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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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?

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate