CNN, NBC move forward on Hillary Clinton projects
August 5th, 2013
05:01 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN, NBC move forward on Hillary Clinton projects

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

Filed under: CNN • RNC
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. lol

    Its probably better for the GOP that CNN and NBC dont cover the debates. The less people who see how crazy the GOP primaries are the better amirite Reince?

    August 5, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Don

    Sad, when a once great network picks sides -and to make matters worse, the side of one who didn't give a damn about the lives of Americans in Benghazi...

    August 5, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. icwskiff149

    Priebus is right to do this. All MSNBC and CNN do after they host a GOP debate is sit there for two hours bashing every single candidate. Yet, after Democratic primary debates, its an "intellectual discourse over serious candidates and their responsibly left-wing view points." Let's not forget how these networks scrambled frantically to dilute the impact of Romney's crushing performance in the first debate when Romney exposed Obama for being the mindless, pathetic, reckless, immoral, left-wing radical that he is. Also, without debates hosted by MSNBC and CNN, maybe we can get some more questions that actually matter and aren't written based entirely on liberal premises meant solely to preclude liberals and independents from seeing the light and realizing Democrats are ruining this country from within.

    August 5, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. jeffdude

    Nice threat there, GOP. Screw yourselves by having LESS coverage of your debates. That'll show 'em!!

    And how dare any networks develop a show about a Democratic politician! What audacity! GOP says, shows can ONLY BE ABOUT republicans!

    Absolutely hilarious.

    August 5, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. ilovewhiners

    Is Reince going to fall on the floor and hold his breath until they relent, or just keep up his incessant whining?

    August 5, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Joel F

    Technically, this would benefit the Republicans by pulling out of the debates. This gives then an excuse not to engage in something they do so poorly at anyways.

    August 5, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. jeffdude

    The other thing is, the GOP is passing judgement before anything has been produced. Goes to show that they pretty much base their opinions and policies on assumptions and knee-jerk reactions.

    August 5, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Old Redneck Cowboy

    When you consider the gullibility and education level of the typical Democratic Party voter, promoting a governmental leech such as Hillary Clinton could indeed lead to her election. Of course Obama is going to be a hard act to follow unless Hillary can come up with a newer and bigger tax increase on the employers still in business. Democrats never see a tax they don’t love. Unless of course that tax applies to them.

    Hopefully since they are calling this a non-fiction presentation, it will be interesting to see how they write Hillary’s history. Let’s hope it includes her involvement in the White Water scandals, the early carpet-bagging days, her disbarment from practicing law, moving to Harlem for votes, her husband’s lying to Congress and the Benghazi murders. Might be a pretty good show after all.

    August 5, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. gearjammer

    to hell with that " looking for a handout" Demo and any programming about her. I would LOVE to see CNn and nbc fall by the wayside since they don't have a clue about the integrity of true journalism.

    August 5, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. smith

    What most liberal commenters on here fail to realize is the Obama defeated Clinton because of minority voters. Most of these folks see women as second class citizens and will not vote for her.They just won`t vote period. Sad to say we have a huge problen with gender discrimination on both sides.

    August 5, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. kayla

    no body wants to see a dog and pony show anyway. i rather see hillary

    August 5, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. SL

    What does it matter? If you love Hillary you'll watch it, if you hate her you won't. I doubt CNN Films or NBC will market a movie about any other potential democrat or republican candidate. Media bias has always existed but now it's in your face and it's here to stay. Do your own research and get educated so you can make an informed decision with your vote rather than follow any of these "trusted" news agencies.

    August 5, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Rinse and Repeat 40 times

    This is really just a ploy by the RNC to avoid the over exposure they had in the 2012 primaries. The GOP primaries were an embarrassment. I guess the GOP thinks it's better to have fewer primaries in the safety of the Faux News bubble with their candidates being served up a series of softball questions designed to stir up their base.

    I congratulate CNN and NBC for sticking with their First Amendment rights to broadcast what they choose.

    August 5, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Janice Epperson

    What acid-tongued, sorry loosers the RNC folks are. They just can't accept they lost the last two Presidential elections They threaten, stomp their feet and act like it's their way or the highway and we must all do their bidding. I will be voting for Hillary or whoever the Dems nominate because the Republican alternative is too horrible to think about!

    August 5, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. jfk1971

    What I read here is a bunch if liberal idiots talking to other liberal idiots-making each other feel good about being liberal idiots. What I don't read here is anyone taking off their rose (read red) colored glasses off, looking at this for what it is; a very clear attempt by liberal allied news organizations to push the candidacy of one person.

    For anyone, ANYONE, to claim that there is not an ulterior motive with these decisions is to immediately admit their own blatant stupidity.

    August 5, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Bob Landry

    Blatant bias in the media + an Administration using all of its services(IRS,NSA,FDS,EPA,etc) to intimidate the American people + electorate that can't look at results(7.5% unemployment for 54 months, ALQueda re-insurgent, lowest labor market participation rate in history, $1Trillion deficit spending every year and no respect overseas) = more of the same

    August 5, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. gorehound13

    For one thing excuse me RNC but we do live in a Nation that has a 1ST Amendment or did you forget that.We the people have a Right to Watch, Read, Hear Music, ETC in its many different forms.
    You have just sunk yourself even more so go ahead and keep it up.As much as I love to know we have more than one Party I will not Vote for your Party.Not the way you have been Acting.
    I would fully support CNN and NBC not showing your RNC along with the rest of the Networks............or do you intend to play even more Games and go up against every TV Network in our Nation ?
    Sounds like the Comedy Channel should host your damn RNC.

    August 5, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. Joe P

    The level of whining from the GOP is so freaking embarrassing at this point. Quite pathetic, really. Do they ever find time to work on anything else. Oh, wait...they're all on recess. That must be why they call it "recess"...they haven't matured past kindergarten.

    August 5, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  19. Spike2014

    Who would watch it anyway? She's only famous because of her husband. She has no qualifications other than running the state department into the ground. As a libertarian, this is just another waste of time that I will ultimately just have to laugh at... People are soooo stupid. This country will continue its massive decline unless things change. They won't...

    August 5, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  20. Norma Vessels

    No one likes a blackmailer, Mr. Priebus .. no one.

    August 5, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. Joe

    All these little boys are scared to death of a girl...

    August 5, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. JustAnotherVoter

    The presidential debates are a Socialist love fest anyway. The last three Liberal candidates provided softball answers to softball questions based on feel good emotion lacking facts or any plans to speak of. Just look at the current state of the US if you're looking for proof.

    August 5, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. Bigdoglv

    I thought to raise ratings you screened something people wanted to watch.

    August 5, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. Steveo

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama
    @ Steveo
    Okay Steveo. I will accept that you were NOT AT ALL CLEAR in expressing yourself. Since President Obama fit BOTH #1 and #3 it was just odd that you would not recognize/mention that.
    We're human.
    I'm moving on.
    Yes we are human and I appreciate that!

    August 5, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Name willard

    No vote support hillary clinton for presdient cause she was lied her story what happened about murder 4 amercian at benghziana

    August 5, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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