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
Wll equal time be allowed for any opposing political parties? Christie, Romney or Jeb Bush along with their stories? Or is this just another smoke screen to cover up her indiscretions?
Glad to see the folks at NBC and CNN stand up so far. As to the threat of not participating in debates, maybe they should be replaced with a chair. It would debate more intelligently.
Were it not for her husband she would probably be a unheard of lawyer in Arkansas. Hanging on to coat tails is no doubt why she quietly accepted Bill's affair(s).
How stupid can the GOP be.....millions in free publicity only to stimulate the public for her....first it was her age....now this
bs and they think they even might have a chance....over 80% of Americans want to throw out everyone in Congress and start anew.....I guess President Hilllary has a nice ring to it !!
No network coverage of the primary debates?
No problem. SNL will most likely provide their own recap of these right wing hug fests that will be just as insightful and a whole lot more entertaining.
Priebus needs to demand equal time to air a documentary on the real Hillary. Her employment (and later fired and nearly disbarred) by that Watergate Committee, Whitewater, Vince Foster and the billing records, Travelgate, Filegate, and wrap it all up with an hour or two on Benghazi.
And all you Libs assured me that media bias was just my imagination. LMFAO!
When will they do one on Nancy Pelosi? They could call it "You Have To Watch It To See What's In It".
The coronation of Hillary must go on.
Of course, CNN and NBC will do everything in their power to promote Hitlery.
Let them air the show. Show America Hillary hitting the snooze button on Benghazi.
Can't wait to watch. It's called "Hillary: What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make?", right?
After Candy Crowley's performance in last years debate, its amazing the GOP is even considering having CNN moderate one.
Actually, CNN is lucky to have Republicans to abuse because the Democrats would treat them just like they treat Fox News. If I were the Republicans, I would have refused to send any Republican on CNN, after what Candy Crowley pulled on Mitt Romney during the debates. It was such an obvious set-up, yet she's still on CNN, which would indicate to me that the network condoned her actions, which resulted in 60 million people viewing Mitt Romney as a liar.
Hillary is a joke. Completely worthless. Sheep love her tho...for some reason?!
Notice how no where does CNN say something like "Should Hillary run, the movies will be put on hold"? Course they won't, thats not why they are making the movies. After Benghazi Hillary will need all the support she can get from the media class. I mean its not called the Clinton News Network for nothing. But CNN seems to forget there is Fox, ABC, CBS, CSPAN, PBS, etc.
Earlier today I read a piece on Putin, and his dislike of free speech. The republicans, apparently don't care for free speech either. So what makes them different from the leaders of the former Soviet Union. Answer: Damn Little. Wake Up America.
The liberal media knows no shame.
Yeah, the Republicans will get mocked for calling attention to the networks obsequiousness toward whoever is the latest anointed one. Still, this beats just sitting back and letting yourselves get blindsided by "journalists" like Candy Crowley.
Sooooo it's OK for Faux News to gush and spin on behalf of Republicans, but NBC and CNN doing soft focus pieces on Dems? WHY, IT'S JUST NOT FAIR!
Please, RNC, hold your breath and turn blue. Stamp your feet. Throw hissy fits. It soooo becomes you.
So what's the deal here? Of course the Clinton News Network would do their part to try and get hillary elected.
Miss the good old days when media was not so destructive to nation. Quit trying to influence and do your job, report the news.
Much ado about nothing. She will not run. All of the CNN/CBS apple polishing will be for nought.
The Great or Memorable Quotations of Hillary Clinton:
1. “What difference does it make?”
2. Anybody got anything else.
5. I’m having trouble coming up with anything else.
6. Anybody? Anything?
Out of all the issues you have to deal with Preibus you pick this one? And why are you Pugs going to allow Priebus here and the Pug Establishment to parade you folks around like zoo animals before nestling in as the Senates bicycle racks? I don't get it.