C-SPAN’s Inside Oscar-Winning ‘Inside Job’


C-SPAN won its first Oscar last week.

Well, sort of. The cable public-affairs network’s footage
was a prominent part of Inside Job, the documentary on the
financial crisis that
snagged the statuette
for Best Documentary.

It was, as one
proud C-SPANer
put it last week,
“chock full” of CSPAN3
coverage of
the meltdown, including
footage that
made it on the ABC telecast of the awards ceremony.

Note to copyright protectors: The film’s producers asked
for, and were granted, rights to use the footage.

C-SPAN said it has granted such rights to 84 films, the majority
of them documentaries (69). This was the first one to
win a best-in-category Oscar.

Among the 15 features that included C-SPAN content and
went on to be at least nominated for Emmy or Golden Globe
awards were Dave, Thank You for Smoking, Charlie Wilson’s
and Bulworth.

“C-SPAN would like to thank the members of the Academy,”
president & co-chief operating officer Susan Swain told
The Wire. “Well, although we know we’ll never be able to say
those words for ourselves, we are proud that the Oscar for
this year’s feature documentary went to a filmmaker who
appreciates the value of C-SPAN’s video archives in telling
a story about how Washington really works.”

Or doesn’t, as the case may be.

Merger Bedfellows
Renew Ties, Seeking

President Obama’s new Council
on Jobs and Competitiveness
features a Who’s Who of top
execs from companies across
myriad industries, including
Kodak, UBS and DuPont.

It might also be rechristened the Cable Chowder and
Merging Society for the communications executives it has
recruited to help goose the economy by applying their combined
brainpower to … jobs and competitiveness.

The president is uniting, or reuniting, the major players
in the two biggest cable deals in recent memory.

The council is chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of
General Electric, which is still a 49% owner of NBC Universal.
NBCU’s other owner (51%) is Comcast, whose
CEO, Brian Roberts, has been named a member of the
president’s committee.

But wait, there’s more. Steve Case, ex-chairman of
AOL Time Warner — who helped engineer one of the
biggest, and most second-guessed, combinations
(and one oft-cited during the Comcast-NBCU merger
vetting) — is among those the president has said he
intends to nominate.

And while Gerald Levin is not on the list, his successor,
former AOL Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons
(an adviser to Obama during the transition) is.