CNN Hosts Marvel at House Dems Using Social Media to Publicize Sit-In

On Thursday's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, host Baldwin and CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter took time to celebrate the House Democrats' ability to use social media to promote their sit-in protest over gun legislation in the U.S. Capitol in spite of the Republican leadership turning off the cameras. Baldwin gushed: "I think some of these members of Congress are more hip than I am on Snapchats. I mean, I was impressed. I mean, the Periscoping. How did they pull this off?"

Stelter declared that it was "unprecedented and historic" for Democrats to utilize non-traditional media to draw attention to their protest: "But this was an unprecedented and historic moment because, you know, those television cameras controlled by the government. They always have been ever since the '80s, as Susan said. And yet, now, for the first time, there's an alternative."



Host Bladwin began the segment:

I want to pivot back to politics now and the House Democrats' sit-in over gun control that ended just a short time ago, sitting on the floor of the House 26 hours. The protest highlighted another issue that had nothing to do actually with mass shootings in this country. It shined a spotlight on who controls the cameras on the House floor, how creative some of these members of Congress can be when it comes to social media, you know, Republican leadership, they cut off C-SPAN's live feed.

She introduced a clip of Democratic Rep. John Lewis as she continued:

BROOKE BALDWIN: The cable network turned to social media, broadcasting the images that protesting lawmakers were sending out from their smart phones, Periscope, you know, face-timing us here at CNN -- we've never done that before. These words today from Congressman John Lewis sum it up.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): Our people are with us -- not just in our district, but people all over America and around the world. The social media told the story.

After giving C-SPAN's Susan Swain a chance to go first, Baldwin turned to Stelter and posed: "Brian Stelter, let me pivot to you on social media. I mean, I think some of these members of Congress are more hip than I am on Snapchats. [Brian Stelter laughs] I mean, I was impressed. I mean, the Periscoping. How did they pull this off?"

Stelter began:

Yeah, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook live -- every app you've heard of and maybe some you haven't were being used by these legislators. I think some of them more effective than others. Some of the video was amateurish. It was what I would be doing if I was holding my camera up on the floor of the House. But this was an unprecedented and historic moment because, you know, those television cameras controlled by the government. They always have been ever since the '80s, as Susan said. And yet, now, for the first time, there's an alternative.

He continued:

BRIAN STELTER: This is what the promise of the internet is all about, that if you run into a wall, if there's a roadblock or impediment, you can go around that wall. And in this case, you can go around it by getting out your cell phone camera and by beaming it through Periscope. You know, I was over in France. I was flying through Amsterdam this morning. On my phone, on Periscope was watching, I think it was like 5 in the morning here in the U.S., and I was still able to watch what was happening on the floor of the United States Congress

BROOKE BALDWIN: Incredible

STELTER: -thanks to Periscope. And that's something we just didn't have a decade ago.

NB Daily Congress Guns Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video Brooke Baldwin Brian Stelter John Lewis


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