On 12 January 2017, an MSNBC guest inadvertently added to conspiracy theories about Russia’s influence in the United States when he was seen saying the word “Russia” in a loop after a brief broadcast disruption. Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius was in the middle of an appearance on Hardball when the broadcast seemingly froze with him in mid-sentence, as seen below:
The interruption aired the same day as another U.S. cable network, C-SPAN, was displaced online by RT, the network formerly known as Russia Today. C-SPAN later blamed the 10-minute disruption on an “internal routing issue.” Before being cut off, Ignatius had alluded to retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who said during his confirmation hearing the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “trying to break” NATO.
We contacted NBC News seeking comment on the disruption of Ignatius’ interview. The network has not responded, but a spokesperson told CNN:
The show was pre-taped but there was a technical glitch that was resolved in a matter of seconds.
There was no word on what caused the glitch or why.