The Republican National Committee is upset about a couple of TV projects that are in the works, and has threatened action against both NBC and CNN unless the projects are pulled, CBS News reports.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus sent letters to the two networks today warning that the RNC will not partner with them on presidential debates during the 2016 election cycle unless they "pull the plug on recently announced documentary programs about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," the story reports.
"Last month, NBC said it would air a four-hour miniseries about the former first lady and top-seeded contender for the Democratic nomination titled, ‘Hillary'; days later, CNN Films announced its intent to produce a documentary about her. In separate letters to NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN President Jeff Zucker, Priebus called each documentary a ‘thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election,’" the piece reports.
In the letters, Priebus wrote: "This special treatment is unfair to the candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016 who might compete against Secretary Clinton." He specifically named Vice President Joe Biden, Govs. Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo and John Hickenlooper, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the piece reports.
The report adds: "’Should Clinton compete in the general election,’ he continued, their programs could also disadvantage the GOP nominee."
In a statement, Priebus said: "It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives. 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."
The report adds: "Priebus also pointed out the hoopla among Democrats in 2008, when the conservative group Citizens United planned to air a pay-per-view documentary about Clinton on election eve. ‘And yet they’re conspicuously silent now that a major news network will launch a documentary of its own. They must trust that you’re doing her a favor,’ he wrote."
Priebus reportedly attached a nine-day deadline to his demand.
In his statement, he wrote: "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."
NBC and CNN had not yet responded to the action, the piece notes.