What follows is the inaugural column of a person we are calling The C-SPAN Mole—a long-standing, current employee of C-SPAN who will be providing BuzzFeed with regular dispatches from inside the organization.
I always intended to keep my mouth shut. The plan was simple: get hired, keep my head down, work for a few months, build my resume, then eventually hop to a new job at a network people actually watch.
That was years ago. Slowly I stopped caring about buzzwords like “visibility” or “ratings.” And I looked around and realized that things weren’t actually half bad. The coffee was decent. The stakes were low. Sometimes they’d buy us pizza.
I work at C-SPAN.
There hasn’t really been a final straw for me, but people seem interested in “dispatches” from where people work lately. So here I am. We don’t really get into anything too controversial; unless you’re talking about the guys over at BookTV, who have been known to get a little wild from time to time. But even then it’s mostly just beers and arguments about whether Freedom was as good as The Corrections. Things don’t get that racist, I guess.
I mean we did air a retrospective on George Wallace, but that just dealt with a historical figure’s relationship to race in conversation with the rest of his political legacy. So I don’t think that counts. I’m relatively sure no one called the President an epithet, so we’re pretty happy about that. Then again, I’m not sure anyone saw it. I didn’t watch it so I’m not sure.
There was one time that a receptionist assumed that a Chinese delivery guy was delivering Chinese food, when it turned out he was actually delivering sandwiches. But she apologized profusely and tipped the guy extra. I think they dated for a while.
Brian Lamb once accidentally called me by a colleague’s name. He came back to my desk later that day to apologize though, which was pretty nice of him.
I was told that you’re supposed to bring video when you do a piece like this, so I come bearing gifts. You’ve probably seen it already, but it’s our blooper. We just have the one. Still pretty embarrassing I’d say. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mitt Romney having a big penis, but it is kind of a funny to thing to have asked on the air. We laughed about it.
“So why are you doing this?” you might ask. Good question! I’ve asked myself that same thing many times while I was writing this. And I guess I don’t really have a good answer. I was asked to by the people at BuzzFeed. They said “we can’t let Gawker have all the fun.” I told them I didn’t know what a Gawker or a BuzzFeed was, since our offices don’t yet have Internet, but they assured me that both were things people read on computers.
I honestly hope I can stay at C-SPAN for as long as possible. It’s a good place to work, and it’s hard to disappoint anyone here, which has been good for me. So here I am Jim Halpert-ing this thing. I’m inside the building, just trying not to upset anyone important or mess with my routine.
(Note: Please don’t misunderstand, and take my Office metaphor as a threat of pranks. like most C-SPAN employees I abhor most types of fun.)
Don’t watch this space for future dispatches from the C-SPAN Mole. We probably won’t do this again.