Priebus’s Threat: A Good Start

by John Fund

The Hillary Clinton film projects that NBC and CNN are putting together ahead of the 2016 election have incurred the ire of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. On Monday, he wrote both networks saying he would move to prevent them from sponsoring or airing Republican primary presidential debates. I wrote about these Hillary-hagiography projects last week here and here.

Priebus sent letters to Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, saying their plans involved actively “promoting” Hillary’s likely candidacy and was unfair to both Republicans and Democrats who might run against her. He pointedly said that NBC’s announced decision to air its four-hour miniseries biography of Hillary before federal “equal time” rules kick in represents an effort to evade rules designed to prevent networks from favoring one candidate over another.

As for CNN, Priebus wrote about its proposed documentary: “Secretary Clinton has been in the public eye for well over two decades, so you certainly cannot claim that a documentary about her political career is any sort of public service or eye-opening journalism on an unknown individual. Quite the opposite is true: it would be most accurately described as an in-kind donation.”

 Priebus warned that if NBC or CNN don’t agree to pull back their decisions, he “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.”

It’s taken a long time for the RNC to protest the involvement of biased networks in the key primary debates that help determine the GOP nominee for president. This is a promising beginning. 

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