U.S. Flag

Linda Gustitus: Legislative Assistant, 1979-1980; Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 1980-2001; Chief Counsel to Senator Carl Levin, 2001-2003

Linda Gustitus

"You didn't have to have a gazillion cameras in the hearing room.”

In her interview with Senate historian Kate Scott, Gustitus discusses the transition to using a single feed television camera in Senate committee hearings.

SCOTT: What about the televising of hearings and the Senate floor activity. Did that change your job in any way or change the way that you went about your business on a daily basis?

GUSTITUS: Not really. For me that did not change that much. I didn’t see any major change in the subcommittee or in Senator Levin’s office in terms of using the floor in a different way. Every once in a while there would be a time when we would want to take a statement to the floor so we could notify the news back in Michigan to take a piece of that for their nightly news. But it was not that often. I don’t think that changed too much for us. Also for us, when we were doing hearings, the networks could come in anyway, to our hearings, so that was TV, so they were still available. What happened with C-SPAN, I think we talked about that before, was a dramatic change with their gavel to gavel coverage of hearings. The concept of a feed happened when you didn’t have to have a gazillion cameras in the hearing room and there was one feed camera, which helped a lot. I don’t think they still do this, but you’d walk into a hearing room and there’d be 10 TV cameras, which were big on the stands, and they took up half of where the staff sat. So we’d be climbing over and under and around and through all these TV cameras. I think that’s changed because they have this feed capability.