C-SPAN announced on Tuesday that it is bringing back disgraced host Steve Scully effective immediately despite Scully’s admission, last year, that he lied about a debate-related incident that unfolded on social media.
Last October, before the second presidential debate, Scully falsely claimed that he had been hacked after a tweet appeared on his Twitter account that solicited advice from Trump opponent Anthony Scaramucci about how to deal with President Donald Trump at the debate, which he was set to host.
“Steve Scully, who was placed on administrative leave in mid-October for Twitter-related controversies in conjunction with the second presidential debate, is returning to duty at C-SPAN beginning this week,” C-SPAN said in a statement. “His initial assignments 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.”
“No date has been set for his return to C-SPAN’s roster of on-air television hosts,” the statement continued. “We view October’s events as a singular episode in an otherwise successful 30-year C-SPAN career. 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.”
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
On October 9, C-SPAN said in a statement that Scully did not send the tweet and that law enforcement officials had been contacted over the incident. C-SPAN and Scully faced immediate backlash over the incident as many noted that the entire ordeal was fishy from the start.
“Last night a tweet from Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s Political Editor, appeared on his timeline communicating with Anthony Scaramucci,” the statement said. “Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked. 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.”
A week later, C-SPAN announced that it was suspending Scully because he admitted to lying about the incident. Scully worked for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the past, posted pictures of himself with Biden online, and made anti-Trump remarks.
Following his suspension from the network, Scully sought to shift blame for his actions on to Trump and right-wing media.
“For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family,” Scully wrote. “This culminated on Thursday, October 8th when I heard President Trump go on national television twice and falsely attack me by name. Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci. The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked.”
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize,” the statement continued. “These actions have let down a lot of people, including my colleagues at C-SPAN, where I have worked for the past 30 years, professional colleagues in the media, and the team at the Commission on Presidential Debates. I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself.”
Trump later slammed Scully online, writing: “I was right again! Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the ‘Commission’. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?”
I was right again! Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the “Commission”. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2020