August 11th, 2013
11:20 AM ET
9 years ago

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

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(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. ST

    Priebus: "It matters who airs Clinton films, not who makes them". How does this man think? Doesn't he think what he has been saying and still saying, he has already promoted Hillary? I can assure him, a lot are very anxious to see what is on those films leave alone him boycotting CNN & NBC.

    August 11, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. labman57

    File this under "a difference without a distinction".
    Once again, Republican hypocrisy rears its ever-present, ugly head.

    August 11, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. onlyfacts

    I can't remember last year when Priebus wanted to boycott all those movie theaters that showed "Obama's America", saying it was just an ad for Romney. I must be getting wasn't that long ago. Typical Republican Hypocrite who thinks we are all as stupid as he is!

    August 11, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Romy Monteyro

    Who cares? Diane Lane is one of my favorite actresses. Too bad I won't see her on this film about Hillary. It will simply be a complete waste of money. I had very little respect for this opportunist and lost all of it after her "what difference does it make" rant in the Senate Benghazi hearing. If the loss of precious American lives doesn't mean anything to her, why should I, an American who loves my country dearly, right or wrong, care about her? Had she been president when the Benghazi took place, do I believe she would have handled it better, or like a real American president would irrespective of party affiliation? In fairness to her, my answer to that is yes, because she is still an American and not an America hater!

    August 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I would think that Comedy Central should host the GOP Primaries. Or maybe the History Channel.

    August 11, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Guest

    Don't be surprised at the liberal media. For yrs they have been unfair and will continue to beat the democrat drum. That's just how they are.

    August 11, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Fubarack

    Let them run it, they claim it is going to be "non-fiction", so it will remind people of all the Clinton crimes.

    August 11, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Atlas Flowers

    Thanks you Rance Priebus for helping to elect Hillary as our next President. The majority of Americans have already boycotted the Republican party, and you're doing zero to reverse that trend. Keep up the good work.

    August 11, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Joe

    He is right. You don't air a show on a single candidate, and then pretend to not be biased.

    August 11, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Lisa

    Same leadership. Same tactics. Same results

    August 11, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Debbie in Arizona

    Well, at this rate, by 2016 the only network that will be allowed, by the Republicans, to air the debates will be FOX. If the Republicans are already worried about the 2016 debates, 3 years from now, imagine their anxiety when it actually gets here. I am already tired of the whining and campaigning by their want to be candidates. I think we should be concentrating on 2014 now, not 2016.

    August 11, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Normhombre

    Jeebus, has the silly season already started? The GOP, whom I see most call themselves "real Americans" has this dimwit Preibus out there making ridiculous claims and threats? What is wrong with these folks? Didn't they learn anything from the last Presidential election? Big Tent indeed. By the way, what kind of name is Reince Preibus? Is he really an American? Where did this knot head come from anyway? All questions that GOP'ers would be asking if her were a Democrat.

    August 11, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Sounds to me as though the Republicans are preparing for a weak 2016 presidential candidate and want slant the debate rules to have someone like Brit Hume or Sean Hannity asking the questions. That would really be fair. If the GOP doesn't get their way they just might take their ball and go home. No debates! Their problem isn't from which company moderates the debates, but the questions from the public in attendance. Rand Paul is apt to get the nomination. Just don't do not think he holds up nationally, but unless Bush gets in, the nomination looks like his.

    August 11, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. MagicPanties

    The GOP is SO-O-O-o-o-o-o scared.
    Too funny.

    August 11, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. bad2worse

    Priebus is a great example of why the republicans are loosing.

    They lost me a long time ago.

    August 11, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Jean Sartre

    Reince Priebus ScrewUSA Maximus is nothing more than a "bully" doing the Koch brothers and Tea Party bidding. After losing the 2012 election, badly, one wonders why he is anywhere near the "leadership."

    It is clear that that the Tea Party and the rest of the subservient GOP is frighten beyond all belief of Hillary...

    August 11, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Fubarack

    Who will play Vince Foster? That girl on Two Broke Girls could be Monica.

    August 11, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. SandeeLou

    OMG, the RNC chairman like Fox news...well, blow me over with a feather!! Who'd have thunk??

    August 11, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Etta Mae

    I'm so tired of the Republican talking points. They're nothing but a bunch of thugs.

    August 11, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. right

    right. Limiting Candy Crowley, Wolf Blitzer, and AC360 from a debate would be the ultimate disservice. To only put a debate on one channel. Why, how would voters ever get to watch it without clicking the remote?

    August 11, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Pat in IL

    Priebus proves once again that he is a tunnel-vision idiot.

    August 11, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Elucidated1

    YOu don't think that the GOP is worried about Hillary do you? Now we have two "Stop Hillary Now" groups a full three years out from the election and now Priebus is advertising for the very person who is going to smoke the GOP. Priceless.

    August 11, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Robyn

    Vote for Freedom,
    Remove Republicans.

    August 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Mark

    Romy, you crack me up. I am sure you were very open to voting for Clinton until her recent 'rant', given you are a raving right-wing birther.

    You do indeed love your country wrong.

    August 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. The Other Bob

    That's it, Priebus, keep digging your party's hole deeper. What a dope.

    August 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
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