WASHINGTON Aug 5 U.S. Republicans are
threatening to boycott 2016 presidential candidates debates
sponsored by networks CNN and NBC unless the networks cancel
plans for special programs on Democrat Hillary Clinton, a
possible 2016 White House contender.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wrote
to executives for NBC Entertainment and CNN Worldwide, saying
the planned programs were political ads for the former secretary
of state and former first lady.
Priebus asked the companies to scrap plans by Aug. 14 for
the NBC miniseries on Clinton and for the CNN documentary film.
Representatives from Comcast-owned NBC and Time
Warner-owned CNN did not immediately comment.
"As an American company, you have every right to air
programming of your choice," Priebus wrote in the letters to NBC
Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN Worldwide
President Jeff Zucker.
"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 said if CNN and NBC went ahead with the Clinton
shows, he would seek a binding RNC vote that the Republican
Party would not work with the two networks on its 2016 primary
debates or sanction the debates sponsored by them.
CNN in the past has pointed out that its film unit operates
separately and without CNN's editorial guidance. NBC's
Greenblatt, when asked in July about Clinton's opponents
potentially demanding equal time from the network, said the
series would likely air before the presidential race heats up in
the spring or summer of 2015.