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
Why do you think the terrible GOP finally decided to stop supporting CNN & NBC? For decades you have both continuously carried DNC's water and served as shameless touts for them. Finally someone in the Republican Party finally shows the guts to say they won't continue to contribute to the bottom lines of two declared enemies and you take offense that someone finally stops supporting pandering partisanship unbecoming someone who pretends to practice journalism.
I take offense that it took so long for them to stand up to you and stop pretending that you are anything other than the Propaganda Ministry of the DNC.
My buds Lynda and Wake up: thank you ;)!
CNN has become a 'patsy' for the left, and its reputation has been hammered since the 2012 election when Candy interjected her own comments into what should have been a mediator role. This shouldn't alarm anyone, it is merely a continuation of a trend. CNN (and MSNBC) cannot even report the news anymore – it is embarassing.
I am pleased to know this tribute to Hillary will occur. The radical right will always cry and moan about anything she may be involved in. The networks will be doing a real service to the American voters to let them know about her accomplishments and hard work in service to our country. Look forward to it. The radical right will just have to eat crow and shut their pie holes.......... she will be the first woman President and will be outstanding.
If CNN was unbiased, how come they have never run a single story like what they are planning for Hillary, for a Repiblican?
That's easy. If a Republican politician cooperated with CNN, they would be declared a RINO for sleeping with the enemy. If they currently held office they would get a primary challenge. You name it, they'd do it to hurt that individual politically. That's why not.
Oh brother, just what we need...another Clinton run for the presidency...don't think we're ready for her...she looked the other way about Monica....sure I want her for the highest job in the land. I would think they'd have a better candidate to run than a tired Clinton
.... I guess you have been sleeping under a giant rock .. meh
Thank you C – geniuses like you get their unbiased news from Fox. Enough said.
Fixed it for ya
love the way libs have changed their tune about Hilary...they sliced, diced and flattened her in 2008 in favor of a know nothing candidate–now they love her? give me a break.....if you want to continue to support a broken country after Obama reign–pick his twin sister..HC....
Here's to hoping they don't air anything GOP!!
Hey Chris, why don't you talk about the thousands of soldiers that were killed in Iraq because of a lie??
CNN and NBC have no shame. It is quite clear they are just a modern Socialist Propaganda Machine. Shameful. When history looks back at us right now to see what went wrong, this will be a very telling sign of the complete breakdown of the democratic culture. Combined with spying by the NSA, targeting by the IRS, coverup by the State Dept on Bhenghazi, racial baiting by the WH, our national debt and deficit, these last few years have been quite depressing.
Reince Priebus is an embarassment to the Republican Party. Doesn't he have more important things to do rather than ASSUME and FEAR that Hillary will run???? Who cares which clown would run against any Democrat? The Rs are is such disarray they have NO chance of winning the White House for Years! Thanks for demonstrating once again the incompetence of your party!
Will Benghazi and Hillary's incompetence/part in the cover up be included? Bet not!
Hats off to CNN and NBC
Republicans are bunch of bullies
Why should I vote for her?.
RNC can not suppress freedom of speech or media
Although I do not support the GOP, this is just wrong.
They are becoming a propaganda dept. for Hillary.
I don't like, or respect this.
Good for CNN and NBC for not succumbing to blackmail
nobody is surprised with this action from the mainstream.....
Who's Priebus think he's kdding? I'd bet you $10,000 that had CNN and/or NBC had decided to do a documentary about a high profile Republican that Priebus would have something to complain about that. "It's all lies."
According to this blog...CNN is completely in favor for the DNC....humm....interesting since the owner or FOX News Ruppert Murdoch....his news groups is a major owner of CNN.....we believe that perception is wrong...on these past elections CNN was more pro GOP than ever before......
The RNC thinks you're biased? How can they say that? Clearly they're not basing this on data...
They'd have to watch CNN to know that, and your viewership numbers are low enough you'd probably know if they watched; right?
Sure if they watched they'd find out your biased; but they're not basing this on accurate data, but a hunch (that happens to be correct).
Yes, you're whitewashing things and avoiding asking tough questions on things like Benghazi, and admitting you're doing so to keep "access" to the White House... so you're spreading their side only and never questioning it. But is only giving the liberal side on everything and giving them preferential treatment "bias"?
Of course not... you're only giving the liberal side and giving them preferential treatment to keep "access" not out of bias. totally different reasoning for the exact same result. Right? Your reporting isn't biased because you're biased... it's biased because you're cowards unwilling to ask hard questions of people in power.
Or is that not what you said when you admitted you avoided hard questions to preserve "access"?
Judging from the last go around, Reince has already signed up the comedy channel for the GOP primaries.
Priebus threaten all you want and when these two news giants don't run your political crap like debates and you're left out in the cold ,hard political world looking like the jackass party that republicans are don't say you weren't told!!Remember Priebus CNN,NBC don't need you,you need them to advertise your future clown circus!!
Why not support Hillary? She should make a great tourist guide since she has seen almost the entire world while vacationing everywhere on the taxpayers dollars. Tell us even one thing that she has accomplished with her travel. She certainly failed to protect our embassy and ambassador and others when they knew they were threatened and pled for protection. She contributed heavily to the cover up and tried to convince us that it was a random act of violence. She did not even fire Rice for her persistent lies about the tragedy.