Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's Past and Future

Monday, March 26, 2012

Having just announced he'll be stepping down, C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb discusses the network's role in our political conversation and media environment.


Brian Lamb

Comments [16]

regi metcalf from Harlem, USA

I just heard the podcast of this segment. I don't know if this has been mentioned by other listeners and I've watched very little of Mr. Lamb over the years, but I was stopped short when Mr. Lamb said something along the lines of: I don't care what [tax-payer] money is spent on. I care about how it's spent and that we're spending money we don't have.

Aside from the fact that, to my mind, in voicing those sentiments, Mr. Lamb paints himself as little better than a member of the Tea Party, I suggest that his position is untenable for a journalist.

To not care about WHAT THE MONEY IS SPENT ON, but only about the manner and how much is spent, is tantamount to reading a history of WWII and not caring why the war was fought, only what tactics were used and how many weapons were bought. If I were a moralist, I would say that Mr. Lamb's position is amoral, but I'm just a citizen, and for a journalist, I would say that his position is utterly IMMORAL.

Jul. 09 2012 10:25 PM

Just heard this interview as a repeat on 7/4/12.

Like the caller, I have wondered about the preponderance of right wing viewpoints (especially on Book Notes). For him to pretend CATO is a "new" think tank is laughable, as is his notion there are as many left think tanks as right.

Heritage, CATO, etc., are VERY media savvy, and I realize now that they see CSPAN exposure as just another media outlet for them to flood--and it's free, just the price of a book and a flack. After all, these are not really "think tanks"--they're high-end PR firms, at the service of their funders.

And knowingly or not, Lamb has let them hijack CSPAN for just that purpose.

Jul. 04 2012 10:48 AM
BL from DC

It's funny to hear how many people think of Brian Lamb as some public service angel, and how he likes to portray himself as just your down to earth mid-westerner who has gone to Washington. The guy is a fake and a consummate insider who will go to great lengths to serve the powerful rather than upset them. he loves to schmooze with them while he tells the world he can't stand the cesspool of power and money in DC. What a crock...

Mar. 26 2012 08:12 PM
Catalina from NYC

I was also disappointed to hear that the CSPAN Distance Learning class was taken out of New York. I guess all the money they saved from taking Pace University out paid for including Purdue University in the class, which did name a school after Brian Lamb [but I'm sure that had nothing to do with it].

Mar. 26 2012 12:18 PM
RBC from NYC

@Henry from NJ - That was Comcast's decision, not C-Span.

FYI to all: CSpan now streams its channels from its website.

Mar. 26 2012 11:34 AM
henry from nj

Comcast pulled C=Span 2 out of their basic plan and made us pay separately for it. So C-Span is not entirely a gift of the cable companies to the public

Mar. 26 2012 11:29 AM
Lee from New York

How is C-SPAN funded? How does it make money to function? Does it have exclusive access to producing the type of content it provides?

Mar. 26 2012 11:19 AM

I loved watching the Iowa Caucusses on CSPAN this year. What an interesting and previously unseen view of our nominating process. Thank you Mr. Lamb!

Mar. 26 2012 11:17 AM
Jake from Nassau

Sorry, they're BOTH "Brian L", I meant Lehrer

Mar. 26 2012 11:14 AM
Mark from NH

Mr. Lamb: Why did you go into the Navy?

Mar. 26 2012 11:13 AM

Thank you so much, Brian Lamb.

Mar. 26 2012 11:13 AM
Jake from Nassau

Did Brian L say that CSPAN broadcast the "first televised congressional hearing" ? What about the Army-McCarthy hearings in the 1950s ?

Mar. 26 2012 11:12 AM
Alex from BPC

Is C-SPAN available over antenna? Or streaming online?

Mar. 26 2012 11:12 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I'm on my way out and won't be able to listen "live" but I'll listen later. For many years I've spent my Sunday evenings with Brian -- first Booknotes and now Q&A. I've never watched Congress. I'd sooner go to a cock fight and that's something I'd NEVER do.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Brian (I call him by his first name because he's virtually part of the family) for the D-Day programs, the Tocqueville program(s), Authors, various programs on the presidents and many other interesting (sometimes even fascinating) programs. I'm very glad we'll till have Q&A.

Finally, at least we'll always have Paris -- Whoops! I mean we'll always have Booknotes. ;-)

Bon Voyage...

Mar. 26 2012 10:36 AM
John A.

Thank-You Brian L. for being my Dad's buddy in His retirement. He wasn't much for TV, except when it came to your "BookNotes" program.

Mar. 26 2012 10:23 AM

i completely lost respect for brian lamb many years ago,when i saw him on c-span "moderating" a debate, between amy goodman and john fund,at a NYC bookstore. he seemded incapable, or unwilling, to stop mr fund from being the boorish obnoxious jerk that he often is. it was very hard for amy goodman to get a word in,fund would talk over her and interupt almost incessantly;and mr lamb, true to his surname,would just sit passively,while the lout went on and on.

Mar. 26 2012 10:18 AM

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