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. vidal808

    Too bad Prieb – you want have a Republican President for a looooong time to come.....Go Hillary, Go... 🙂

    August 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. sammy750

    Doe Priebus think anyone want to listen to a Republican debate, It the same old social issues of 20 years ago. Nothing new, no jobs agenda, Just trash the voters and suppress the votes, that is the Republican way. Ignore Republicans.

    August 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. berre

    there is figuratively nothing that comes out of this human beings mouth that has even a shred of truth to it. i wouldnt trust this guy to walk my dog

    August 11, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Name what next

    I agree with the boycots. if you do a documentary, do the whole life, and point out all the crap the Clintons did, and include all the people they threw under the bus during their administrationand before while they were lawyers.

    August 11, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  5. storkman

    Poor little Rented Prius can't seem to keep a grasp on his silly TV campaign. If the GOP succeed at blocking this what's next? How many other shows will be forced off the air at the behest of these zealots?

    August 11, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Dave Harris

    Prince Rebus has already made a fool of himself over this. You'd think he'd be smart enough to just keep his mouth shut at this point. Nobody who's not a Fox 'ditto-head' has any interest in watching Republicans anyway.

    August 11, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Republican newpeak at its best. You can't make these thing up, Republicans are masters of the political spin.

    August 11, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. leah

    LOL @ GOP!!!!!

    August 11, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. M. Edward Triefler

    It so hard to take a guy whose name is Reince Priebus seriously, what were his parents thinking; let’s pick a name that’s sure to get the school yard bullies attention. Well as an ‘adult’, he has my attention, not because I’m a bully, because he says and does the stupidest things. He has single handedly created more buzz and anticipation about a movie or mini-series, yet to be made, than ten million bucks could buy. His pettiness and treats to NBC and CNN will do nothing but make a film about Hillary a must watch. Really, what do his treats mean, absolutely nothing, neither channel will be allowed to telecast the Republican Debates? I wonder how much money the Networks will lose, oh, wait the Debates don’t have commercial breaks and who cares to watch a bunch of wannabe the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, or (please no) Donald Trump spout off their talking points, i.e., nine, nine, nine, and that’s assuming they can remember the talking points, ala Rick Perry. Bottom line is the Parties are the ones that want the debates the Networks could care less.

    August 11, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. John

    This guy is a zero

    August 11, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. kahuna

    Uh, Priebus, You're party is always screaming about the First amendment yet you're trying to take that away from broadcast networks that don't kowtow to the GOP. Two words for you and it's not happy birthday.

    August 11, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. A Kickin' Donkey

    The Republican party tried to intimidate the NFL into not participating in PSAs about Obamacare and now they want to itimidate broadcasters to get their way in censorship. If the GOP limits itself to Fox viewers, then it limits itself to pro-Tea Party, pro-Rightwing-zealot voters. This eliminates ANY SHOT at winning national elections so I say, go ahead with your EMPTY threat Rience. Your tenure has already been characterized by NATIONAL FAILURE. Instead or worrying about a TV profile lifting HRC Rience would be smatter to eliminate the type of GOP candidates that are a national EMBARASSMENT to the GOP. Oh, and doesn'"t the GOP owe CNN one for those pro-_Romney profiles they ran a year ago?

    August 11, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. CTed

    The networks really shouldn't do this. It does mess with the election cycle and they could wait until after 2016. However that being said, Fox News put Palin, Gingrich, etc on their air prior to 2012 which kept them "relevant" they have nothing to complain about

    August 11, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Fish

    Just like his party no plan, nothing but empty crap and blubbering. If he doesn't like a movie about Hillary would he like one about Romney, Do they have anti-yawning medication???

    August 11, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. teacher

    Priebus must think he is as powerful as Wayne LaPierre thinks he is. The NRA uses bullying tactics so Priebus thinks what works for them would work for the GOP. With this attitude there will never be another Republican president – Yea!

    August 11, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. teacher

    Why do Repubs like Romy continue to misinterpret what Hillary said. She said "What does it matter now," to a idiot GOP senator who asked her an irrelevant question, but you idiots say that she meant the deaths of 4 people do not matter. Why must you always twist things around so that you think your side is right. That's what Fox News commentators (entertainers) do so well. They should be made to tell the truth or get off the air waves. I suppose, Romy, that you are also a birther and walk in Donald Trump's footsteps. All this ridiculous lying and false inuendos only show your ignorance.

    August 11, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. mightyduk

    More childish actions by the GOP.

    August 11, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. MaryM

    so what is Mr, Priebus, saying. He is saying he has Nothing. No Ideas, No viable candidate, No Nothing.
    Well Maybe Christi, but the GOPers don't like Christi

    August 11, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. g

    they only want movies made about Jesus or Reagan or have both in one walking on water ,the other walking with his friends to the bank

    August 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. king

    its amazing how these repubs can play the underdog card.they are the white males of this country that owns and controls everything in America. how the hell a party of blacks, imigrants, women holiwood actors, and msnbc, can compete with such a Goliath. fox, cnbc, fox business news, and 20 to one repubs radio talk shows spin their power to make it seems a bunch of minorities has it, huh!!!

    August 11, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Is this like the 'no new taxes pledge, no matter what' stupidity? I mean, if they air a show on Clinton and it looks really super bad for Clinton and basically drops her out of the race, will Mr. Priebus still boycott? What silliness.

    August 11, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Ram Lakshmanan

    It is pretty clear that logic and reasoning are not Reince's strong points. 🙂 Reince and reuse ... or rather, refuse! LOL.

    August 11, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Winston Smith

    Censorship. It's the goal of the republican(s), and the entire republican party to preach smaller government but at the same time control every aspect of your life. If you have a lucid moment they want to know about it. Their goal is control.

    August 11, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    With this, the GOP leadership is handing the 2016 presidential election to the dems. They are essentially saying that the only voters they are interested in reaching are the ones who watch Fox. They are granting the dems permission to define their agenda, their platform, and their mis-steps.

    August 11, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    They through Michael Steele out in favor of this little clown?

    August 11, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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