August 11th, 2013
11:20 AM ET
12 months ago

Priebus: It matters who airs Clinton films, not who makes them

(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that his organization’s planned debate boycott was focused on NBC and CNN – which plan to air films about Hillary Clinton – and not companies which may produce those projects.

Priebus, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” was responding to a question from Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about a report in The New York Times that Fox Television Studios was in the “early stages” of talks to produce NBC’s miniseries about Clinton, set to star Diane Lane. Fox Television Studios is a corporate sibling of Fox News Channel and the Fox broadcast network.

“The big question for me, Candy, is number one, which company is putting it on the air? Who is doing the work? I'm not interested if they're using the same caterer or whether they all drink Diet Coke and I'm not boycotting Diane Lane,” Priebus said.

When Crowley pointed out that a film’s production company includes the “people that write, produce and put together the shows,” Priebus maintained his stance that networks which air the projects should remain the primary subjects of his boycott.

“I am going to boycott the company that puts the mini-series and the documentaries on the air for the American people to view. I'm not interested in whether they use the same sound studio or whether they use the same set,” he said.

Last week Priebus said he would try to prevent CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP presidential primary debates unless both networks agreed to cancel forthcoming television specials about the former secretary of state and potential Democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination.

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. NBC has announced plans to run a miniseries with Diane Lane playing the role of the former first lady.

Priebus cast the projects as merely campaign ads, and said no matter how they characterize Clinton, they’ll still effectively be promoting her ahead of the next presidential contest.

Last week, both networks released statements saying they would continue with the Clinton projects:

"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 News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project."


Filed under: Reince Priebus • RNC
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. FrankinSD

    If you say its all about who airs it rather than who makes it, haven't you admitted that you concern has nothing at all to do with the content? Aren't you admitting that you are just trying to impose a Hillary Clinton blackout?

    August 11, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Big_D

    Didn't Citizens United say this is free speech? The GOP is only mad their ruling backfired.

    August 11, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Derek

    As a Democrat, one of the concerns I had about Hillary when she was running in the 2008 election was that she was a hawk disguised as a Democrat (which was a concern shared by many of us). It's clear that Rupert Murdoch is a Hillary supporter and if you research this, you will see he has thrown numerous fundraisers for her. And now it's revealed that FOX is the one producing this film. I don't know. Either way, the Republicans are screwed as there is no doubt Rupert wants her to become President. The Left will still likely support her, as well, as I don't see anyone else with the star power she has.

    August 11, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Republicans are funny creatures

    So when does everyone get to boycot fox news for having a republican agenda and being nothing more than media propaganda for the right wing? Oh I guess that's ok though right.

    what a bunch of hypocrites....soon enough now these people will go away and be irrelevant...the time is coming and I for one can't wait.

    August 11, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. disaster containment services Inc.

    this whole system is run by and for a global corporate cartel of centralized banks that print wealth out of thin air.
    The game is rigged and the politics are a simple dog and pony show designed by social engineers of the worst kind., a.k.a."communists and socialist tyrants and centralized banking cartel monopolists.

    August 11, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. xvet

    Keep up the good work it should have a record breaking audience with all the free publicity.

    xvet

    August 11, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. AuburnGA

    As if they would actually not show up for a CNN or NBC hosted debate. Not to do so would thereby allow their rival an uninterrupted free hour or more campaign ad. Isn't that what they are claiming the documentary to be in the first place? Ignorance and short sighted propaganda are not in short supply within the Republican party these days. I suppose it is consistent with other views like wanting to safe guard the family, yet siding with big insurance over the family when it comes to the family's access to health care.

    August 11, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Andrew Clem

    The gop is doubling down on crazy. This is extortion. Just another reason they shouldn't be allowed to hold any power in our debates. It's bad enough that they produce tabloid news and poison the minds of weak-minded people who can't think for themselves, now they want to expand this campaign of ignorance. People need to stand up to them now.

    August 11, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Terry Vannn

    It's truly amazing to hear the totally ignorant and wrong comments posted by some on the radical right. Lies and serious destortions do not advance the problems facing the Nation. It's ok to not belived in the politcs of the Clintons; but you are ignorant to not know of the good work President Clinton has done for the Nation and the World. It's understandable if you wish only to spread hate and discontent, but you are not then acting as a rational citizen of the United States.

    August 11, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Skarphace

    What the Republican Party is trying to do here is obvious. They want Fox News to be the only organization that airs the Republican debates. They posture and say, "if a network airs a documentary about Clinton, we will boycott that network," but this is just an excuse.

    Rupert Murdock has told the Republican Party, "I want the Republican debates to be shown exclusively on Fox News," and the Republican Party has said, "Yes, sir!"

    August 11, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. He don't get it

    Priebus, the gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving to the DNC. Did anyone actually believe someone could be more stupid than Bachmann only to find Priebus is? As a proud liberal, I support whatever decisions he makes in the future for his party.

    August 11, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Big_D

    NBC should do it and when the GOP won't let them broadcast the debate they should satire the GOP all night with a comedy special. The exclusionary GOP, the tent gets smaller.

    August 11, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Skarphace

    What the Republican Party is trying to do here is obvious. They want Fox News to be the only organization that airs the Republican debates. They posture and say, "if a network airs a film about Clinton, we will boycott that network," but this is just an excuse.

    Rupert Murdock has told the Republican Party, "I want the Republican debates to be shown exclusively on Fox News," and the Republican Party has said, "Yes, sir!"

    August 11, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Dennis Freeman

    I guess it is possible to have an IQ in the single digits

    August 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Pete

    So much for the "freedom" loving Republican party trying to tell the free press what to do. Boycott CNN and NBC then. Who are you hurting by limiting your message to only those that already follow you? Maybe another round of wondering why you lost an election. Perhaps you'll think of something original like you weren't conservative enough. lol

    August 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. DJ Reality

    Rinse Priebus is a little man who is against every one but Fox. He doesn't want to make his masters mad at him. So it is okay if Fox makes the Hilary bio-pic but curse anyone who shows it. This only goes to show what kind of shallow person he is.

    August 11, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. MarkDW

    Of course anyone but the most Kool-Aid saturated Fox News sheeple GOP true believers knows: if NBC was producing this series, and Fox airing it, Rinse and Repeat would be saying the opposite, "It's not important who airs it, it's who produces it."

    August 11, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Jim

    More of the same from the GOP – "We support your First Amendment Rights, as long as we agree with what you say."

    August 11, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. MarkDW

    Erwin the best thing to happen to the GOP would be for Americans to blacklist their debates.

    The more people who tune into the GOP Klown Kar Expos, the better for Democrats, and America.

    August 11, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Joe

    Republicans can't even get along with each other. They are so bitter over losing the election by a landside. Get over it – you lost. Just think how bad things would be under Romney. You guys put forth your best candidates and lost....

    August 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. roro

    OOOHHHH The republicans are running scared, and so early in the game. Hillary hasn't even said she'll run and Reince is already whining. AWWW poor baby.

    August 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. DarqueSide

    Poor Prince Reince. Whining seems to be the only thing the GOP/RNC seems capable of these days.

    August 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. Tom

    I really don't care about a Hillary Clinton film, but I think both CNN and NBC need to go through with their plans at this point just to demonstrate to the Republican party that the networks can't be bullied into only airing programming that meets with the approval of the Republican party. If you guys back down on this, the GOP will have complete editorial control of your network.

    August 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. 66Biker

    Will somebody PLEASE get Pliebus a crying towel, before he floods the country?

    August 11, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Loathstheright

    Mmmm, I smell fear in the UnAmerican Rightwing camp.

    August 11, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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