How Will the Other Networks React If GOP Bans NBC From Debate Coverage?

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As we all know, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has threatened to exclude NBC from hosting Republican primary debates if they continue with their plans for a Hillary Clinton miniseries. The whole thing is basically a no-lose proposition for Priebus, since it rallies the base today and does him no harm tomorrow. If NBC caves, all well and good. If it doesn’t, who cares? Priebus wants fewer debates in 2016 anyway.

But here’s a thought. I figure there’s one way in which this could come back to bite him: if all the other networks refuse to host Republican debates as long as NBC remains blackballed. I don’t mean Fox News, of course. They’ll host debates regardless. But what if CBS and ABC and CNN all decline to participate on the grounds that the RNC is abusing its power to influence press and entertainment coverage on the networks? That has the potential to hurt. Priebus may want fewer debates, but he does want them televised and I’ll bet he doesn’t want 100 percent of them on Fox.

Anyway, just a thought. Remember back in 2009, when all the other networks came to Fox’s defense when the White House tried to exclude them from a pool interview with executive-pay czar Kenneth Feinberg? I wonder if the same thing could happen this time?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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