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. Alan Tindell

    If Fox was actually going to produce a movie about Billary can you imagine how enraged the Left would be? No doubt we'd be getting a warts and all story about the inner workings of the Clinton marriage since Billary's own accomplishments are essentially zero. No significant legislation as a Senator, failed presidential campaign and logging millions of jet miles accomplishing almost nothing as Sec. of State. Her greatest claim to fame is putting up with her horndog husband. That's not the story Billary, et al want portrayed in a movie.

    August 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Jeffrey Cox

    That's like saying, "we're going to go after the stores that sell cigarettes – we really don't care about the tobacco companies."

    Yet more hypocrisy from the Republican party.

    August 11, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. GlennNM

    Ha Ha! What a joke! Of course he's not going to hold it against Faux, they're the G.O.P.'s media mouthpiece and the only ones STILL trying to keep people like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich relevant, and the only ones STILL trying to keep all of the faux "scandals" in the news.

    August 11, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. Richard

    This is exactly why the Republicans may never win the office of President again.

    August 11, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. A traveler

    Given the GOP debates in the last election cycle they would be better off booking Honey Boo Boo.

    August 11, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Bob

    Prince Reibus really needs to get a clue. And the GOP needs to fire Prince Riebus before it's too late.

    August 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. freedom

    In other words, Candy, we won't be bullied by the likes of you, and the democrat party – again.

    August 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Erwin A. Leslie

    If Priebus tries to blacklist NBC and CNN, all other networks should blacklist the Republican debates.

    August 11, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. luzzionz2013

    so if you promote a Presidential candidate that's a no GO.. Prieb is going to be sooo disappointed Fox promoted Palin, Newt, Santorum and Cane just 2 name a few.. damn where will he go for an unfair and unbalanced channel for his debates.. cough (asshat)

    August 11, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. livingston

    He just doesn't get it.What a hypocrite, I thought the GOP was against censorship. Oh, I see, censorship is fine as long as they do it. I probably wouldn't have watched the films but now I will. I will also write letters of support to the stations and the sponsors for standing up to the bully's that are against anything that doesn't march in goose-step with their party line. Seems to me that the terror that they are starting to feel over losing America's respect is starting to make them panic. You now look weak as dishwater. Sad little people, don't you know behaving like fools only makes you look worse?

    August 11, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Bill Davis

    Another GOP liar caught being a hypocrit. I'm not mad at Fox for producing it but I'm outraged tat NBC would air it. Republicans have no principles.

    August 11, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. FormerTeaPartyPerson

    I am a former member of the GOP. Myself and my friends are leaving the party we love so much in droves, because of hypocrisy like this! Because of the GOP's stance on Obamacare, immigration, and the House's lack of compromise; the GOP is assuring that the Dems will keep the Senate and win the House in 2014.

    August 11, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. ronjayaz

    Priebus reminds me of the Republican candidate that was flipping pancakes and fell off the back of the stage while politicking. This is just another gaffe from the Republicants that they just don't get it. Stifling freedom of speech doesn't sound very democratic to me & openly blackmailing companies who show what they think is offensive is the height of ridiculousness. Haven't they ever heard the demand for equal time. The fact is the Republicants have no one YET. They're unprepared. If anything they've given the series tremendous free publicity. More shoe-in-foot-mouth disease.

    August 11, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Mark

    Let me get this straight – it is perfectly OK for Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck to write, film and edit the script as long as they do not use it on their programs. This guy is a total and complete idiot.

    August 11, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. SilverHair

    Go ahead and stay off CNN and NBC – at least there will be somewhere without the neocon push.

    August 11, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. LudwigVanB

    The way the republican debates went last time around, I wonder if Priebus would prefer that no one saw any of them.

    August 11, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Jul

    What happened to the uproar over that pesky first amendment...wink wink

    August 11, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. savagerr

    it sucks. the republicans are irrelevant to the times we live in, do not look out for the welfare of the people, and the democrats will run the country into the ground by doing just that. somehow, things are just not looking great for the country as a whole regardless who takes the reins.

    August 11, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Tommy

    There's no doubt our democracy is for sale to the highest bidder. Does anyone believe the founders were talking about global companies buying the press and pushing their fondest agendas at the cable/megawatt level? Could it be that "free press" doesn't exactly mean capitalistic press. Could it be that it means free to say what they want as long as it is for the "WE THE PEOPLE"? Could it be that the founders would support a publicly funded press, operating in the PEOPLE'S best interest over.........?

    August 11, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Hector Slagg

    Of course,
    Air Hillary, Nominate Hillary, Elect Hillary. Now who in his right mind wants to stop the headlong slide into complete dsiaster and a re-visit to the 1930's. Forget thet we are nearly 17 Trillion dollars in debt, not only is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security running out of money, AND no money to fund Obama Care, jobs are going to part time. Go adead. Stick your head in the sand. Maybe all those problems will just dissapear, no?

    August 11, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. DFW Dann

    I get the idea Preibus has decided the best way to save his job is to ensure that the Republican Party alienates everyone but the hardcore, my-way-or-the-highway conservatives. Get the others to leave the party and what's left will be solidly behind you.

    August 11, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. some dude

    It's amazing that they want to censor a film before the content is even known. What if it portrays Clinton as a complex individual with strengths and foibles, as accurately and objectively as possible. I guess we can't have that.

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

    Priebus only says what he is told to say. He is a mouthpiece, and he was told not to say explicitely, "No, we will not boycott Fox if they produce the show, but we will boycott CNN if they air the show," but that is the situation. Of course they aren't going to boycott Fox, and of course Fox will continue to promote right-wing candidates.

    The American people should be really concerned about the link between the ultra-wealthy powerful people and news conglomerants. We now get only the news that these world-wide powerful people want us to see, and that, even more than the reports of the government spying on our telephone calls, should have us very worried.

    August 11, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. billleesbrain

    What a clown. Fail yet again.

    August 11, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. disaster containment services Inc.

    well if this does not slap you all upside of your face and wake you up about how this fake two party system works using the hagellian dialectic method to divide and conqure the American public into falling into lockstep with the powerfull global corporate banking cartel and their well endowed military industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about.,
    The media as we know it is run by the same limited groups who run everything else and enslave us to them using this complex shadowy world of world governance and military police thugary that enforces the wants and needs of the giant global corporate banking cartel.

    August 11, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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