The Cable restores Rachel Maddow to State Department TVs
When State Department employees tuned in Thursday to watch President Obama’s U.N. speech, a few of them noticed something amiss. The internal channel that broadcasts MSNBC inside the State Department’s Foggy Bottom complex was, for some reason, tuned to FOX News! "I wanted to watch Obama’s speech on MSNBC but I couldn’t find it. I ...
When State Department employees tuned in Thursday to watch President Obama's U.N. speech, a few of them noticed something amiss. The internal channel that broadcasts MSNBC inside the State Department's Foggy Bottom complex was, for some reason, tuned to FOX News!
When State Department employees tuned in Thursday to watch President Obama’s U.N. speech, a few of them noticed something amiss. The internal channel that broadcasts MSNBC inside the State Department’s Foggy Bottom complex was, for some reason, tuned to FOX News!
"I wanted to watch Obama’s speech on MSNBC but I couldn’t find it. I still can’t find it," one civil servant complained to The Cable Friday morning, saying that many in the building were "hoping to catch a few minutes of the president’s speech to the U.N. without post-snark analysis from Fox."
What seemed even more odd was that FOX News was already being broadcast on another channel on the State Department’s television system, meaning that there were two FOX broadcasts and no MSNBC to be found. Employees could watch two C-Spans, three CNNs, and three Arabic language stations including Al-Jazeera — but not Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann.
Your humble Cable guy decided to dig into the situation and find out the truth. After some initial calls to the technical staff and an e-mail to the State Department’s public affairs shop Friday afternoon, Channel 11, the station in question, went dead.
About an hour later, MSNBC was restored to Channel 11. State Department spokesman Mark Toner responded to our request with an explanation.
Apparently, there were various interruptions in service by the State Department’s cable provider, Capital Connections, on Thursday. The State Department’s technical services department worked to correct the cable feeds for some time before they realized the problem lay with the provider. Capital Connections had thought they appropriately restored service, but instead accidentally had created two channels of Fox News.
So to all you State Department employees who like MSNBC, we’re happy to announce your choices for news at work are now again, um, fair and balanced. Enjoy!
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?
The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.
Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World
It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.
It’s a New Great Game. Again.
Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing
The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.