NBC Barely Mentions RNC's Debate Boycott; CNN Drops the Story Over the Weekend
After the Republican National Committee voted to refuse CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP primary debates, NBC took two days to even mention the news before again ignoring it. In fact, CBS spent more time covering the boycott of NBC than NBC itself did.
The RNC threatened a boycott after CNN Films and NBC Entertainment both planned productions on Democrat Hillary Clinton as she is predicted to run for president in 2016. At Friday's summer meeting, the RNC made good on its threat, but NBC reported it only once.
The only mention on NBC came on Sunday's Meet the Press when host David Gregory mentioned it in passing and contributor Robert Gibbs briefly talked about it. Gregory first brought it up: "The Republicans now, very interesting this week, Chris Christie making a lot of noise, the RNC meeting in Boston talking about debates."
Then Gibbs briefly followed up:
"...the RNC did a very savvy thing this week, right? First of all, they're working the refs on these Hillary documentaries and Hillary specials, right? Reince Priebus is just working the refs so that when the script goes into production, somebody will say make this scene tougher. The second thing he's doing is cutting down markedly on the number of debates, which became the Roman Colosseum of Republican politics last time, which are populated in huge auditoriums where activists want more and more and more. And it becomes you run for president in order to get a radio talk show when you don't win the nomination."
Saturday's CBS This Morning spent two minutes, 43 seconds on the RNC boycott, which was almost three times more than the 59 seconds NBC's Meet the Press spent talking about the subject.
CNN, meanwhile, reported the news four separate times on Friday afternoon but the story exited its news casts after the 5 p.m. ET hour of Friday's The Situation Room. CNN Films has already drawn criticism over its Clinton documentary for its choice of liberal director Charles Ferguson.
And on Monday, the RNC took more shots at the movie after CNN Films hired Courtney Sexton as its senior director; Sexton had previously worked on Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth and Jimmy Carter Man from Plains. "Any concerns the Clinton team had are all gone. This puts the 'p' in puff piece," RNC communications director Sean Spicer wrote Politico.