Washington (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threatened Monday to try and prevent CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP presidential primary debates unless both networks agreed to cancel forthcoming television specials about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
CNN and NBC, in separate statements, said they would move forward with the projects.
CNN's film unit has ordered a documentary about Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state earlier this year after representing New York in the U.S. Senate and as first lady in the White House. The documentary is scheduled to air in 2014.
The statement from CNN said:
"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."
NBC has announced plans to run a miniseries with Diane Lane playing the role of the former first lady. The statement from NBC News said:
"NBC News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project."
Priebus made the demands in separate letters to Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, and Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. In the letters, which were released to the public at around the same time they were sent to each network, the RNC chairman claimed these individual programs were an effort to "promote" Clinton in anticipation of a possible run for president. While supporters are taking steps to try and build an infrastructure should Clinton decide to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, she has not indicated whether she will run again.
"Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing," Priebus wrote. "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. 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."
In the 2012 GOP presidential primary election, CNN hosted seven of the 20 presidential debates, which were broadly viewed as helping lesser known candidates compete with better know, well-funded rivals. President Barack Obama did not face a primary challenge last year.
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
LOL. What petulant, puerile, tantrum-throwing spiteful little turds the GOP/Teatrolls are. CNN has had it's lips glued to Christies coinpurse ever since he displayed the least bit of good judgment during Sandy...selling him as a "moderate" while ignoring that all of his fiscal and other policies are straight out of the GOP/Teatrolls' ideological plutocracy playbook. This tantrum from Reince and the RNC was nothing more than an effort to give a boost to the GOP/Teatrolls' baseless, substanceless whining and victimhood to the imaginary "liberal media" conspiracy.
MORE. TEARS. PLEASE.
amazing how scared the GOP is that she is going to run. No one can answer that question except Hilary
Oh, and you gotta love this: "You're so biased and we're so mad that you're focusing on our opponent instead of focusing on whatever our latest fabrications and accusations are against Obama's administration and Clinton....we're ever so mad that you're not giving us more airtime...that our response is going to be to give ourselves ZERO airtime on your network." Brilliant. You take that ball and go home now. Please proceed.
How dare he think he can blackmail these corporations? What a whiny repug! Remember when you remove the vowels in this jackhole's name you get RNC PR BS.
Priebus is a complete loser. And a crybaby. What are you afraid of Rinse, the GOP will be portrayed in a negative light? Not to worry, CNN does not have to run a special about Hillary Clinton to do that. The GOP has become a national laughing stock. And go ahead, pull out of the debates – – your candidates have nothing to say that appeals to voters anyway.
The ish just don't stop with these people.
Great comments as usual Sniffit! Thanks for saying what I would never be allowed to, and actually today I don't have the energy for.
Glad to see the Reps sticking with that "laser focus on jobs" that is so important to the American people.
Actually, Americans are "questioning the credibility" of the Republican Party and their side-kick Ts.
Stories on Hillary – no Republican debates = win, win
If you can’t say anything good about someone, you must be talking about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will never be President. She is one of the most hated and despised women in the country. Her hate factor is one rung below that of Nancy Pelosi. She is incompetent, has blood on her hands from the Benghazi murders of four Americans, committed perjury during the Benghazi hearings, as SOS fostered the expansion of Al Qaeda in Egypt, Libya and No. Africa and supported Morsi, the deposed head and terrorist of Egypt. If she is so popular, she would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Obama.
As if we didn't know the LSM was going to back Mrs. Benghazi.
Screw the GOP losers, they need to lose the house and senate ASAP , midterms!!!!
Who. Would want to watch the GOP clown show anyway?????
I guess they will have to move episodes 12 and 14 of their sorry little debate series to The Comedy Channel and the Greatest Moments in Lacross Channel. Sheesh.
Sooo funny. Tell you what let FOX do the same on Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie , and that marco dude. lol
The only way to create jobs is not via the White House, it's done by reducing taxes and regulations so the money comes back into the communities that made it. You can't take more than 50% of peoples income and expect to add jobs. So, yea, we are scared that the media will sell Hillary as the next best savior when she has the exact same tax and spend us to death policies. Plus, she is nasty, mean, and even more covert than Barry and his ilk.
We are scared that both networks will show a fluff piece to make her look like something she's not. After all, both executive producers and contributors to the dem party.
That's fine.........we already KNOW they are Democratic Party controlled media........where there is no honesty........and which are simply propaganda networks for the Democrats.
Good Deal Republicans! See how well you do when only FOX covers your primaries!
Betcha CNN/MSBNC had no problem when the DNC blocked Fox News from holding debates during the last election...and Fox didnt even plan on developing a movie about Romney.
Take out the vowels.
RNC PR BS.
Born for the job..........
Oh, dear. Is Mr. Reince Priebus' feelings hurt because he has to share the limelight?
This man epitomizes why most Americans view the Grand Old Party as nothing but whiny self serving crybabies.
Marc & Denise Rich.
Still not clear on how the GOP decided it has the authority to dictate who may or may not be allowed to exercise their freedom of speech and their freedom of the press.
Slick Willys favorite person.
Hey JJ: You forgot to say "four brave Americans". Get the GOP/TP talking points right will you!!!
Well, if Prince Riebus takes his ball & goes home, I guess the networks could always rerun the 2012 primary shenanigans/debates from the clown car. I know I can never get enough of Rick Perry trying to remember that 'third thing', or Michelle Bachman's wild eyed sputterings, or Rick Santorum's surging or the look on Huntsman's face as he relalizes that: (1) He's the only sane person on that stage; and (2) He doesn't stand a ghost of a chance with the galloping insanity that is today's GOP.