Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Media Matters Founder Joins RNC Head In Urging NBC and CNN To Dump Clinton Specials

left to right: Priebus, Clinton, and Brock
On August 5th in a response to announcements late last month by NBC and CNN that they would be producing Hillary Clinton-related specials (a miniseries starring Diane Lane and a feature length documentary, respectively), RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called for both networks to put a halt to these programs. If they didn't, Priebus threatened that the GOP would boycott any 2016 presidential debates hosted by the two networks.

Priebus' letter to CNN

Priebus' letter to NBC

Surprisingly, Media Matters founder David Brock wrote letters to NBC and CNN the next day also requesting they cancel their planned Clinton programs. In addition to the story on Brock's pleas to NBC and CNN, the link below also includes the letters he sent to both networks.

David Brock call on NBC and CNN to cancel their Hillary Clinton specials

Although Priebus and Brock want the same result, their motives differ. Priebus feels that NBC and CNN are in the business of promoting Democrats and the Clinton specials would be a boost to Hillary's bid for the 2016 presidency (assuming she runs). Brock believes that the specials could tarnish the reputations of the news divisions of each network (they are being produced by NBC Entertainment and CNN Films, respectively). Brock's other concerns are the potential criticism the networks could face for failing to provide equal time to all potential candidates and for not adopting the right-wing noise machine's ideological view of Hillary.

I disagree with both Priebus and Brock, although I do think the latter's intentions are sincere. Priebus' criticism of NBC and CNN comes off as whiny, especially since it's no secret that the Republican party has its own network. It also makes the GOP look desperate and scared of a potential presidential run by Hillary Clinton. As for Brock, he shouldn't be aiding the GOP and their accusations of liberal bias. I was glad to see that CNN shows no signs of caving to the demands of Priebus.

Priebus' appearance on the CNN program OutFront with Erin Burnett:

Although Ms. Burnett did a good job overall, she let Priebus off the hook by not asking him about the numerous Fox News hosts and contributors who campaigned for the GOP in 2011-2012. At approx. the 6:20 mark, Ms. Burnett gets ready to ask Priebus a Fox-related question. However, he seemed to anticipate a tough question and cut her off in what appeared to be an effort to run out the clock. Although it's not the one I would have asked, the question about Fox that Ms. Burnett asked near the end was a good one.

Priebus' appearance on Hannity:

Both Priebus and Hannity were in typical form. In their eyes, if you're a member of the news media and not demonizing liberals or giving every break to the GOP, it makes you liberal by definition. Also, they're still blaming the so-called liberal media for the damage the debates did to the GOP brand. So much for the conservative's belief in personal responsibility. Towards the end, Priebus discusses plans for the GOP to select the debate moderators themselves. Priebus' stance against the so-called liberal media no doubt plays well with the GOP base. However, in addition to the aforementioned "whiny" and "desperate", I think Priebus' latest moves make him and the GOP look weak as well. 
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