Sam Lavigne's @CSPANFive has found its moment - Brooklyn


Feb. 28, 2017 12:54 pm

Sam Lavigne’s @CSPANFive has found its moment

How a video-heavy Twitter bot became relevant again.

Donald Trump speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md.

(Photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore, used under a Creative Commons license)

It’s not new; it’s just much, much better.

C-SPAN 5 is a Twitter bot from beloved Brooklyn internet weirdo Sam Lavigne that chops up blocks of previously drab C-SPAN programming and makes supercuts from a few keywords found therein. Consider this piece featuring beleaguered Press Secretary Sean Spicer and you get the point:

Lavigne rolled out C-SPAN 5 in March 2015. Two years later, it all seems to make a lot more sense. Here in the Trump administration things are increasingly surreal.

“Generally speaking, I’m interested in exploring techniques for shrinking down large inventories, lists, and bodies of texts,” Lavigne told Vice’s Creators Project back in 2015.

The bot is programmed in Python using audiogrep and moviepy, according to Vice. Whatever the mechanics, one thing is for sure: It is Good.

Zack Seward

Zack Seward is Editor-in-Chief of, the local technology news network. Previously, Seward was the Innovations Reporter at WHYY and in Philadelphia. Before that, he worked at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., as a reporter and editor for a statewide public radio reporting project. Seward is an alumnus of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He's originally from San Francisco and went to college in Chicago.


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