C-SPAN 5 is a program that provides unadulterated hits of US political dysfunction. Without any human intervention, the C-SPAN 5 re-editing script downloads a video every day, transcribes the audio, and then creates a new cut of the video containing only top keywords from the transcription. Thus, an endless stream of C-SPAN programming is condensed into manageable 1-2 minute clips. The finished videos are then posted to Twitter.
Under the hood, C-SPAN 5 uses an open source program I wrote called Videogrep that creates supercuts of videos. It works by looking at the subtitle file or audio transcription of the video it is analyzing, and finding the time stamps associated with specific phrases. The program, which is named after the unix text-searching tool “grep”, allows you to treat video files as though they were written media.
Encompassing an impossibly large corpus of political spectacle, talking points and general tedium, what follows is C-SPAN rendered in its most concentrated form: C-SPAN, fully automated.