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Getting a Rise Out of Trump Transition

C-SPAN, the indispensable public service network brought to you by your local cable/Internet/voice company, is providing wall-to-gilded wall coverage of the comings and goings at Trump Tower, currently the really tall seat of power (a "high chair"?) for the President-elect.

The public service cable/broadcast/'Net net is providing ongoing online access on its home page to the network pool feed camera trained on the polished golden elevator doors in the lobby of Trump's New York digs (or wheeled around to catch an exiting bigwig for an interview).

The video stakeout is providing something between a worm's- and a bird's-eye-view of the high and mighty want-to-be's (those looking to get in on the ground floor of a new Administration, as it were) as they pay court and weigh in on transition team picks for top posts.

And then there are the regular folks with their shopping bags and tablets and briefcases, the mics capturing snatches of conversation amidst the general din  echoing off the polished metal and marble (?).

According to C-SPAN spokesfolks, in the nine days the human traffic cam has been available on the home page--it was in day 10 Friday (Dec. 2)--65 hours, 57 minutes and 15 seconds of lobby activity had been streamed via #elevatorcam.

Among those captured by the cam, and by C-SPAN's Howard Mortman in some off-the-screen shots, include former VP Dan Quayle, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and a singing cowboy. We are also told Larry King and Santa have made appearances in the lobby. If Trump has his way West Virginia miners will be supplying Santa with sufficient coal to put in the stockings of recalcitrant legislators on both sides.

At press time, the journalists behind the pool camera were getting a lot of questions from passersby about why the camera was there and whether it was because President-elect Donald Trump might soon appear. He didn't. "I would be so excited if I saw somebody," one woman said. "Maybe y'all will be good enough," she drawled to the journalists. "I can take a picture of you guys."

A second woman did take their pictures (see picture)--followed not long after by a third, and then others--stopping briefly to turn their camera phones and cameras on the pool camera in what seemed a fitting comment on the absurdity of the political moment.

Absurd, but oddly addicting. I found myself strangely drawn back to the feed, as I am to yard sales, afraid I would miss out on something—a copy of the Declaration of Independence tucked behind a clown painting in a five-dollar frame in the case of yard sales; a Trump sighting in the case of what could become salted peanuts for the passing political parade: #elevatorcam.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.