C-SPAN Shuts Out Green Party Convention

“We’re working on getting the rights to air the whole thing on Saturday” — C-SPAN spokesperson.

What does it look like when the only humanitarian party in the presidential bid is shut out of popular politics?

Pretty much like C-SPAN’s coverage of the Green National Convention, apparently.

In the spirit of informed voting, many of us forced ourselves to watch every convention this year.

Libertarian — effectively described as an odd frat alumni reunion, complete with that guy who takes off his shirt for no reason whatsoever.

Republicans — whose speech writers seemed to have plagiarized not only Lady O’s words, but also some choice language from Mussolini and Pol Pot.

Democrats — which, let’s face it, tasted more like a weird, Reagan era flavored Pepsi Crystal (in that you’d drink it but only because there was no Pepsi left) than liberalism; even including the words “world order” from a Pentagon speaker.

Greeners — N/A: satirical one-liner TBA.

Wait, what?!

Prepared to get my critical thinking on for the last of the four parties on most state presidential ballots, I turned on C-SPAN ready to satire some leftist radicalism; at least plan out questions about how to work on implementing GP ideas with a Congress who will likely treat them worse than they did Obama.

“What happened is, we don’t have the rights to air that. So we’re working on getting those rights.”

I didn’t get that far on August 4th. It turns out, C-SPAN is not currently airing the GNC. “But we’re a democracy”, I thought. “Surely this is some internal mistake that can be explained by calling the network.” So I did. C-SPAN is a respectable organization and is interested in covering U.S. politics, after all.

I called 202–737–3220, the number listed as the main office, and introduced myself by name (adhering to my strict no anonymity in confrontation policy).

“Hi, I’m Sonia Montez and I just wanted to call to inquire about C-SPAN’s plans to air the Green Party Convention in the same way the network aired the Libertarian, Republican, and Demo-”

The kind voiced person on the phone was prepared with her statement before I finished my inquiry. “What happened is, we don’t have the rights to air that. So we’re working on getting those rights.”

I followed up, “Do you know when we can expect convention coverage to start?”

“Right now, we have clearance for Saturday”
“The last day?”
“Well yes, we have Saturday scheduled and are working on getting the clearance to air the whole convention on Saturday.”

I thanked the spokeswoman, wished her a good day, and ended our conversation.

Was this kindly voiced person telling the truth? As of now C-SPAN’s Saturday schedule looks like this:

C-SPAN Saturday Aug 6th Schedule as of 8/4/2016

Their C-SPAN 2 and 3 schedules are also filled with itineraries which do not include the GNC.

Even if I didn’t include my knowledge of licensing and publishing clearance from 20 years in the entertainment industry, this would still not sit well. C-SPAN has known the details of the GNC for over a month and have failed to mobilize in a manner matching other conventions. Their refusal to equally represent politics only serves to fuel the conviction of Green voter claim that they are being suppressed from the presidential race. Regardless of where political loyalty lies, championing democracy means supporting equal access to party platforms.

In a political climate where leftist dissenters regularly accuse the two-party system of subverting their voice, is it really the smartest thing to allow CSPAN to define a political caste?

If not, then maybe call them and let them know.


UPDATE: Aug 4th, Those interested in watching the GNC can or will be able to do so on Periscope (thanks to Viva Bernie), LiveStream, and Houston Public Media.