As CNN and NBC plan Hillary Clinton specials, GOP Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threatened Monday to exclude the stations from the Republican 2016 presidential primary debates if the networks proceeded with featuring the possible Democratic presidential nominee.
CNN fired back late Monday, calling Priebus' plan to exclude them a "disservice to voters," while NBC said Republicans' concerns about the Clinton special were "premature."
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CNN Films and NBC have a documentary and miniseries about Clinton in the works, and Priebus called the specials nothing more than an "in-kind donation" to the Clinton campaign.
"It's appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives," he said, according to Fox News
. "Out of a sense of fairness and decency and in the interest of the political process and your company's reputation, I call on you to cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production."
CNN Films announced the documentary will premiere next year, first in theaters and then on CNN.
"This documentary will be a nonfiction look at the life of a former first lady and Secretary of State," CNN said in a statement. "Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters."
NBC Entertainment announced plans for their miniseries on Clinton last month, and award-winning actress Diane Lane will play the former first lady, according to Yahoo! TV.
"NBC Entertainment has many projects in development, and this particular miniseries – which has nothing to do with the NBC News division – is in the very early stages," NBC said. "The script has not been written nor has it been ordered into production. It would be premature to draw any conclusions or make any assumptions about it at this time."
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