The Republican National Committee made good Friday on its threat to block CNN and NBC from hosting the 2016 Republican primary debates.
According to the Associated Press, the RNC voted unanimously at its summer meeting in Boston to block the two networks over their plans to air projects about former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had made the news rounds last week voicing his threat, but now it’s official.
In a letter to NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt last week, Priebus said, “Out of a sense of fairness and decency and in the interest of the political process and your company’s reputation, I call on you to cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production.”
NBC did not respond to a request for reaction, however, NBC News senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd recently called the prospect of NBC airing a Clinton miniseries a “total nightmare” for NBC News. Though there is no crossover between the entertainment and news divisions, he worried that the appearance of the NBC logo on both would confuse viewers.
CNN reacted with a statement: “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. The CNN broadcast date has not been determined. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. The project is in the very early stages of development, months from completion with most of the reporting and the interviewing still to be done. Therefore, speculation about the final program is just that. We encouraged all interested parties to wait until the program premieres before judgments are made about it. Unfortunately, the RNC was not willing to do that.”
Though she has not publicly declared herself a candidate, it’s widely believed that Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2016.