"We threw out the playbook today," concludes CSPAN's Michele Remillard, after House Republicans shut off the TV feed of the House Democrats' sit-in today (that link alone got 2,000+ shares, and there were countless other summaries). "CSPAN does not control the feed from House floor. They just air it and put graphics up," politely points out Politico's Hadas Gold. The move came after Democrats in the House staged a sit-in aimed at embarrassing Republican counterparts, just a week after their colleagues in the Senate held a filibuster in support of gun control measures. "My colleagues & I have had enough. We are sitting-in on the House Floor until we get a vote to address gun violence," tweets Georgia Rep. John Lewis. "First a filibuster, now a sit-in. You'd think the Democrats had suddenly decided they wanted to get something done," muses Laura Curtis. "Sit-in! I feel so '60s all over again," admits Cathy Grossman at Religion News Service. "Over 20 years of close @cspan watching, I have never seen a spectacle like this. House Dems occupying the floor," marvels Motherboard's Sam Gustin.
And that's when House Speaker Paul Ryan cut the cord, so to speak. "#ThatAwkwardMoment when Paul Ryan is so in favor of American Freedom, he cuts off tax-funded freedom of the press," snarks Eric Wolfson, although Christopher Ortiz at Albuquerque Business First argues, "Let’s be clear: Dems would do the same to Republicans on an issue they didn’t care much for." So California congressman Scott Peters took to Periscope to broadcast the spectacle, and CSPAN got hold of that feed instead. "Paul Ryan doesn't understand how the internet works. YOU CAN'T TURN OFF ALL OUR CAMERAS," declares Phoebe Gavin at ThinkProgress. Peters also pleaded that other colleagues download the app so that his stream would not crash. Still, leave it to Gawker to ferret out the frivolousness in this: "The Democrats are boldly fighting for a bad, stupid bill," insists Alex Pareene. "The Democratic proposal has been catch-phrased and hashtagged as 'no fly, no buy,' because it would prevent people who end up on government terrorism watchlists, including the 'no fly list,' from purchasing firearms. This would do little to reduce gun violence, but it would add an additional layer of surveillance and government scrutiny to a particular class of people."
Let the debate rage on.