RNC Bans Primary Debates on NBC and CNN Over Hillary Documentary

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The Republican National Committee voted to boycott NBC and CNN when scheduling presidential primary debates to protest the networks' upcoming documentaries about Hillary Clinton. That includes Telemundo and CNN en Español. RNC members cheered the vote on the non-binding resolution with a standing ovation, and chair Reince Priebus announced, "We are done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets." Curiously, the other outlets the RNC is reportedly seeking out seem to be at odds with another RNC goal, which is to control and limit the primary debates so candidates aren't suckered into saying something stupid.

The RNC resolution said the documentaries "are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election," Time's Zeke Miller reports. In its autopsy of the 2012 election, the RNC said, "Debates must remain a central element of the GOP nominating process, but in recent years there have been too many debates, and they took place too early." Instead of 20, like in 2012, there should be 10 or 12, it said. Why fewer debates? To give the candidates fewer chances to make fools of themselves. As Mitt Romney's campaign manager Stuart Stevens explained, "We pick a president with three general-election debates but it takes 20 debates to understand that maybe Ron Paul wants to blow up the Federal Reserve? ... These 'debates' have become phony entertainment spectacles not serious news events."

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And yet, who is the RNC reportedly eyeing to replace CNN, NBC, and its Spanish-language channels? Talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or Sean Hannity, The Washington Examiner's Paul Beddard reported earlier this week. "It makes a lot of sense. We'd get a huge viewership, they'd make a lot of news and maybe have some fun too," an advocate of the proposal told Beddard. Limbaugh shot down the idea, saying he was too famous, but noted the idea was not to have him moderate on a mainstream media channel, but in some other outlet. Levin, though, was more receptive. "I accept. Give me your schedule. Otherwise stop throwing my name around in your phony little ploy."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.