RNC Chair Preibus to networks: Drop Hillary projects or lose 2016 primary debates

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, August 5, 2013

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus has a stern message for NBC and CNN – drop your upcoming Hillary Clinton projectsor lose your chance at hosting a 2016 Republican presidential primary debate.

Preibus announced in a statement Monday that he had sent letters to Robert Greenblatt, the Chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, the President of CNN Worldwide, alerting them of the request and giving them nine days to comply with it:

“It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives. Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment. If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.”

By producing their Clinton projects, Preibus concluded that neither network could be trusted to be a fair referee in a GOP primary presidential debate if they were willing to produce projects centered around the likely Democratic nominee. Although she has yet to announce whether she plans on running in 2016, Clinton is widely considered to be the frontrunner in the race and holds a double-digit lead in the polls for the Democratic primary against her main rival, Vice President Joe Biden.

Last month, CNN announced that it is planning a feature-length documentary on Clinton, and that it had tapped documentarian Charles H. Ferguson to film it. Just days earlier, NBC announced that it would air a mini-series on the former Secretary of State in advance of a 2016 election announcement. The mini-series, which would star Diane Lane and be written by Courtney Hunt, would follow Clinton’s life from the fallout of the Monica Lewinsky scandal to present day.

A third project that focuses on Clinton’s days as a 20-something attorney, “Rodham,” is also in the works. Actresses that have been rumored to be involved with the feature film include “Les Miserables” star Amanda Seyfried, “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” Emma Stone and “The Avengers’” Scarlett Johansson. “Rodham” isn’t connected to a TV network in the running for a 2016 primary debate, however.


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