Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, August 16, 2013
The Republican National Committee voted unanimously Friday morning to block CNN and NBC from hosting any Republican presidential primary debates in 2016 should the two stations go through with their plans for Hillary Clinton projects.
The vote took place at the committee’s annual Summer Meetings in Boston, Mass. and was announced via Twitter shortly afterwards.
RNC (@GOP): BREAKING: RNC resolution to stop CNN & NBC from hosting GOP primary debates in 2016 PASSES!
RNC Chairman Reince Preibus issued an ultimatum to the two networks earlier this month, where he asked them to drop their planned film projects about the potential 2016 Democratic nominee or he would pull their debate privileges. Preibus wrote in his letters to Robert Greenblatt, the Chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, the President of CNN Worldwide, that airing a special on Clinton could put the networks’ credibility in jeopardy and thus make them unfair arbitrators in a Republican presidential primary.
The RNC has also distributed several paid ads over the past few days with suggested content for the Clinton projects, including one on the Clinton-Terry McAuliffe Securities and Exchange Committee scandal and the pardon and clemency scandals surrounding her senate campaigns. There is also a petition on the committee’s website urging Americans to hold the liberal mainstream media accountable in their reporting of Clinton.
CNN is in the process of producing a feature-length documentary by Charles H. Ferguson on the former Secretary of State, while NBC plans on airing a mini-series in advance of a 2016 election announcement, starring Diane Lane as the former First Lady. It’s been rumored that Fox might produce the NBC mini-series, however Preibus only plans on boycotting the networks that actually run the programs.
The blow would be a major financial loss to both companies, as the two networks – and their sister stations – hosted nearly a dozen debates during the 2012 presidential cycle, according to The Washington Post.
While the networks technically do not need the RNC’s permission to host the debates, the committee is also encouraging state and local Republican committees and candidates to take part in the boycott.
Clinton has not announced any plans to run again for president in 2016, but is widely considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination should she decide to jump in the race.
Read the RNC’s adopted resolution, as acquired by The Washington Post from RNC staffers.
WHEREAS, former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton; and
WHEREAS, these programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election; and
WHEREAS, airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks; and
WHEREAS, Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, contributed the maximum amount to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign committee, contributed $25,000 to Obama’s 2012 Victory Fund, and this year contributed $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee; therefore be it –
RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee calls on CNN and NBC to cancel the airing of these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor, and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee shall endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators and debate partners are chosen, and that other issues pertaining to the general nature of such debates are addressed.