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No, it wasn’t a scorned intern running amok or Anonymous performing another hack on New Year’s Eve, those were just regularly scheduled Book TV shows on C-SPAN.
The nonprofit political network has issued an apology for airing captions for subjectively profane book titles Just Plain Dick and I Want You to Shut the F–k Up during its live coverage of the Senate vote on the Fiscal Cliff.
The caption for the shortened book title Just Plain Dick by Kevin Mattson appeared around 1:30 a.m. EST on New Year’s Day while Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was speaking on the Senate floor. The full title of the book is Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech and the “Rocking, Socking” Election of 1952, which shortened and taken out of context, led to some humorous interpretations.
Later that night, C-SPAN aired their Book TV evening schedule, which included an episode discussing D.L. Hughley‘s book, I Want You to Shut the F–k Up, whose full title is I Want You to Shut the F–k Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America.
Today, C-SPAN issued an apology, saying in part: “You may have seen tweets and postings online asserting that C-SPAN’s website had been hacked over the New Year’s holiday, citing obscenities in the schedule. While the site was not hacked, our policy of using current nonfiction book titles verbatim in our schedule led to the unfortunate posting of content some might find offensive on C-SPAN.org. We apologize for that and are taking steps to prevent it from happening again.”
Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski noticed a tweet with a screenshot from blogger Erin Skinner Cochran showing the Just Plain Dick faux pas and immediately retweeted it to his 63,450 followers:
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) January 1, 2013
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