The Republican National Committee threatened NBC and CNN on Monday over the news that the networks are producing in-depth television programs about Hillary Clinton.
In separate letters to the television companies released Monday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the committee will take steps to make sure Republicans will not partner with the two networks for debates during the 2016 primary season.
“If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I 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,” Priebus said Monday.
NBC Entertainment says it plans to produce a miniseries on the former secretary of state. CNN has announced plans to produce a documentary on Clinton.
In separate letters to Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, Priebus accused both companies of “special treatment” over both potential Republican and Democratic presidential candidates.
“As an American company, you have every right to air programming of your choice. But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election,” Priebus wrote.
In his letter to CNN, Priebus wrote: “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.”
When the NBC miniseries was first announced, NBC News political director Chuck Todd argued it had nothing to do with the company’s news division.
“Just want to get this out of the way now: NBC News has nothing to do w/Clinton mini series on NBC entertainment,” he wrote on Twitter. “So save your complaints.”
But Priebus wrote on Monday that NBC News “cannot purport to be a neutral party in American politics.”
“The credibility of NBC News, already damaged by the partisanship of MSNBC, will be further undermined by the actions of NBC Universal executives who have taken it upon themselves to produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign,” he wrote.
The Daily Caller has reached out to a number of prospective candidates for president for comment on the move.