Speaker Paul Ryan shut off the camera feed from the House floor and then turned off the microphones, but the sit-in continued, with representatives using their phones to stream video of the speeches. Video which C-SPAN has been streaming live via Periscope and Facebook.
That's remarkable. It's remarkable that Democrats are standing -- okay, sitting -- for gun safety, and even more remarkable that CSPAN has picked up the ball and run with it this way.
The Radio and TV Galleries' Executive Committee of Correspondents sent a written request for Ryan to turn the feed and the microphones on, but that request was denied.
The RTCA Exec Cmte asked @SpeakerRyan for camera access to cover the Dem sit-in. The request was denied.
Read here: pic.twitter.com/WSjKlqj8Rm
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) June 22, 2016
Where they explain why the cameras were turned off:
Unless explicitly approved by the Speaker, chamber video cameras are controlled by the House Recording Studio. Contrary to popular belief, these are not C-SPAN's cameras. C-SPAN merely broadcasts a video feed provided by the House Recording Studio. During Joint Sessions or Joint Meetings of Congress, the Speaker's Office traditionally allows unilateral coverage by broadcasters -- but that access is determined by the Speaker on a case-by-case basis.
What you should be concerned about:
"The Speakers' Office says it will follow precedent created by House rules since 1979 to prohibit video cameras and further advises that the Sergeant at Arms Office is policing the situation now to stop Members of Congress from breaking House rules.
Regardless of their intentions, Members who are live-streaming video from the floor are breaking the rules. As technology has advanced in recent years, lawmakers have repeatedly broken House rules, creating a wild double-standard for broadcast journalists compared to Members of Congress, especially with regard to the ramifications for breaking those rules. Members of the RTCA are at risk of having their credential revoked by the Speaker's office if they break House rules, whereas there is no apparent consequence for Members of Congress who break the rules.
How this affects C-SPAN, I don't know. They are rebroadcasting a live feed shot by the Representatives on the floor. It's possible they could face some serious consequences as a result, if I'm reading this letter right.
Ironic that a Republican who claims to believe in free speech would try to censor this speech like this? Just more hypocrisy.
As I finished writing this post, the live Periscope feed was dropped. It wouldn't surprise me if they're cutting WiFi access in the chamber.