The Republican National Committee voted today to ban the television networks NBC and CNN from hosting GOP presidential primary debates in 2016, TheWrap.com reports. The move keeps up GOP pressure on the networks in response to their plans to air programming focused on Hillary Clinton.
“The media overplayed their hand this time," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "It was so obvious even liberals saw it. And some reporters at CNN and NBC are upset at the Democrat donors in their companies who made the decision to run these Clinton promos."
TheWrap reports: "The RNC’s vote at the party’s Summer Meeting in Boston bars the party or its officials from either partnering or sanctioning debates with either network. The party made good on its threats to do so if the networks didn’t reverse course. Priebus says the networks are giving Clinton, a potential 2016 Democratic candidate, an unfair boost over Republican candidates. He has used the issue to rally the GOP base by returning to a familiar theme: The media is biased against Republicans."
Priebus added: “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other outlets. We’ll still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors’ networks."
As previously reported, Preibus sent a letter earlier this month to NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN President Jeff Zucker in which he threatened to boycott the networks if they moved forward with the Clinton projects. The networks responded by saying the RNC’s concerns were "premature."
In his letter, Priebus wrote: “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."
TheWrap adds: "Part of the effort was a petition drive targeting the two networks. The party also offered its own ‘four part mini-series,’ entitled, ‘Will the Hillary Films Include…’ Each video in the series included a press release and an ad on the RNC’s website."
The story also notes: "Plans for the series caused some internal debate at NBC. While NBC News issued a statement saying it was separate from NBC entertainment, both Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell on the news side have questioned the wisdom of the miniseries. NBC has talked with Fox about producing the series."