The Hidden Motivation Behind GOP Threats to Boycott NBC, CNN

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Win McNamee / Getty Images

RNC chairman Reince Priebus

The Republican Party threatened Monday to pull 2016 Republican primary debates from CNN and NBC if they do not drop plans for special programs on potential 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton—a move that could help the national party winnow the number of debates in the coming presidential election cycle.

“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,” said  Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committe in a statement. “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.”

NBC has announced plans to air a miniseries, starring Diane Lane as Clinton, while CNN is producing a feature-length documentary directed by Charles H. Ferguson.

Reforming the primary debate process has been a central component of the RNC’s 2012 autopsy, with party officials trying to restrict the number of debates and screen out unfriendly debate moderators. But the effort to cut back on the number of debates has run into headwinds from Republican state parties in early states, who in many instances see revenue from co-hosting the debates and associated events. The autopsy recommends changing the RNC rules to include penalties for Republican state parties or candidates if they participate in debates unsanctioned by the RNC.

To date that provision has not caught on. But Priebus’s letter is designed to make that easier when the Republican National Committee meets in Boston next week to discuss the debate schedule, according to one member of the Republican National Committee. “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,” Priebus wrote in his letter.

Republican Party officials believe the 20 GOP primary debates during the 2012 cycle hurt their party and Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee. CNN’s John King, in particular, drew attacks when he questioned former Speaker of the House New Gingrich about his prior marital infidelities in a debate before the South Carolina primary, while Republicans have long been weary of working with NBC given the liberal-leanings of its cable network MSNBC. Priebus has previously proposed a more modest 10 to 12 debates, in part to protect better-funded candidates from insurgents who capitalize on their time before the cameras.

Priebus’ threat has already paid off in rallying Republicans to his cause in advance of the meeting next week. Iowa Republican Party chairman A.J. Spiker tweeted that his state would stand with the RNC against CNN and NBC.

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194 comments
sonsofaureus
sonsofaureus

The statement is more appropriate in the reverse:

“It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like Fox and Clear Channel, owner of multiple AM talk radio stations who have donated to Republicans and Republican candidates have taken it upon themselves to be Republican campaign operatives,” did not admit Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee in a statement. “Their actions to promote Republican candidates and idiotic policies are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that Fox will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment."  

CoryIrwin
CoryIrwin

I don't think this will work or help the Republicans. It is not a primary voting election issue, but a philosophical issue. That is reworking the question? What does Conservatism mean in the United States? If that is solved centrists can be brought back and the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt can compete with the party of Andrew Jackson and Franklin Roosevelt.

roknsteve
roknsteve

The Big Tent of the Republican party is filled with cowards and bullies.  Mostly cows.

DanielPhelan
DanielPhelan

Republicans debate?  Republicans just sell who they are to the highest bidder.

 I see the libertarian movement as a minor debate, within the GOP but do you think the libertarians have a chance of changing the Republican Party?  Based on the comments of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie the Republican Presidential frontrunner, who called libertarianism “a very dangerous thought”, I'd say not.


DebbyBerg
DebbyBerg

In much the same way we question Fox News and their motives? Come now, shall we all abandon the hypocrisy for the space of one news cycle GOP?

theda_barra
theda_barra

so according to the conservatives free speech is only for them?  Fox news has them in their back pocket and they threaten everyone who speaks out or disagrees. hey reince your fascism is showing

diegueno
diegueno

I don't think that @Reinceis that smart. Hanlon's Razor states "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." This is Priebus throwing a fit because he doesn't have a candidate for POTUS whose story / biography is nearly as engaging.

BobSmetters
BobSmetters

You sure don't see Fox having any potential republican on their station candidates do you????

LarryLoomis
LarryLoomis

C'mon people...who's going to believe Diane Lane as Hillary anyway ?  Roseanne Barr, possibly...  , Betty White, maybe...Estelle Getty, definitely...but Diane Lane, no fuquing way !

stephengreen732
stephengreen732

Republicans complaining about liberal media outlets are just doing what  the Republicans themselves have done in the past. Same game, different day.. 

PetePettywick
PetePettywick

Hey Zeke, you work for Time right?  Yeah...which is part the whole Time Warner (CNN) company, right?  Sorry, but I think CNN and Time are so biased it's disgusting.  

mstrsmith
mstrsmith

Liberals are Racists...they believe that Liberals are Superior, in every way, to Non-Liberals, i.e. Conservatives. They won't even entertain the idea that they could be wrong, even in the face of facts & truth. They place race, gender, sexual orientation above being Human. Everyone on this planet is human; every one of us, there is no difference, except in the minds of Liberals.

terryclifton1
terryclifton1

If the roles were reversed and CNN and NBC were doing puff pieces on a Republican leading up to a Presidential Election; liberals would be losing their collective minds. CNN and NBC both know that they have their work cut out for them trying to spin the one of the most polarizing politician's in our country's history. She was a do-nothing senator, and a complete failure as Secretary of State. Her entire life in Washington has been one scandal after another. I would hope that the Democrat Party can find a moderate, strong on civil liberties, and who isn't just another Imperialist looking to spread the gospel of Democracy across the globe. Hillary Clinton is nothing more than another scheming politician who plays the victim after getting caught covering up the messes that she causes. Again, the hypocrisy of the left, using networks to promote their  candidate is absolutely wrong, and is nothing more than propaganda.

DavidBorsani
DavidBorsani

Well Let them go to Fox.  They are bitter People who offer no alternatives other than to Obstruct and Object to any Good for the Country like Gay Rights, Immigration, Women's Rights, Etc.  They are only for Corporations and Self Dealing individuals.  This is why they are Losers.

Phoenicia
Phoenicia

You would of course have to ask Time Magazine what they mean by the headlines above these comments: "The Duck's Alive, the Dog is embarrassed" and "Cat survives 7,300 Mile Journey on Ship" and "12 Yappiest Dog Breeds."  Then you would also have to challenge the Doping scandals in sports which are Republican code for athletes who support Democrats and Democracy.  In other words, to use George Orwell's reflections on the practice of Communist and Fascist Dictatorships, you would have to speak plain English instead of a propaganda code meant to hide the illegal methods of Dictatorship.

Phoenicia
Phoenicia

I thank God for old white men (many of them Freemasons) who fought and defeated Hitler and Mussolini during WWII:  Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower,  MacArthur, Truman, etc., etc.  I am also grateful to the old, white men who continued their work: John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson (especially his war on poverty) Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Robert Dole, etc., etc.  I deeply resent the propaganda lords who try to split our country with racial wars, sexist wars, ageism wars and even Democrat and Republican wars to prevent coalitions from forming so that our Democracy can function at the high level needed to address the critical problems of the 21st century.  The strategy seems to be to prevent Democracy from functioning so that we give up and allow the more "knowledgeable elite" to govern.  We did not allow absolute monarchs to continue to rule Russia. I see no reason to allow absolute dictators to rule America, hiding behind their propaganda media empires.

sonsofaureus
sonsofaureus

@CoryIrwin There these clowns go again - beating the liberal media dead horse.  Conservatism is centrist by definition - it is a  position suspicious of sweeping radical changes.  These Neo-con clowns should be sued for using the title and claiming the legacy of the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.  It's as valid a claim as Fox's new's claim of being fair and balanced.  

reallife
reallife

@DanielPhelan christie the front runner?   hahahaha  change the channel once in a while  LOL




hobbes
hobbes

@PetePettywick butttt, fox is not biased at all.  hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Tero
Tero

@PetePettywick 

Thanks for letting us know what you "think" Petey. Now that we know what inbred morons "think" we can move on.

sonsofaureus
sonsofaureus

@mstrsmith hahaha.  Neocons are Racists.. they believe that Christian Neocons are Superior, in ever way, to non-Neocons, i.e. Liberals.  They won't even entertain the idea that they could be wrong, even in the face of facts & truth. They place race, net worth, political & sexual orientation above being Human.  Everyone on this planet is a sinful subject of God;  every one of us, there is no difference, except in the minds of Fundamentalist Christian Neocons, who rightfully identify homosexuality as a key sin above all other sins.

DebbyBerg
DebbyBerg

@mstrsmith wow-are you trying to put the shoe on the other foot. You have displayed every loathesome charcteristic of the GOP. You truly have no idea what you are talking about as well as having this entire argument backwards. It is the GOP who has launched a war on women's rights. It is the GOP that has tried unsuccessfully 40 times to repeal AHA. It is the GOP that has fought tooth and nail against gay marriage. It is occurrs to me that you are really too misinformed to argue with. 

roknsteve
roknsteve

@mstrsmith Another conservative mind reader.  And where are all these liberals?  I don't know any.  

hobbes
hobbes

@mstrsmith you are showing your ignorance.  having a higher IQ then most conservatives and being able to tell a fact from fiction is not racism.  i don' believe it's liberals that put on white sheets and hang blacks.   you are really projecting.  (you might want to look that up)

Tero
Tero

@mstrsmith 

hmmm... you seem to speak with authority on what is in the minds of liberals. I guess that would make you one... otherwise you are just spewing ignorant hatred...

MrObvious
MrObvious

@mstrsmith 

Nice rant and projection. Whatever you need to tell yourself to justify what you feel. Just skip the part where you blame someone else for your own attitude.

hobbes
hobbes

@terryclifton1 what do you think they did with sister sarah?  or did you forget that?  like most conservatives you have short memories.  

Tero
Tero

@terryclifton1 

Thanks for your biased opinion Terry. Hillary Clinton, while not perfect, accomplishes more before breakfast than you have in your entire sad little life. Clinton is a moderate, if anything she is centre-right, only a right-wing extremist would think otherwise.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@terryclifton1 

You know - you'd had a point of it was something Dems actually do or have done in the past.

I can't think of it. Maybe I'm wrong but blathering about the hypocrisy of the left to excuse the hypocrisy on the right kind of demands proof of it.

LibelFreeZone
LibelFreeZone

@Phoenicia   "...Lyndon Johnson (especially his FAILED war on poverty)..."  Fixed that for ya.

terryclifton1
terryclifton1

@Tero @terryclifton1  

Clinton is whatever she needs to be at the time, which is why I don't trust her. If she didn't play up to the crowd she's speaking to at any time, I would respect her more.  What again has she accomplished during her time in Washington? Why the personal attack? I have a great life, I really do. I have two wonderful sons, family and friends who love me, and I have my health. I thought you would be better than the trolls on here that add nothing to the conversation, it's not the first time that I have been wrong. 

terryclifton1
terryclifton1

You're always saying that Fox News is the vessel for the Republican Party, and for what I have watched, which is very little, they are tilted to the right, just as MSNBC is tilted completely left. CNN for the most part, hovers in the middle ground. None of these stations have any business playing up either party for political gain to the American people, period.

notLostInSpace
notLostInSpace

@LibelFreeZone @Phoenicia No, in very simple terms you might understand,  it was the Republican lead government since 1980 that has not only enlarged poverty but ruined the middle class.  For instance, do you recall seeing significant numbers of homeless people on the street before Ronnie Raygun was Prez?  He killed funding for the institutions that took care of them, largely people with mental illness. 

Tero
Tero

@LibelFreeZone @Phoenicia 

LOL, the guy who can't even spell "Liberal" is correcting someone else's comment. Only in loony bagger land...

Tero
Tero

@terryclifton1 @Tero 

Post a reasonable comment free of generalizations and fox talking points and I will take the time to respond in a thoughtful manner. Otherwise, you will be treated like the other brain-dead trolls on here.

sonsofaureus
sonsofaureus

hahaha Colbert does not conceal his satire.  Fox is serious about its claims about being fair and balanced.  

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@terryclifton1 "...Fox News is the vessel for the Republican Party, and for what I have watched, which is very little, they are tilted to the right, just as MSNBC is tilted completely left."

It's not about right or left, you twit. Journalism is supposed to be about what's true and important, but I wouldn't expect right-wing partisans to understand.

"...reality has a well-known liberal bias."

-- Stephen Colbert

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2009/09/20/liberal-bias-myth-lives-on/154823 

Tero
Tero

@LibelFreeZone @Tero 

Whatever dude... just admit that your spelling and grammar are sub-par and change your avatar name already, you are embarrassing yourself every time you post.

LibelFreeZone
LibelFreeZone

@Tero   I wouldn't dignify the loony left by spelling "liberal" correctly.  Librul is the most derisive way I can express it.