founded free of the partisanship that has poisoned the dissemination of news.
Lamb founded C-SPAN — which is an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.
C-SPAN tweeted out a message with some testimonials from those who appreciate the contribution it makes to informing the public about politics and policy.
Count me as a huge fan.
Has anyone ever guessed the political leanings of Lamb and the team of reporters and talking heads he employs at the network?
Lamb has made it his policy to ensure that such questions never come up. When you listen to his interviews with public officials, you never know where he leans. Left or right? Doesn’t matter. It’s hidden.
Unlike the other cable networks — whether it’s Fox on the right or MSNBC on the left — viewers get a taste of the bias that spews from the commentators/pundits/talking heads.
They have bored me for years.
Lamb invented pure-bred public affairs programming when he launched C-SPAN in the early 1980s. He persuaded Congress to let his network televise the floor speeches from senators and House members and immediately the public learned a dirty little secret about both legislative chambers: Members quite often pontificate before an empty room. We didn’t need the C-SPAN staffers to tell us; they just broadcast it, without comment.
So it has been with C-SPAN. Brian Lamb’s creation has enlightened us simply by allowing us to look inside these institutions, hear our elected representatives speak for themselves and then giving us a chance to decide whether they’re full of wisdom . . . or something that stinks to high heaven.