All Those Who Honor Brian Lamb Say 'Aye'

The 109th Congress might well be remembered more for what it didn't do than what it did. Sharyl Attkisson has more.
Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.

Last night the American Newswomen's Club held a big dinner here in Washington to honor one of television's most recognized and respected figures — Brian Lamb.

Twenty-seven years ago, Brian Lamb invented — if that's the word — C-SPAN, the cable channel that broadcasts sessions of the House and Senate, congressional hearings and other public service events. And he still runs it.

He has always taken some kind of on-air role and the exposure has made him a fixture on television. But in the age of the blowhard, he has some real quirks — like parking his ego at the door before he enters the studio.

In all his years on C-SPAN, the two words he has never said are "Brian Lamb," his own name. He feels it just gets in the way.

What if his rule were imposed on the rest of us? "This is Face the Nation, guess who I am?"

But here's the other quirky thing about him, the one that really counts: he never lost confidence in the ability of the American people to make the right choices when they have the right information — the full and complete story — which is what C-SPAN is all about.

In a time when so many in government and politics try to conduct the nation's business behind closed doors, C-SPAN has managed to keep at least some of those doors open.

We take C-SPAN for granted, but that's no small thing. Thanks, Brian.

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By Bob Schieffer