Monday afternoon, CNN released a statement in response to the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) ultimatum. In a letter to both NBC and CNN, RNC Chair Reince Priebus said that the Party will not allow either network to host primary debates if they go ahead with planned projects surrounding Hillary Clinton. In its statement, CNN said they will not cancel the planned documentary and that it would be a “disservice to voters” for the RNC not to partner with them for the debates:
CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters.
As far as CNN’s claim about a “disservice to voters,” one wonders which voters CNN is talking about. Certainly not Republican voters. For years now, and for very good reason, Republican voters have seen CNN as just another branch of the Democrat Party.
During the 2012 election, many Republicans were infuriated and questioned the judgment of an RNC that willingly allowed our candidates to have their futures put in the hands of a network that was and is so obviously enamored with Obama and the left. It was a suicide run, when these debates should be used by the RNC to help our candidates shine.
CNN was even worse during the actual presidential debates when CNN’s Candy Crowley violated the debate rules, tried to save Barack Obama from a Mitt Romney attack, and got her facts horribly wrong. This is one of the biggest gaffes in all of presidential debate history, but this one was committed by the moderator.
Earlier today, NBC News responded with the claim it had nothing to do with the network’s planned miniseries about Clinton, that will star Academy Award-nominee Diane Lane.
It is unlikely that Priebus and the RNC expected either network to back down. So the news here is all good.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC