Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday called on CNN and NBC to rethink their decisions to film documentaries about Hillary Clinton, calling each a “thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.”
Priebus also threatened, if they push forward with their plans, to avoid partnerships with the networks for any 2016 presidential debates. It has been a longstanding liberal-media bias, and every cycle, we are forced to choke down a not-so favorable documentary on the GOP nominee, while the Democratic nominee is just another coronation rather than journalism.
Both networks announced their plans in recent weeks. CNN’s documentary is set to run on TV and in theaters, while NBC’s is a miniseries starring the anti-American pro-communist actress Diane Lane.
“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,” Priebus said in a statement. “Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing.”
The letters – featured below – were sent to Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide.NBC News responded in a brief statement stressing it is not involved in the documentary. “NBC News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project,” it said.
Priebus is now doing what the grassroots in the Republican Party have always screamed at the party leadership to do, attack the media bias. During the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Speaker Newt Gingrich gained the support of the conservative base for not taking the garbage from the liberal media, three times he attacked the liberal-leaning debate “moderators” for asking ridiculous questions.
Subsequently, Mitt Romney was sandbagged by so-called debate moderator Candy Crowley, who in the worst example of journalistic bias actually took the side of Barack Obama in the middle of the second presidential debate. She and Barack Obama were actually incorrect, but Crowley saved Barack Obama from his second debate failure, after being shellacked in Denver a month earlier.
The chairmen of the Republican parties in Iowa and South Carolina — two early conservative states that generally hold multiple debates — said they support Priebus’s move, suggesting it would have support within the RNC ranks.
“The Iowa GOP supports Reince Priebus in his decision and looks forward to helping the RNC start a new chapter in how Republicans across the country stand up to a biased media,” Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said in a statement.
Predictably, David Plouffe, a former top adviser to President Obama, took to Twitter to respond in a childish and classless style, saying the RNC is trying to insulate itself from any media that isn’t Fox News:
Better RNC debate plan. Held in hermetically sealed Fox studio. Avoid exposing swing voters to Crazy S*#t My Nominee Says.
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) August 5, 2013
Twitter users were less than thrilled, but David Plouffe was not exactly known for class and style throughout the 2012 presidential election, being caught in multiple lies surrounding Benghazi and displaying false outrage at journalists who called him on those lies.
Priebus shot back noting that Democrats complained when the conservative outside group Citizens United planned to air a pay-per-view documentary about Clinton on the eve of the 2008 election. The spat resulted in a landmark Supreme Court case that freed up donors to give large political contributions to so-called super PACs.
There was also a case in 2006 in which Clinton allies urged ABC to cancel a docu-drama called “Path to 9/11″ which depicted top Clinton aides undermining attempts to capture and kill Osama bin Laden.
Priebus pressured NBC and CNN to drop the documentaries quickly, giving them a deadline that is just nine days away. He said:
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.
CNN and NBC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
However, here’s the CNN letter, courtesy of Zeke Miller:
[scribd id=158233768 key=key-1kkp7uer7a7uik2csufz mode=scroll]