UPDATED, 1 PM: CNN says that the Republican National Committee are making “premature decisions” about CNN Films upcoming Hillary Clinton documentary. The cable news network says the GOP body are also performing “the ultimate disservice to voters” in threatening to pull out of debates that the network either sponsors or partners on. The news network’s statement today came after the RNC said that it would take a vote next week to pull out of any 2016 primary debates including CNN and NBC over their respective projects about the assumed Presidential candidate. RNC chief Reince Priebus said that the networks were acting as “Hillary Clinton campaign operatives” in producing the projects. In his letter Monday to CNN’s Jeff Zucker, Priebus wrote that “your credibility as a supposedly unbiased news network will most certainly be jeopardized by the decision to show political favoritism and a produce an extended commercial for Secretary Clinton’s nascent campaign.” CNN’s doc is scheduled to come out theatrically and then on the network in 2014. NBC Entertainment boss Bob Greenblatt said on July 27 that the Peacock would be making a four-hour miniseries with Diane Lane starring as Clinton. Check out CNN’s full statement on the matter after the jump:
CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. 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.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:21 AM: The Republican National Committee does not want to see anymore Hillary Clinton on TV and they want to make sure CNN and NBC know it. Today the GOP ruling body sent letters to both CNN’s Jeff Zucker and NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt protesting both networks’ plans to run productions on the former Secretary of State. And RNC chair Reince Priebus wasn’t just asking, he was swinging a big stick too. If CNN and NBC haven’t pulled the plug on their respective Hillary projects by the start of the RNC’s summer meeting in Boston on August 14, Priebus says he’ll “seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in a 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor.” CNN Films announced last week it was making a feature-length documentary about the assumed Presidential candidate.The film is to be directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson and would to come out theatrically in 2014 before running on the cable news network. On July 27, NBC said that they will be making and airing a four-hour miniseries with Diane Lane as Clinton. Sources at the network say the project is in the very early stages of development at present. While NBC Entertainment and CNN aren’t talking, NBC News put out a statement that said they “are completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project.”
Regardless of what stage the miniseries is at or NBC News’ role, it is clear partisanship, according to RNC chief. This is the networks acting as “Hillary Clinton campaign operatives,” said Priebus in a statement on Monday. “Out of a sense of fairness and decency and in the interest of the political process and your company’s reputation, I call on you to cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production,” Priebus also wrote to CNN and NBC today. If the networks’ don’t comply and the GOP carries through on their threat, that could leave some serious empty spaces on the schedule as there will likely be more than a dozen such debates during the next Presidential cycle. In the 2012 election there were 23 GOP Presidential primary debates. Unable to threaten the movie industry, Priebus didn’t mention Rodham in his letters today. Announced in April, the feature looks at Hillary’s personal battle between her own political ambitions and desire to marry her equally ambitious Yale Law boyfriend Bill Clinton has. Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt set to helm from Young II Kim’s Black List script.