From USA Today:
“Republican party Chairman Reince Priebus is giving two thumbs down to TV movies about Hillary Clinton. The GOP leader is threatening not to let CNN and NBC participate in Republican presidential primary debates in 2016 if the networks don’t drop plans for programs about Clinton, a possible presidential candidate.
Priebus has sent letters to CNN, which plans a documentary on Clinton, and NBC, which plans a miniseries about her starring Diane Lane, claiming the programs are “a thinly veiled attempt to put a thumb on the scales” for the 2016 election. The networks must cancel the shows by August 14 when a Republican National Committee meeting convenes, or the party will vote to ban them from sponsoring primary debates, Priebus writes.”
This is a no-brainer for the RNC. Everyone on the right loves a good fight with the mainstream media, especially against the likes of CNN and NBC. Their grudge against CNN goes back to the 2012 presidential debate moderated by Candy Crowley, who infamously “corrected” Mitt Romney while he was attacking President Obama for his handling of the Benghazi consulate attack. And of course NBC is linked to its sister network MSNBC, the bane of conservatives everywhere.
In addition to serving red meat to its base, the Republican party has another reason to pick a fight over the televised debates. They think there’s simply too many of them. While bringing additional media exposure to GOP candidates, the debates also give said candidates more chances to say something stupid. Given enough opportunities, even the best of candidates will shoot themselves in the foot. So the RNC would like to cut down on those opportunities whenever possible.
Will CNN and NBC cave to the RNC’s demands? It’s hard to say, but I don’t think they’d want to miss out on the ratings bump that comes with these debates. My guess is that they come to some sort of compromise, such as giving the GOP air time equal to that of the Hillary movies.
2012 seems like yesterday, but the 2016 election is well underway.