The C-SPAN Video Library and its 160,000-plus hours of past programming were made available Wednesday, including old episodes of Prime Minister’s Questions. These archives for the web surfing public are quite simply, a Godsend, with programming primarily dating back from 1987, but even earlier, according to the cable entity’s press release. The C-SPAN Video Library even shows some of Margaret Thatcher’s Prime Minister’s Questions episodes from her last year in office, 1990. That alone is quite exciting for me, because this show from London is required watching, something I’ve been partaking of since John Major was running the country. I like keeping up on the current affairs of jolly ol’ England.
C-SPAN Video Library Will Help Those Doing Research and Enthrall Fans of Prime Minister’s Questions
The cable entity began in 1979, according to its press release. The public can watch Congress and the Senate do their business via televised broadcasts rather than have to rely on the soundbytes of the mainstream media and its mostly braindead talking heads. By having this access, it gives citizens more information to base their opinions about political and social issues on. Think of how these archives are going to help those doing research, like students and scholars.
My father got me interested initially in watching C-SPAN when I was a teenager of the early 1980s, as we’d watch the House of Representatives debate. Where I lived at the time, in Casper, Wyoming, C-SPAN used to share the channel with the USA Network. The political channel would air in the morning and afternoon before USA Network programming (which included sporting events from Madison Square Garden) would take over late in the afternoon until early the next morning. Now look at this political entity: it’s got multiple channels, radio broadcasts, internet presence. C-SPAN is an icon.
I’ve already seen British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher take questions from Members of Parliament from 1990, shown at this C-SPAN Video Library link here. I never got to see her in action when she was in office, because I didn’t begin watching the weekly program until 1991. I may not agree with everything Margaret Thatcher said or did, but I love listening to her voice, including when she debated old Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock via Prime Minister’s Questions. She’s got quite a presence about her.
I bet I’ve not missed five episodes of Prime Minister’s Questions in 19 years of watching. I love watching the leader of the United Kingdom have to give an accounting on a weekly basis. This idea needs to be implemented in America. Can you imagine President Obama having to answer questions every week from the House of Representatives?
Kudos to the C-SPAN Video Library with its massive archives being made available to the public.
Press Release, C-SPAN’s Online Video Library Open to the Public:
http://www.c-span.org/pdf/Video%20Library%20Now%20Open.pdf, March 17, 2010, C-SPAN