Reince Priebus: RNC Vote Final, Will Ban NBC And CNN From 2016 Debates

Reince Preibus and RNC vote to boycott TV networks and not air GOP primary debates in 2016

In a move that resulted in a vote to ban NBC and CNN from airing 2016 GOP primary debates, RNC chair Reince Priebus has once again driven the clown car over the Cliffs of Lunacy and into the Ocean of Futility. All those faint screams you hear far off in the distance are what is left of the Republican Presidential hopefuls as they scramble to keep afloat.

The possibility of an unauthorized Hillary Clinton documentary or miniseries produced by different networks has caused Reince Priebus’s panties to become knotted and twisted. Last week, Priebus sent two-page letters to both NBC and CNN threatening to pull all Republican officials from the networks, as well as the campaign debates and primaries themselves if they do not abandon plans to air programs about Hillary Clinton. It was a threat that was apparently not taken seriously by either network, although CNN publicly responded in a statement and pointed out the fallibility of the apparent threat.

CNN stated:

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.

In the week that followed, Reince Priebus doubled down on his threats as he made several appearances on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC and complained of “liberal media bias.” That led to a CNN appearance this past Sunday with host Candy Crowley. Referring to an article in The New York Times from two days prior, Crowley pointed out that FOX was apparently entering into the production deal with NBC to produce the possible miniseries of Hillary Clinton. Crowley questioned the logic of boycotting CNN and NBC when FOX was also partnering in the same production, and asked if Priebus also intended to boycott FOX.

Priebus replied:

I’m not going to boycott Diane Lane [for playing Hillary Clinton]! It’s not her fault she decided to take a script. I’m not going to boycott the food trucks that service all of the same companies. Candy, some researcher at CNN or NBC worked for a few days to find some little connection somewhere down the road to bring something into this debate. I think it’s totally ridiculous and stupid.

What is absolutely amazing is the blatant hypocrisy of his claims. Reince Priebus expects the entire public to somehow claim amnesia of the 2008 film concerning Hillary Clinton produced by right-wing lobby group Citizens United. The lawsuit that sparked from that movie is what led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2010 which now allows essentially unlimited contributions by corporations and unions to political action committees (Super PACs). It was that decision that most people remember as “corporations are people.”

Whatever his claims, Reince Priebus has officially made good on his threats to the networks. This morning, top leaders in the RNC voted unanimously on a resolution to disallow any partnership with the networks and to withdraw from any primary debates they plan to sponsor or broadcast. Since networks normally partner with state party officials for those debates in order to draw candidates to specific networks for coverage, sponsorship for those networks could drop overall if networks are unable to cover any of the debates.

NBC’s Frank Thorp posted a full text of the resolution via Twitter, which you can read here.

The ban also extends to Spanish-language divisions of the networks, such as CNN en Espanol and Telemundo. That leaves only one major Spanish-Language network, Univision, to cover the Republicans through the primaries and presidential debates. If you are not already trying to catch your breath or wipe the tears from your eyes from laughing hysterically, let me explain why this was such a stupid move.

Univision is a very large network in any language, but moreover, through Spanish television’s leading Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos, it is a network that has made a dedication for a number of Latino concerns, such as immigration reform. For years, Univision has been in a political war with Republicans over immigration, Latino rights and discrimination, and a number of racist comments made by Republican politicians. There have been boycotts and bans going back and forth between the Univision network and Republican Party for a very long time.

Does anyone else remember what happened last year when Mitt Romney appeared on the Univision network to appeal to the Latino-American audience?? I certainly do.

romney duo

During opening remarks of the RNC Summer Meeting, Reince Priebus made the following statement (for a full transcript of his remarks, click here):

We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other outlets. We’ll still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors? networks.

Members of the DNC have attempted to raise concerns of their own about Reince Priebus’s decision out of concern for the voters, but the concerns have obviously fallen on deaf ears. Top aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, Eric Fehrnstrom, called the decision “bad optics” and “a loser’s game.”

DNC press secretary Michael Czin said in a statement:

It seems that Republicans don’t get it. If they truly want to connect with a broader audience, they need an agenda that fights for the middle class and is inclusive. Sadly, it appears that with today’s vote, their approach is to actually speak to even fewer voters.

Whatever the reasoning in the decision led by Reince Priebus, this is just more evidence that the Sanity Train of the Republican Party has once again derailed, left the tracks, and is now circling in flight somewhere over Area 51. Earlier this week Republicans were already discussing which moderators should handle the debates that would be televised on FOX News, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Recently, both were dropped from radio network Cumulus. Rush Limbaugh turned them down.

How is this for an idea?? We hold all of the debates at FOX News as Reince Priebus wants, but the moderators get to be Sandra Fluke, Megyn Kelley, and Anderson Cooper. It’s just a thought, but that seems a little more “fair and balanced.”

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Edited by: SB

"...And so I say to all of you here and to all in the nation tonight that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future. This great rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all--all, black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are our enemies, not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too--poverty, disease and ignorance--we shall overcome." ~excerpt from speech by President Lyndon B Johnson, given two days after the start of the Selma Marches in an event that became known as Bloody Sunday.


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