Should CNN and NBC pull Clinton shows?

“The Republican National Committee charged Monday that NBC and CNN are promoting a potential presidential candidacy by Hillary Rodham Clinton, threatening to blackball them from future GOP primary debates if they air upcoming programs on the former secretary of state,” writes AP reporter Ken Thomas.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus called a planned NBC miniseries on Clinton and a CNN documentary on the first lady an “extended commercial” for a future Clinton presidential campaign. In separate letters to the networks, he urged them to cancel “this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production.”

Clinton has not yet said whether she’ll run for president again in 2016 but her future remains the subject of wide speculation in political circles and beyond. The primary debates typically provide a ratings boost for the networks and are highly-coveted as the presidential campaign unfolds.

In making the charge, the RNC was raising a common complaint among Republican activists that news and entertainment industries favor Democratic candidates. Republicans have also used a potential Clinton campaign as a fundraising tool in recent months as both parties begin to assess the crop of candidates to succeed President Barack Obama.

CNN Films is planning a feature-length documentary film on the former first lady, looking at her professional and personal life. It will be led by Oscar-winning director and producer Charles Ferguson and is expected to air in 2014.

NBC has announced a miniseries called “Hillary,” starring actress Diane Lane. No air date has been announced but it is timed to be released before the 2016 presidential election. NBC has said the four-hour miniseries will follow Clinton’s life and career from 1998 to the present.

Richard Licata, an NBC Entertainment spokesman, declined comment on the request and referred calls to NBC News, which said in a statement that it “is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project.”

CNN said in a statement that “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,” CNN said.

Today’s Question: Should CNN and NBC pull Clinton shows?

  • el jefe

    really liking this design a lot better with this perspective!

  • Larry Sanderson

    Oh yes! My gosh! We should always respond to terrorist demands!

    • Pearly

      I see what you did their comparing the RNC to terrorist. Very clever! “Lean Forward” Larry.

      • Sue de Nim

        You’re right. There’s a big difference between the RNC and a terrorist organization: you can negotiate with terrorists.

  • reggie

    Unlike Reince Priebus, Hillary Clinton has been a public figure and accomplished much over a long career. Regardless of what she may or may not do in the future, she is an eminently worthy subject for a film. What storyteller wouldn’t want the kind of material her life and career provides? I think the Repub reaction is simply jealousy: their alpha females are worthy fodder only for Saturday Night Live.

  • Sue de Nim

    No. I’m tired of the GOP’s use of manufactured outrage over such things. If these shows turn out to be puff pieces, they’ll end up hurting Clinton’s electability when the rebuttals come out (not to mention undermining the credibility of the media). More likely, they’ll try to show the complexity of her character, “warts and all.”

  • Tim

    MSNBC and NBC always support the DFL. It makes them irrelevant as a source of news. CNN has been working hard to become a news source – this seems to move them away from that goal.

  • John O.

    Would the Democrats do the same if Fox was considering airing a biography of Marco Rubio at a future date?

    • kevins

      why do a serious piece of journalism..he will only show up on Fox anyway. That makes it free to him and money for them with no ethical issues. Sweet. But consider the source.

  • Yes, because Hillary Clinton is a beautiful person with a fascinating history that billions of people want to know more about.

  • PaulJ

    There is no sense in pulling a Clinton that might be interesting in favor of those worthless “sound bite” debates.

  • david

    Do they still have the equal time thing? If so is there an empty suit that could possibly fill four hours? Newt has done enough creepy stuff to make an interesting story.

  • Sarah

    Yes! Political interests should NOT dictate television programming. Regardless of the fact that Hillary Clinton is a prominent figure in recent U.S. history, network programming choices should be made by the network based on viewers’ interests. Political parties should remain entirely uninvolved lest we wish to move toward state-run TV.

    • Sarah

      Oops – thought the question was “should they still SHOW” the programs. Should they pull the programs? NO!

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    There’s no coincidence this miniseries is a pretty heavy handed piece of propaganda, a not so subtle way for us to get to know Hillary. NBC is free to do what it wants, and as a republican, I do not want to encroach on freedom of speech rights. Sooner or later, maybe not in 2016, our country’s financial situation will bring us back to the right. For now, I’ll just patiently wait.

    • JQP

      I would argue that nearly all of what we call news is, functionally, propoganda. There is no pure news organization – one that investigates, tracks or simply “finds” anything and everything and then publishes the raw unvarnished content. If it weren’t for cell-phone cameras, the internet and individuals posting … you can bet your nightly news would be all giggles and smiles … until Armegeddon hits ( locally ) and some bubble head tells you .. “you heard it here first”

      General Electric owns NBC and the news division clearly ceased looking into any corporate “mis-deeds” and began its life as giant news reading service until wars and terrorism provided them a “safe” go to bogey to blame bad things on.

  • Okay then

    I think it rather funny that it would even matter. If the only place anyone gets their information for who they want to represent them in government is television, then they will get what the talking heads allow them to receive.
    Pull the shows? It,s TV. It’s ALL entertainment. I say air the shows and then I would tell FOX to hurry up and pull together a Rand Paul miniseries. Then the people who care about it can be even.

  • Gary F

    NBC/CNN can run what ever they want. And the National Republican Party can choose not to have them for a debate.

    I don’t see the bid deal. Is NBC/CNN owed a debate? I don’t think so.

    Good for the RNC. No big deal, move on.

    I guess this needs to be drummed up as a news story so not to talk about Benghazi.

    • Pearly

      To quote former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
      ‘What difference, at this point, does it make?

    • david

      That’s cute. The rnc is making up a scandal over a TV show, and it’s a scandal to distract from another rnc scandal du jour.

      • Gary F

        You mean Anthony Wiener? Or the Mayor of San Diego? Or Detroit? Or why has CNN talked to US employees at the Benghazi consulate but the government’s investigators haven’t? Or Chicago’s gun problem? Or sending arms to Syria? Egypt? Snowden?

        • Pearly

          That must be the “phony scandals” the President was talking about last mounth.

          • KTN

            You must mean things like the IRS non-scandal, which has now been completely discredited, but the right just cannot accept facts (unless of course those facts are made up by them or by Faux News).

          • James

            Where have you been getting your news and what has been discredited?

          • KTN

            National Review Online, The Heritage Foundation, and, oh wait, those are the groups that perpetrate the lies.

            Here is a good Bloomberg article


            Here is a good read from that leftist Washington Post (Ezra Klein).


            Another from Salon


            and on and on.

          • James

            Each of your links is focused on the IRS scandal – 2 from May and one from June. None of the other scandals are addressed, but let’s look at the IRS scandal. Your articles claim that the IRS also looked at left leaning groups. That much is partially true, as far as it goes, but it’s a half-truth – the blackest of lies.

            100% of all groups with names containing the words “tea party”, “patriot”, or “9-12” were given extra scrutiny, were asked three times as many questions on average, including who are your Facebook friends, what are the contents of your prayers, and other across the line items.

            The IRS scandal isn’t dead. It’s been tied to the Federal Election Commission, as reported by CNN, who I wouldn’t normally cite, but being as you’re so generous as to give me a WaPo cite…


          • KTN

            “100% of all groups with names containing the words “tea party”,
            “patriot”, or “9-12″ were given extra scrutiny, were asked three times
            as many questions on average…”

            Right, and how many were denied their nonprofit status?
            The correct answer is none, well except for the single organization that was actually denied their tax status, and guess what, its a progressive group – imagine that.

            I realize that Darrell Issa (Mr. Grand Theft Auto), is continuing his pursuit, but it is a fools errand – but plays well with the rabid base.

          • James

            The correct answer is none, but again, you answer with a half-truth. How many were approved? Of the 104 applications, 48 were approved. The other 56 were either pending or withdrawn as of May 31.

          • KTN

            You act as though those pending or withdrawn all have legitimate claims to be tax exempt. Many of these organizations on both sides of the spectrum are not the familiar 501c(3), but c(4)’s and those play by different rules. The 501 c(4) is the black hole where the charter is supposed to be a social welfare advocate, but donations to political groups is okay, as is lobbying for or against policy. Donations to these groups is not tax deductible

            If a Tea Party group wanted to act as a political group, they would not qualify for 501c(3) status, but instead as a 501c(4).

          • Pearly

            Lol. Case colsed

        • david

          Yep, guess so. And whatever other thing you can dwell on constantly to feed your hatred and partisanship. There’s no way this stuff could be a distraction to make sure nothing useful gets accomplished. Well nothing more useful then getting one group of shills elected over the other group of shills.

        • JQP

          More like the internal structural battle the RNC says wasn’t happening but … clearly is.

          As those exiting the elevator might tell you …. “Clearly it was SILENT, but … the other evidence was incontrovertibly DEADLY.”

  • JQP

    It really doesn’t matter. “Big TV” – both broadcast and cable/sattellite – News Media systems … are corporate managed shills whose only purpose is to sell advertising. News is like… 5th on the list.

  • WJH

    Absolutely not!! GOP should stop whining and do something for the middle class in DC.

  • Ralfy

    I would hope the Hillary Clinton profiles are factual and not dramatized propaganda packed full of misrepresentations (see “Path to 9/11”). Whether Hillary Clinton is a candidate or not, she is an important figure in modern American history and worthy of having an accurate film shown about her. I find it interesting that the RNC immediately assumed that the presentation will be biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. I seems that if it’s not on Fox, and they can’t control the message, the RNC assumes the worst and hits the threat button. If the RNC pulls the debates from NBC and CNN, the message to voters is that the Republican debates are not news, but rather “Info-tainment”. I’m sure that NBC and CNN will come up with something to fill the air space – perhaps a re-broadcast of their Hillary Clinton films?

  • gary

    GOP must really be scared, going to this extreme….

    • Gary F

      What’s more funny is the response from the left.

      • KTN

        What response is that. It appears that the machinations are coming solely from the right – what with the RNC’s call to act like little children and threaten to not participate in the debates. Such integrity.

  • david

    I wonder if NBC and CNN will show a little more integrity then PBS who has taken to pull anything critical of their corporate overlord… I mean sponsor david koch.

  • Jeff

    This is sort of a non-story…politics playing out in the newsrooms? GOP is entitled to their opinion as a private group as well as CNN and NBC can run anything they want…I just wish the idea that news organizations are not biased could be eliminated. Just tell us your biases up front, each anchor/editor should explain their political viewpoints on their respective news websites.

  • Dang

    Diane Lane is way too pretty to play that hag.

  • Andre

    Why not do a show about an interesting potential Republican candidate if you can find one. The news stations would like wimps f they do not air the show. A grate candidate would make an interesting show and I look forward to viewing a documentary about Hilary Clinton.

  • cindy

    NO-this still a free country right?? who is intimidated here?

  • Jeff

    They should tell the GOP not just no but “HELL NO”.
    Interestingly, wasn’t the whole “Citizens United” flap started by promotional adverts run by the GOP’s far right wing owners that lied and defamed Mrs. Clinton in alleged “support” of a movie financed by one of their hate groups?

  • Laurahh

    Hillary has been the most admired woman in the world for the last 17 years in a row.She is a super smart, nice and interesting woman who inspires women everywhere.We want to watch her tv series and her documentary; she’s just great! HILLARY 2016!

  • cemell2888

    I’m not worried about any of this RNC hogwash. Hillary Clinton has got the 2016 presidential election in the bag. The Republicans can stop huffin’ and puffin’ and start getting use to the 2nd great President Clinton. I’m ready for Hillary 2016!