C-SPAN Apologizes for ‘Unfortunate Posting of Content Some Might Find Offensive’

Jan 2, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Two incidents during C-SPAN’s coverage of the fiscal cliff maneuvering on Capitol Hill caused some observers to think the network had been hacked — and led to an apology from the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Both incidents involved slightly edgy book titles. C-SPAN aired the title “I Want You to Shut the F–k Up” in a caption during live coverage of the Senate vote, the piece reports. The title appeared as part of a promo for a regularly scheduled book show.

Also appearing was the book title "Just Plain Dick," which aired during Sen. Tom Harkin’s speech.

“No, it wasn’t a scorned intern running amok or Anonymous performing another hack on New Year’s Eve, those were just regularly scheduled Book TV shows on C-SPAN,” THR reports.

The non-profit network later issued an apology.

THR reports: “The caption for the shortened book title ‘Just Plain Dick’ by Kevin Mattson appeared around 1:30 a.m. EST on New Year’s Day while Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was speaking on the Senate floor. The full title of the book is ‘Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech and the "Rocking, Socking" Election of 1952,’ which shortened and taken out of context, led to some humorous interpretations.”

The piece adds: “Later that night, C-SPAN aired their Book TV evening schedule, which included an episode discussing D.L. Hughley’s book, ‘I Want You to Shut the F–k Up,’ whose full title is ‘I Want You to Shut the F–k Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America.’”

C-SPAN released its apology today, saying in part: "You may have seen tweets and postings online asserting that C-SPAN’s website had been hacked over the New Year’s holiday, citing obscenities in the schedule. While the site was not hacked, our policy of using current nonfiction book titles verbatim in our schedule led to the unfortunate posting of content some might find offensive on C-SPAN.org. We apologize for that and are taking steps to prevent it from happening again."

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