The Washington Times - January 5, 2010, 11:51AM

C-Span wants their cameras into the final health care talks. On December 30, C-Span CEO, Brian Lamb wrote to leaders in both the House and Senate asking them to let the C-SPAN cameras into “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings.” :

“President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”

SEE RELATED:


A day before the Senate passed their version of the health care bill at a Democratic news conference, I asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)if he would open up conference committee hearings to television cameras as opposed to negotiating both House and Senate health care bills behind closed doors with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).: (VIDEO 17 min in)

SEN. REID: You obviously weren’t listening. I’m not going to talk about conference committees. I’m talking about passing this bill tomorrow, and as I said yesterday, and I’ll say it again today, you can ask the question many different ways, you’re going to get the same answer. I am looking forward to this vote taking place between seven and eight ‘o’ clock in the morning  tomorrow and after I go home to Searchlight, you might get some… after I have a chance to talk other people about how we’re going to proceed on this, but for the time being, I’m going to focus on this billing passing in the morning and for a few days after that, frankly going to sit back and watch my rabbits eat my cactus.

Senator Reid’s anxiousness to hang out with his pet rabbit aside, following that press conference, I was approached by an individual walking into the Senate’s Democratic Policy Committee office, who excoriated me for being fed and asking “right-wing talking point questions” for the “third day in a row” at Leader Reid’s press conferences. Note this section in Mr. Lamb’s letter to leaders on the hill.:

President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.

Obviously, C-SPAN is not known for its rabid “right-wing” ways, and closing the doors to their cameras is closing the doors to the American people in the process.