In what appears to be a reflection of what is happening in US politics this days, United States public affairs network C-SPAN briefly aired Russian news channel, RT.
RT, which stands for Russian Today is an English-language international news channel funded by the government of Russia. US officials have previously denounced the network as a propaganda outlet.
The interruption occurred around 2:30 PM (1930 GMT) on January 12, when C-SPAN was broadcasting a discussion in the US Congress about the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulatory Accountability Act.
California Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat, was speaking when the feed was suddenly interrupted by a broadcast from RT. Initially, what appeared was a commercial break, but it was apparent it was RT since the program's logo appeared below with a news scroll. A few seconds later, it transitioned into the RT newsdesk where the anchor spoke of a suicide bombing.
This interruption lasted for ten minutes before C-Span was able to return to normal programming. RT tweeted out a video of the interruption and referred to the conspiracy craze it entailed.
In a statement, C-SPAN acknowledged the incident, but they have shot down the theory that suggests they may have been hacked. Instead, they have blamed the interruption on internal routing error. You can see their statement in the tweet below:
Statement from C-SPAN about January 12 Online Signal Interruption pic.twitter.com/dlkSOntJgz— CSPAN (@cspan) January 13, 2017
But, of course, the apparent takeover of a US political public affairs network that mostly airs congressional hearings by an outside state-funded news agency is a cause of concern even in normal times. But is even more distressing since this comes at a volatile time period when the Russian government which funds that news agency is being investigated by US Intelligence agencies for its alleged involvement in hacking the e-mails of the Democratic National Convention.
US Intelligence Chiefs appear to be in agreement that this hack was meant to to smear the campaign of the Democratic standard bearer, Hillary Clinton, and to tip the favor towards President-elect Donald Trump.