The Republican National Committee has voted to deny NBC and CNN the rights to broadcast Republican primary debates.
The move comes as a protest prompted by two Hillary Clinton films in the works at NBC and CNN. Now, according to Politico, the boycott of the two networks will extend to sister networks: Telemundo, which is part of the NBC Universal family, and CNN En Español.
“We’re done putting up with this nonsense,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “CNN and NBC will just have to watch on their competitors’ network … The media overplayed their hand this time.”
As Politico points out, this leaves the door wide open for Univision, the leading Spanish-language network in the United States, especially as the Republican Party tries to attract the Latino vote.
RNC boycott ‘so stupid it might be brilliant’
The Washington Post’s Carter Eskew said the move by the RNC might be “so stupid it must be brilliant,” and gave two possible options for it.
“First, core members of the Republican Party still live in a bubble of hate for the ‘mainstream media’ and want to fire up their base by showing they won’t be pushed around,” Eskew wrote. “The second possible answer is that the RNC knows that limiting exposure to Republican primary debates is absolutely critical to preserving its nominee’s chances of victory in November.”
CNN responded to the RNC boycott saying Republicans were speculating about a Hillary Clinton documentary that is in the very early stages of development.
“We encouraged all interested parties to wait until the program premieres before judgments are made about it,” CNN said. “Unfortunately, the RNC was not willing to do that.”