C-SPAN Reinstates Would-Be Debate Moderator Who Falsely Claimed His Anti-Trump Tweet Was the Result of a Hack
C-SPAN has reinstated host Steve Scully, who was suspended by the network after he admitted to lying about his Twitter account being hacked before he was scheduled to moderate the second presidential debate in October.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Oct. 9 it had canceled the debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate was initially reformatted as an all-virtual event, but then the Scully Twitter saga occurred.
Prior to the scheduled debate, Scully’s Twitter account posted a public message to fired former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, which read, ”should I respond to trump.”
Interesting tweet from debate moderator Steve Scully to Anthony Scaramucci. https://t.co/3iRN9lidR6 pic.twitter.com/gImyfTCz9C
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 9, 2020
In a public response, Scaramucci tweeted, “Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
The C-SPAN host claimed his account was hacked. The FBI got involved and even the debate commission commented on the controversy.
Steve Scully notified us that his Twitter account was hacked. CPD reported the apparent hack to the FBI and Twitter, and we understand that the federal authorities and Twitter are looking into the issue.
— CPD (@debates) October 9, 2020
“Steve Scully notified us that his Twitter account was hacked. CPD reported the apparent hack to the FBI and Twitter, and we understand that the federal authorities and Twitter are looking into the issue,” the commission tweeted.
C-SPAN, Scully’s employer, also weighed in.
“Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked,” C-SPAN said in a statement. “The Commission on Presidential Debates has stated publicly that the tweet was not sent by Scully himself and is investigating with the help of authorities. When additional information is available, we will release it.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020
It was later revealed that Scully had a propensity toward blaming hackers for tweets sent from his account. Postings from Scully in 2012 and 2013 were attributed by him to hacking as well.
Tweets from 2012 and 2013 pic.twitter.com/jdeKqq7UEW
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) October 9, 2020
Scully later admitted that he lied and had posted the tweet himself out of “frustration,” according to Deadline.
“The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked,” Scully admitted. “These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize.”
He was suspended from his job hosting “Washington Journal.”
But C-SPAN has now given Scully a green light to return to the network. He will be active as soon as this week, according to a statement from the network.
“His initial assignment will be off-air producing for C-SPAN television and resumption of his work on C-SPAN Radio’s ‘Washington Today’ program and ‘The Weekly,’ a podcast/interview program,” C-SPAN said.
C-SPAN says that Steve Scully, who was caught lying about his Twitter account being hacked, will remain at the network.
“We view October’s events as a singular episode in an otherwise successful 30-year career.” pic.twitter.com/2qc6oTF13e
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) January 5, 2021
“We view October’s events as a singular episode in an otherwise successful 30-year C-SPAN career,” the network added.
“And while it was appropriate in October for Steve to be immediately relieved of his duties leading our 2020 election coverage, we reiterate our belief that now, having completed a three-month administrative leave, he can continue to contribute to CSPAN’s mission.”
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