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. dean morse

    The GOP continues its march into obscurity with the continued actions by McConnell, Boehner,Cantor, and now Priebus. The Tea Party bought and paid for the freshmen Congressmen who have done absolutely nothing for America, except to continue to divide the voters with lies and misinformation in an effort to prey on the ignorant voters who only believer what they hear, none of it the truth. Yet, the GOP continues the downward spiral, much to my own personal delight.

    August 11, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. jc

    where was his boycott when CNN aired a special on Mitt? Why isn't he upset at the systematically daily brainwashing right wing campaigning supported and aired by Fox? Does this joke of a man think we are all stupid like his followers??

    August 11, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Sinatra

    Priebus do
    esn't care about debates

    August 11, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. el dono

    Check out the book "Dereliction of Duty" by Robert Patterson and the chapter on Hilary, especially the part when she got on the elevator with Bill and the other people in the White House. Frightening. CNN and NBC should not paint a good light on Hillary.

    August 11, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. jc

    @freedom....baaahahahaaaa you were "bullied" by Candy? if you can be bullied by the lady then you are no good. And you call yourself "freedom"? you mean, only when people agree with you right?

    August 11, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. mindstorms1

    Unbelievably stupid. As a life long registered republican I am ashamed of what the GOP has become.

    August 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Sinatra

    Priebes and the GOP don't care about debates as long as they control the state legislatures that are actively suppressing the voting rolls.

    August 11, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. jc

    @Allan...didn't you read the article?? Fox DID get involve with producing the miniseries! And...can you people talk about the people you disagree with without making up names or being disrespectful? This isn't high school you know? How do you expect to turn Independents to your side when you do things like these?

    August 11, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |

    This is switch the public's attention away from loose cannon Rapheal Cruz spilling the beans about the government shutdown plans of the Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potty.

    August 11, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. nilla

    Did I miss something? When did Clinton announce her candidacy?

    August 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Pander Bear

    Oopsy. Tried to stir up another faux outrage controversy and found out your puppet masters are making some dough on the deal, eh Rence? You're making Mike Steele look competent.

    August 11, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Winston5

    This man is an iddiioott!

    August 11, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. mjpalmer24

    So Reince's problem is with the networks that may fork out the cash to have the rights to air any potential Clinton special but NOT the networks that would stand to profit as producers of said Clinton specials?

    Yeah that makes perfect sense....

    August 11, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. lloyd roberts

    Reince Prepuberty needs to read some history on autocratic regimes. They all started with banning speech. I think Reince needs to find his place in the former Soviet Union. Putin is waiting for good commies like you

    August 11, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Pete/Ark

    Hmmm ... has Hillary announced a run for President ? Is she an active candidate ? Is this "Prior Censorship" ? I think this tool is treading on some constitutionally thin ice .

    August 11, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Bassmaster22

    Republicans have debates? I see no difference between any of them so what are they debating about? They all want zero government involvement for businesses and nothing but government for individuals. They hate all immagrants. They think a book written about the sky wizard is the final word on everything. They think gays will ruin marraige but the endless cheating and adultery they commit doesn't.

    I'll probably boycot any station that actually airs the debates.

    August 11, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. ohioan4truth

    Anyone recall what the GOP tried to do right before the Democratic Primaries in 2008 when they were going to air. "Hillary: The Movie", to sway voters from voting for her and the FEC blocked it, thereby setting up the SCOTUS ruling that led to Citizens United and any other Super Pac spending all the money they want to since free speech equals money? Short memories, eh, Republicans? Hypocrites never change their stripes, spots or falsehoods. Reince Priebus = RNC PR BS.

    August 11, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Mike

    It's funny to me an entire political organization is so terrified of one woman's POTENTIAL presidential run they send their lackey to make stupid threats. The far left and the far right do not decide elections in this country, despite what either would have us believe. Elections are decided by moderate democrats, moderate republicans, independents and centrists. Why would Priebus threaten to boycott CNN and NBC, which is seen by millions of potential voters? He won't, he's just trying to use scare tactics and make empty threats. Perhaps when the GOP loses in 2014 and 2016 the Republican party will wake up and shake lose morons like Priebus.

    August 11, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. REality talks

    Sad truth comes out! Republicans talk out of both sides of their mouth. Touting Constitution rights, while sprewing anti constitution threats. Hmmm actions are a better look at their "true" feelings.

    August 11, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. us_1776

    Priebus, you look more like PeeWee Herman every day.


    August 11, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Question

    What kind of name is Reince Priebus? That don't sound Amurricun! I wanna see HIS birth certificate!

    August 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. allenwoll

    Here is the man who wants to keep government out of our lives.
    Can you even imagine what he would propose for us all had he the power to implement it ? ?

    August 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. brian

    Note how Republicans always answer a question with a question. This was one of Nixon's "tricks." They use rhetorical tricks to side-step issues and confuse voters.

    August 11, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  24. Peter

    Is this guy trying to kill the GOP?

    August 11, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. rdbeard

    I wonder what Priebus thought of the TV specials on Sarah Palin that aired when she was still contemplating a run for the presidency. I don't recall any similar complaints about any network airing those specials. I guess the big difference is Palin is a joke and Hillary is a huge threat to win.

    August 11, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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