On Monday, RNC Chair Reince Priebus sent stinging letters to NBC and CNN concerning their recently announced decisions to produce films celebrating the life of Hillary Clinton. The RNC sees the odd programing move as an in-kind contribution to Clinton’s presumed campaign for President in 2016. As a result, the party will formally bar Republicans from partnering with the networks on any primary or Presidential debates in 2016.
Priebus wrote to CNN:
I find CNN’s actions disturbing and disappointing. Your credibility as a supposedly unbiased news network will most certainly be jeopardized by the decision to show political favoritism and produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.
And to NBC:
I find this disturbing and disappointing. NBC cannot purport to be a neutral party in American politics, and the credibility of NBC News, already damaged by the partisanship of MSNBC, will be further undermined by the actions of NBC Universal executives who have taken it upon themselves to produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.
The decision by NBC and CNN to produce a mini-series or film about the life of Hillary Clinton is indeed odd. They do not regularly produce films about major figures in American politics. Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t recall a network bio of former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. I also haven’t seen films about NY Senator Kristin Gillibrand or First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.
The RNC Summer meeting is August 14th. Unless the networks scuttle their plans to produce their Hillary Clinton films, Priebus will seek a binding vote by the full RNC to bar the party from partnering with, or sanctioning, any primary or Presidential debate with the two networks.
The 2016 campaign for President has begun.
Full text of the letters are below.