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The Daily Need

Candid camera in Congress

All eyes — well, all wonky eyes — are on the House today where some Democrats are attempting to amend the estate-tax provision of the White House and Senate Republican tax compromise. But what if instead of watching the classic CSPAN angles (stationary shots of the Congressperson speaking or wide shots of the chamber), there were — gasp! — lawmaker reaction shots, close-ups and candid angles of the floor. The current staidness of the coverage is not all C-SPAN’s fault: Congress makes the rules about what can be shown and even owns the cameras in the chambers.

But Politico reports that big changes may be coming soon to the way we see the House chamber floor on television:

In fact, incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is being lobbied for more candid camera angles for C-SPAN. Boehner’s office says no decisions have been made, but the incoming speaker is studying various technology and media rules.

In addition to the arcane rules on what cameras can capture, other technology updates may also be hitting the house floor, including iPads and Blackberries.

Maybe in the not too distant future we will have an “empty chamber” that we can at least see is empty, or at a bare minimum filled with lawmakers playing Angry Birds on their iPads.