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. Rembrant

    So now we have it: Government influencing the media. Except, I was always thinking it was Republicans who where so opposed to Big Government manipulation of the media. What was I missing here?

    August 5, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I hope that the republicans lose the election. Maybe we can start getting bills passed. We also need to get republicans and democrats who support lobbyist out of office. Congressmen and congresswomen – "you work for us not them"!

    August 6, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  3. Jackie

    RNC has clown candidates right now announcing their running for President. Grand Wizard Republican/Tea Party Senator Rand Paul known around the world as the bong hitting Aqua Buddha man. Rep. Peter King cried because Boehner refused his request for aid for the Sandy Storm and his known racist which he could not even get the votes from NY. Gov. Christi like to play Mafia Soprano and mentored by Karl Rove. Christi was on the Bush list to be fired with other US Attorney's until Karl Rove felt he could be used to get New Jersey. Paul Ryan continues to lie and make a fool of himself. Marco Rubio lost his people and his Party as he toss both under the bus.

    August 6, 2013 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. Sophie Meyer


    "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..." Blah, blah, blah...

    Only in your bitter alternate reality JJ.

    August 6, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. freddie nerk

    Seems like Preibus has not learned anything from the last election. He needs to stop whining and talking about the Dems and start talking about GOP policies and candidates. He is making it way too easy for the DNC to raise even more money. Republican supporters wont give as much if the RNC already thinks it is going to lose. Preibus needs to go before the GOP takes a huge loss in 2014 and 2016.

    August 6, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  6. ScottiesRule

    Not sure why the GOP cares since no one really watches CNN any longer. And the moniker NBC News is almost too funny to repeat. NBC News. Ha! Ha! Yep, doesn't get much funnier than that.

    August 6, 2013 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  7. U.S. Citizen

    Ooo ....
    CNN and NBC are being naughty.

    August 6, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  8. Joe America

    RNC has gone totalitarian. Extremists.

    August 6, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  9. NickAnast

    JJ: "If she is so popular, she would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Obama."


    Good thing this is 2013, not 2008. Hillary Clinton is now one of the most popular politicians in the country. If she decides to run for president in 2016, she will very likely win. Right now, there isn't a Republican who could beat her. Not Chris Christie, not Rand Paul, not Marco Rubio, not anyone.

    August 6, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  10. Dan H

    By calling the two networks out on a perceived threat, they've only promoted Clinton to her base and given her media attention. Where is Karl Rove when they need him? Idiots. Let's boycott anything liberal while we're at it and end up on one channel where the base is all we appeal to anyway. BRIDGE. THE. GAP.

    August 6, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  11. Just a thought


    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

    ahhhhhh......too bad the rest of America didn't get fact-less rant....don't look now those pesky polls are showing you are talking out that rear orifice ...Must be those same faux and fools polls that Pres. R'Money and Carl Rover-One were reading. Well the quality their polls, just like the one you are using, only has a singular use in the washroom...then flush and YOU ARE done. Thanks for playing sport

    August 6, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  12. Just a thought

    The poor Tea fool brigade are really upset now. What is the party of clowns going to do now?

    August 6, 2013 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  13. jmlsmb

    I don't want a debate on CNN or NBC anyway! Candy Crowley had obviously colluded with Obama and NBC is a partisan joke. CBS did a good job, as did Jim Lehrer. FOX should obviously have a debate, and I would love to see a debate with several different questioners from different places on C-Span.
    Jake Tapper is the best thing on CNN in years, and you stick him with 4:00 PM and no repeats! What a waste.

    August 6, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  14. Just a thought

    CNN has turned to faux lite and this how Rinse and crew repay them? Really? After carrying all those made up GOP/Tea Troll scandals day in and day out? WOW CNN...I hope you charged the premium prices to carry that useless drivel that only a troglydyte could love since 2008

    August 6, 2013 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  15. Just a thought

    good job CNN and NBC....way to stand up to the loser and his minions. We don't need their stupidity on national tv anyway...they are doing amurka a huge favor in not dumbing down the populace with their useless mind numbing hate speech.

    August 6, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  16. Phil Thomas

    Idiots 90% of the media is owned by six corporations, so how does it benefit CNN to be liberal ? Truth is it benefits said six companies to have people treat politics like a football game and cheer obstruction. As long as Cons and libs fight no one notices who is really benefiting. The attacks on Obama are funny, scandals refer to Bush and none of these right wing water carriers cared then.

    August 6, 2013 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  17. Jo

    Well perhaps the RNC can get Fox to do a miniseries on Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann to even things up.

    August 6, 2013 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  18. Tessa

    If I ran against Hillary all that would need to be said in a debate is, "tell us about Benghazi?" and follow it up with "why are the CIA operatives that were there being asked to take polygraphs more than other agents and being asked if they have spoke to any reporters or congressmen?" End of debate.

    August 6, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  19. Wade

    Any American who watches this obvious campaign show for Hilary by the two most liberal NON NEWS outlets in America is a TRAITOR to democracy. CNN better PRAY as well as NBC that a REPUBLICAN never takes the white house because I am sure both of them will loose their LIC to broadcast. They are not news companies they are MOUTH PIERCES for the liberals. Any company advertising with these campaign commercials needs to be boycotted for LIFE! THIS is WRONG any way you look at it.

    August 6, 2013 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  20. Larry

    Here is Preibus chance to get even, now he can have documentaries on Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin, that'll show them, fight fire with fire, yea.

    August 6, 2013 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  21. Tom

    To name jk guy. Repubs don't have the senate. Before you go flipping randomly please have a general understanding of what you're talking about. as for the article they really are giving Hilary too much air time. I don't plan on voting Republican but I'm certainly not voting for her someone else please I need some fresh blood.

    August 6, 2013 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  22. Jeb

    I heard that the new Reince Priebus gets 90 miles on a single gallon of B S.

    August 6, 2013 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  23. For the Duration

    The Republicans just need to produce their own film about their top contender. They could open at Sundance. I'm sure it would be just wonderful.

    August 6, 2013 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  24. Vic Usi

    There is no need for the GOP to panic. Hillary's victory is as certain as death, taxes and the rising sun. What the GOP should do instead is to start conditioning themselves to accept that reality and stop complaining.

    August 6, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  25. Concerncitz

    Here is another example how the GOP wants to deny the rights of corporation, oh by the way the consider individuals, to thier right to free speech. It also prove how scared they are about losing. Don't they get it, thier importance has faded.

    August 6, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9