The Republican National Committee, responding to plans by two television networks to air programs about Hillary Rodham Clinton, approved a resolution Friday to block CNN and NBC from hosting the party's presidential primary debates.
The unanimous vote affirmed RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s threat against the networks if they went ahead with programs about Clinton, the former secretary of state a possible 2016 Democratic presidential contender. Priebus said CNN has “an obvious bias.”
“That’s a network that won’t be hosting a single Republican primary debate,” Priebus declared, receiving a standing ovation from Republican activists from across the country gathered for the committee's summer meeting in Boston.
In a statement, CNN said a division of the company planned to air a documentary about Clinton in 2014.
“The project is in the very early stages of development, months from completion,” the CNN statement read. “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.”
Meanwhile, the Fox TV Studios has decided not to help produce NBC’s “Hillary” miniseries, said Leslie Oren, the company’s spokeswoman. Fox’s participation attracted attention because it is owned by News Corp. and is a sister company to the Fox News Channel, where the project has come under attack from commentators.
The studio’s decision adds to the already considerable doubt within NBC that the miniseries will ever get made.
The NBC entertainment division’s decision to go ahead with the project was made without consultation with NBC’s news division. Some NBC News people, including political director Chuck Todd and Washington reporter Andrea Mitchell, have attacked the idea as something that would make life difficult for the news division.