Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press)
Media critic

A headline on Fortune’s website last week read this way: “C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site.”

That wasn’t true, and Fortune ran a correction. C-SPAN never confirmed any such thing. What it did confirm was that RT, the Kremlin-funded propaganda channel, somehow managed to interrupt a network online feed for a brief period. And given recent headlines about the digital activities of various Russian actors, well, it was inevitable that a hacking headline would emerge from the melee.

In any case, C-SPAN moments ago issued a statement confirming its initial hunch that the misdirected online broadcast wasn’t the work of any nefarious actor. “C-SPAN has concluded its investigation and as we had anticipated last Thursday, the interruption of our livestream on January 12th was caused by an internal routing error. was not hacked. We have determined that during testing for inaugural coverage, RT’s signal was mistakenly routed onto the primary encoder feeding C-SPAN1’s signal to the internet, rather than to an unused backup.” “Mistakenly routed,” huh? Plenty of room there for conspiracists!