Pushing Back Against CNN & NBC’s Hillary Propaganda

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


gop-chairman-goes-there-reince-priebus-calls-harry-reid-a-dirty-liar-video-620x422Yesterday, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus sent letters to NBC and CNN, warning them that if they continue to pursue their announced plans to produce movies about the life of Hillary Clinton, “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 wrote.

In one letter sent to Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and another sent to Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, Priebus expressed his “deep disappointment” in NBC’s intention to produce a mini-series, and CNN’s intention to produced a feature film “ahead of (Clinton’s) likely candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.”

He further insisted that both networks’ credibility will be damaged by their intention to “produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.”

The chairmen of the Republican parties in Iowa and South Carolina, where a number of Republican debates have been held in the past, applauded Priebus’s efforts, further contending that they would have support from others within the ranks of the RNC. Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker released a statement saying his organization “looks forward to helping the RNC start a new chapter in how Republicans across the country stand up to a biased media.”

The RNC has also initiated a petition drive, noting that the networks’ efforts amount to a “thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election.”

Priebus emphasized the hypocrisy of Democrats who complained when conservative political group Citizens United planned to air “Hillary, the Movie,” a video-on-demand documentary about Clinton before the Democratic primaries in 2008. That move was initially blocked by the federal government, when courts ruled it violated the provision of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law regarding campaign financing spending limits. In 2010, the Supreme Court overturned those rulings in the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. Members of the Clinton administration also voiced their complaints about a 2006 miniseries “The Path to 9/11″ that was eventually aired by ABC after the network altered it in response to those complaints.

Some Clinton movies are more equal than others.

Both CNN and NBC have yet to officially comment on the RNC’s demand, but political director Chuck Todd tweeted that NBC’s news division had “nothing to do” with the NBC Entertainment project, and CNN spokesperson Allison Gollust told Politico that “CNN’s editorial side has no role in the production of the film, just as it has no role in any of the films produced or acquired by CNN Films.”

Priebus wasn’t buying it. “It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives,” he said in a statement. “Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment.”

The amount of those donations were outlined in Priebus’s letters. In the letter sent to NBC, Priebus said that the network, including Comcast, its parent company, have been “generous supporters of Democrats and Secretary Clinton.” Priebus noted that Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen raised over $1.4 million for Obama’s reelection campaign, and held a fundraiser for the president. Comcast employees also contributed $522,996 to Obama and $161,640 to Clinton’s previous campaigns. In his letter to CNN, he contended the upcoming film itself constituted an “in-kind donation” to Clinton’s political campaign, noting that her “two decades in the public eye” undermined the notion that a documentary about her political career “is any sort of public service, or eye-opening journalism on an unknown individual.”

Former Obama advisor David Plouffe mocked the RNC’s demand in on his Twitter account. “Better RNC debate plan. Held in hermetically sealed Fox studio. Avoid exposing swing voters to Crazy S*#t My Nominee Says,” it said. That would be the same David Plouffe who managed to largely avoid the kind of media exposure he should have received for taking a $100,000 speaking fee in 2010 from a company doing business with Iran, about a month before he joined the White House staff.

Moreover, Plouffe has a conveniently short memory. If there is anyone who has benefitted from a hermetically sealed media bubble, it was Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential debates. Due to the RNC’s spinelessness, the three debates were moderated by three dedicated leftists, including PBS’s Jim Lehrer, CNN’s Candy Crowley, and CBS’s Bob Schieffer. In the second debate, Crowley sealed Obama off from his lie that he had called Benghazi a terror attack from the beginning, a claim debunked by Obama himself on more than one occasion, and most notably during his speech at the United Nations of September 25, 2012, when he once again referred to the violence being sparked by a “crude and disgusting video.” Crowley subsequently admitted she had erred, but the damage had already been done. Furthermore, in all three debates Obama got more time to speak than Romney did.

Thus, Priebus has undertaken an effort, early as it is, to alter that far-too-familiar media trajectory. Yet one is left to wonder if it will indeed succeed. Neither NBC or CNN are likely to be browbeaten into killing movies about Clinton based on the threat the RNC won’t be inviting them to cover Republican primary debates. That the companies would risk alienating Clinton supporters and perhaps a number of advertisers as well, based on what Priebus describes in both letters as a “sense of fairness and decency in the political process and your company’s reputation,” seems quixotic at best. NBC Entertainment chairman Greenblatt has already defended the production of the movie, albeit indirectly, insisting that his network needs to create “event” programming that will draw viewers to the declining arena of broadcast TV. CNN’s Jeff Zucker claims his network is unbiased, even as he admitted that its lack of conservative on-air talent “was probably a valid criticism.”

Time will tell if Priebus will win this battle. Yet it’s about time the RNC did something besides accept the idea that their fate is inevitable. In that regard, Priebus is to be admired. For far too long, the Republican Party’s entire agenda has been reactive and defensive. They have allowed Democrats and their media allies to frame every issue. Priebus is indicating he that dynamic to be challenged. Republicans would be fools not to follow his lead.

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  • pindleton

    They are bluffing, and we all know it. Do you actually think the RNC would do anything to limit their exposure during an election? They’d be shooting themselves in the foot. Go ahead CNN and NBC–call their bluff.

    Republicans are already squirming, and we’re not even close to 2016…

    • Moto

      You’re delusional. By 2016, 72 year old Hillary will already be farming cats and talking to her imaginary children at the old folks’ home.

    • Jessica Sanchez

      They are scared to death of Hillary and it shows.

  • AbsolutelyRight

    It’s time for some other networks to make the real Hillary Benghazi Clinton documentary, you know the one where she shackles and imprisons an innocent videographer to hide her incompetence, uses the IRS against her husband’s political enemies, destroys the women who reveal her husband’s sexual assault..

  • The Dead Critic

    Just another simple reminder that the national news channels (in this case ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC) are in the Democratic’s back pocket, and have absolutely no intention of ever being fair and balanced.

  • davarino

    What, the RNC standing up for itself? Who’da thunk it. Now if they would just show a little more of that I might just think about donating again, but I’d hate to waste my money like I did with McCain, and Romney.

  • trapper

    Why are the Republicans allowing Leftists like Candy Crowley and Leftist organizations like CNN and NBC to participate in the presidential debates? Republicans are surely the “stupid party”. Like Charlie Brown we continue to trust them to hold the football for us.
    Hey, RNC! Tell CNN, and NBC that we will not allow them to participate in our debates.

    • reader

      The problem runs deeper than that. RNC doesn’t care about conservatives, in fact they fight conservatives harder than they fight the Dems, because they know that they will have the Den media on their side. It’s all about cutting deals and pretending. People should stop contributing to RNC and support individual candidates instead.

  • glpage

    I would suggest boycotting CNN’s and NBC’s advertisers but the ratings of the two are so crummy it’s doubtful a boycott would have any real effect.

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris Shugart

    Too little, too late, I think. If the GOP truly wants to fight back, they need a more comprehensive full-front strategy aimed at the Dems many weaknesses. That I’ll believe when I see it.

  • okokok

    lol
    bring the popcorn…
    GOP struggles to contain monster they created

    By Steve Benen

    Wed Aug 7, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

    When it comes to Republican threats to shut down the government over funding for the federal health care system, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has adopted a you’re-either-with-us-or-you’re-against-us attitude: “All I’m saying is that you cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it. If you’re willing to fund this thing, you can’t possibly say you’re against it.”

    It’s a sentiment the GOP base has embraced with great enthusiasm.

    In this clip, we see Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) pressed by a constituent at a town-hall meeting on whether the congressman will go along with the far-right scheme to shut down the government in the hopes of defunding the Affordable Care Act. “Do you want the thoughtful answer?” Pittenger asked. The voter replied, “I want yes or no.”

    The answer, of course, was “no.” The North Carolina Republican considers himself a fierce opponent of “Obamacare,” but nevertheless sees the shutdown threat as unrealistic. Indeed, Pittenger tried to explain why the tactic would fail in light of the Democratic White House and Democratic majority in the Senate, but the angry activists didn’t care.

    “It doesn’t matter,” one voter is heard saying. “We need to show the American people we stand for conservative values,” said another.

    The clip was posted to a Tea Party website called “Constitutional War.”

    Keep in mind, Pittenger is not exactly a Rockefeller Republican from New England. As Greg Sargent reported yesterday, the congressman is a red-state conservative who’s not only voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but has co-sponsored a dozen or so bills to destroy all or part of the current federal health care system.

    But as far as some Tea Partiers are concerned, Pittenger and other conservative Republicans who see the shutdown strategy as folly are suddenly the enemy.

    It appears that Republican officials have created a monster, and like Frankenstein, they aren’t altogether pleased with the results.

    For the last few years, GOP lawmakers have said, repeatedly, that the base should rally behind Republicans as they valiantly try to tear down the federal health care system and take access to basic care away from millions. And by and large, Tea Partiers and other elements of the party’s base cheered them on.

    The scheme was, for the most part, a rather cruel con — Republicans almost certainly realized that their last chance to repeal “Obamacare” was the 2012 presidential election, which they lost badly. But they kept fanning the flames anyway, telling right-wing activists to keep fighting — and more importantly, keep writing checks.

    Party leaders may have winked and nodded to one another, realizing that they’d never be able to fulfill their dream of heath care destruction, but therein lies the problem: conservative activists thought the party was serious, and saw neither the winks nor the nods.

    The result, as Robert Pittenger noticed in North Carolina, isn’t pretty. The GOP base seems to be waking up and saying, “What do you mean you’re not willing to shut down the government over Obamacare funding? If Rubio, Cruz, and Lee have a plan, why are you betraying us by rejecting their idea?”

    Republicans had an opportunity after the 2012 elections to shift gears. Party leaders could have subtly and understandably made clear that the repeal crusade had fallen short, and the GOP would have to begin focusing on other fights.

    But the party did the opposite, telling easily fooled donors supporters that this was a fight Republicans could win. Now the GOP finds itself stuck in a hole they dug for themselves. Republicans were gleeful when the August recess meant Democrats getting yelled at over health care; they may be less pleased when they’re on the receiving end of right-wing ire.

  • Jessica Sanchez

    Reince Priebus conducted an autopsy of why Obama was re-elected when they felt so confident that Richie Rich had the election in the bag. So, considering how they only looked at Fox News polls, alienated women, Hispanics, the young, the poor and the middle class his “fix” is to blackmail any channel that airs any type of program with their nemesis, the most popular woman in America, Hillary Clinton? Seriously? And he’s also going to choose conservative radio station debates instead of televised debates? This is how they’re going to attract new voters? ROFL!