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Why the RNC Chair is Right to Ditch NBC and CNN Hosting Debates
Townhall.com ^ | August 12, 2013 | Rachel Alexander

Posted on 08/12/2013 6:43:26 AM PDT by Kaslin

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, sent shockwaves throughout the media and both political parties last week by threatening to pull the rights of NBC and CNN to broadcast the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates. If the networks don’t cancel their pro-Hillary Clinton TV specials, which are little more than free political ads for her, Priebus will have the RNC vote on August 15th to “neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.” Priebus said on Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart, “I just want their presidents and their chairmen to know that if they want to move forward and spend millions of dollars promoting one particular candidate before the 2016 election, then we're going to do what we want to do, and we're just going to shut them out of our debates.” Hillary Clinton is the leading front runner in Democratic polls for president in 2016.

NBC is producing a miniseries called “Hillary,” featuring the beautiful actress Diane Lane playing Hillary, no doubt selected to portray the frumpy Clinton as attractively as possible. CNN is planning on airing a documentary about Clinton produced by Charles Ferguson, who appears to be the second coming of Michael Moore. Ferguson is known for his anti-Wall Street documentary, Inside Job, and anti-war documentary, No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq.

CNN has responded and said it will not back down. At first glance, this seems like it might be irresponsible on Priebus’s part. The GOP will lose valuable media coverage reaching millions of viewers if the networks refuse to back down. Or will it?

NBC and CNN broadcast half of the 2012 GOP primary debates. The 20-26 debates – depending on how you are counting – in 2012 were frankly overkill and full of loaded questions designed to embarrass and ridicule GOP candidates. One of the most outrageous questions directed at a Republican candidate occurred during a CNN debate. CNN’s John King asked Newt Gingrich whether he would take some time to respond to allegations made by his ex-wife that he suggested she accept his extramarital affair. Fortunately, the brilliant Gingrich destroyed the inappropriateness of his question to thunderous applause, “No, but I will. I think the destructive vicious negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. I’m appalled you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.”

Even more sneaky, the partisan media brought up questions about contraception during the Republican primary debates in order to make it appear to be a real issue, benefitting Obama as well as Hillary Clinton in the future. The reality is, virtually any woman can buy birth control for practically nothing at Walmart or obtain it free from family planning clinics, and none of the Republican candidates were advocating banning it. There has been speculation since then that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was instructed by the Democrats to ask the irrelevant question. Andrew Breitbart was investigating the possible collusion between the media and the Democrat Party before he passed away.

There were 14-16 Republican presidential debates during the 2008 campaign. In the 2000 campaign, there were only about three. The colossal number of primary debates during the 2012 cycle simply was not necessary. They left the candidates exhausted; wasting time preparing that could have been better spent on other campaign activities such as fundraising. It also gave the GOP much more time than the Democrats in the limelight attacking each other; time that would have been more productively spent attacking Democrats. The Democrats had no presidential primary debates during the 2012 campaign, giving them considerably more time to promote Obama. Mitt Romney really disliked the large number of debates; had he been able to spend more time campaign instead of prepping for all the debates, he may have stood a better chance against Obama.

Even the publisher of the left wing site The Daily Kos agrees that the additional exposure of Republican infighting isn’t helpful to the GOP. He suggests that Democrats should also ditch unfriendly networks, choosing their own partisan moderators like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who are more likely to focus on issues of actual relevance to the party’s base.

Fox News has become so popular there is no reason not to move most of the debates to Fox News. The debates could still be carried by local television outlets, reaching much of the population that doesn’t watch Fox News. The decrease in viewers during the GOP primary debates last election cycle was due to casual viewers tuning out, so cutting the debates from a couple of stations frequented by casual viewers will have even less of an effect. Only a few million viewers watched the last few 2012 debates, due to debate fatigue. CNN has about half the viewership of Fox News. Several of the debates hosted by Fox News drew more than six million viewers, whereas the debates hosted by CNN never even reached six million.

Priebus’s warning is gaining support. The chairmen of the GOP in Iowa and South Carolina, both states that hold multiple primary debates, support his move. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is also a proponent, asking during a radio interview, “Should we be scheduling debates and allowing people who used to, and still do, have contact with the active Democrat party? Should we be subjecting ourselves to that or should we try to have more neutral or objective type of moderators?”

Priebus knows what he is doing. The GOP has little to lose and everything to gain by reducing the number of debates hosted by partisan networks. If the big stations aren’t going to be objective, why not use a little clout to pressure them into behaving like legitimate news networks, instead of shills and revolving doors for the Democratic Party.

Longtime Arizona politico Farrell Quinlan suggests that the GOP needs to move away from the “dinosaur media” controlling debates, and try other formats. He says the GOP should “explore fresh approaches from other fields like think tank-types, columnists, business owners small and large, governors, Congressmen, religious leaders, former candidates, historians, economists, retired military, enlisted and officers, etc.” TV networks should be provided a feed, but no editorial control. The GOP is losing out among youth, who overwhelmingly voted for Obama. This is one way Republicans could finally get ahead of Democrats when it comes to technology during the presidential election.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/12/2013 6:43:26 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

It’s really way past time to stop playing not only by their rules but their entire game structure.


2 posted on 08/12/2013 6:44:28 AM PDT by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Kaslin

At least it looks like the Repubs are starting to grow a pair. They should never have agreed to the debate formats and especially the moderators of the last presidential debates between Romney and Obama. Even though the fix was in and Obama knew it, evident by his performance in the first debate.


3 posted on 08/12/2013 6:48:15 AM PDT by BobinIL
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To: riri

Yup The last Pres debates were a total farce.
It reminded me of a “Fixed” sports event.
Crowley was despicable


4 posted on 08/12/2013 6:49:07 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: Kaslin

The only reason the media is still functioning is because of all the money that is spent on ads every couple of years. Stop that and they fade away like the outdated technology they represent.


5 posted on 08/12/2013 6:49:29 AM PDT by McGavin999
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To: Kaslin

Good for Reince. I am sick of these so called news media elitists calling the shots. Time for change WE can believe in!


6 posted on 08/12/2013 6:49:48 AM PDT by Bitsy
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To: BobinIL

“Candy, check the transcripts...”


7 posted on 08/12/2013 6:51:11 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: McGavin999

I couldn’t agree more. In war, the first targets are the communications. Why even have debates? It’s just another lousy show, and I rarely watch ‘em.


8 posted on 08/12/2013 6:51:50 AM PDT by Big Giant Head
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To: All

Priebus (and any other form RNC Chair) should have done this a long time ago.

I have long wondered how our party allows obvious Dems like George Stephanopolus, Anderson Cooper, etc to be the moderators in GOP presidential debates.

Did we ever think to confront one of these networks and say to their execs (after being told that, for example, that Candy Crowley will be moderating the next debate) “Are you out of your freaking mind?! No way in hell will we accept that!


9 posted on 08/12/2013 6:54:35 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: Kaslin

I’ll believe it when I see it.


10 posted on 08/12/2013 6:54:42 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: t1b8zs
Beyond even that, why on earth did Paul Ryan stand there and let that idiot, Biden, pummel him?

Anyhow Reince is talking out of his butt. The GOP would never skip the debates. They are all working for the same people. It's two card monte. (which answers my question above)

But, if we had a real, true adversarial to the left, party, they'd never engage in these debates. If they did they'd certainly have a say in who and how they are moderated.

11 posted on 08/12/2013 6:58:25 AM PDT by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Navy Patriot

I’ll believe it when I see it.


Exactly. Loser Priebus is just doing some gum flapping soundbites for fundraising. He hasn’t actually DONE anything yet. Notice he is just talking about the primaries. Already hedging their bets. This is a big nothing burger as far as I can see.


12 posted on 08/12/2013 6:58:40 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: BobinIL

Of eyes and ears, yes. Maybe they’re realizing they are being played by the MSM. But, watch them cave when the pressure comes down from big e-GOP donors who think this is silly.


13 posted on 08/12/2013 6:59:54 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: Kaslin

someone with a spine?


14 posted on 08/12/2013 7:00:08 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Bitsy

I don’t see any courage yet. He’s threatening not to let the Republican candidates go to rigged “debates”, where Candy Crowley has Obama’s notes by her side and George Steph asks a question out of the blue that suddenly becomes the full-court press of the entire campaign days later?

But if they don’t show a nine-hour infomercial for their opponent, then they will?

BAH!


15 posted on 08/12/2013 7:01:34 AM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Kaslin

This is long overdue. I could always see the bias, in even how the questions were asked. And in the tone of the voice when asking the question to the Republican candidate.

I hope they stick by this decision. It is time to quit playing by their biased, lawless rules where the odds are stacked against us. What have we got to lose???


16 posted on 08/12/2013 7:02:40 AM PDT by slipper (The best is yet to come)
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To: lodi90
This is a big nothing burger as far as I can see.

Yup.

17 posted on 08/12/2013 7:03:49 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Equal Protection for the individual's unalienable right to life is not optional. It is imperative.)
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To: riri

Agreed.

You don’t play by the other Teams rules, on their field, and with their referees... And expect to win.


18 posted on 08/12/2013 7:04:10 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: Dead Corpse

THEY pick the Republican candidate.

THEY pick the moderator.

THEY make the rules and decide on which ones will apply to each candidate.

The Republican party is their b!tch and everyone knows it.


19 posted on 08/12/2013 7:10:48 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Kaslin
"Check the transcript, Candy!"



Beautiful, my President, BEE-YOU-TI-FULLLL" "

20 posted on 08/12/2013 7:13:46 AM PDT by Baynative (Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.)
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To: Cowgirl of Justice
“Candy, check the transcripts...”

I am still fuming over her unprofessional behavior during that debate.
21 posted on 08/12/2013 7:14:02 AM PDT by jaydubya2
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To: Kaslin

If I were Reince (however spelled), I’d issue a statement to the DNC, the DAR, LWV whoever sets these debates and tell them THIS frigging year, we are going with ALL Fox News moderators - lump it or leave it - we will not be attending otherwise.


22 posted on 08/12/2013 7:16:30 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: t1b8zs

No, Crowley was being Crowley. Mitt Romney had an issue he refused to use, that being the murders in Benghazi condoned by Maobama. The commielibs can play by whatever set of rules they creat, it is long past time for the spineless Republican Party to either clearly lead, or get the hell out of the way.


23 posted on 08/12/2013 7:17:40 AM PDT by RushLake (Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. (Emerson))
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To: riri
It’s really way past time to stop playing not only by their rules but their entire game structure.

The mainstream media no longer abide by the rules of decency, they are fully vested in the Democratic/Progressive party.

The primaries must be done outside of them because of their condition. Moderators are supposed to be above the fray, but in the last few they have not been. Time to get ones for the primaries that are and get the word out via other means.

24 posted on 08/12/2013 7:18:17 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: Gaffer

It should all be on Fox. Debates should be run on the network with the highest audience ratings and hosted by the top rated talent.

I would settle on the cast of The Five, and that includes Beckel for moderators.


25 posted on 08/12/2013 7:31:08 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The reason we own guns is to protect ourselves from those wanting to take our guns from us.)
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To: riri
I see you've read this brochure:
The Tao of Republican Orthodoxy
[Direct Link]
26 posted on 08/12/2013 7:32:04 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Navy Patriot

Seconded.
There’s just too much of a track-record of the Republican Party being “just talk”.


27 posted on 08/12/2013 7:33:13 AM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Kaslin
The Republicans should focus on creating a favorable "perspective" in their debates. In the recent past the liberal media has set the agenda in the Republican debates in a way that shows conservatives in a negative light. The debates should an opportunity for Republicans to showcase their "brand" and promote their agenda without liberal interference.

People like Candy Crowley and George Stephanopoulos should be nowhere near the Republican debates. Jeepers people, let's control our message!

28 posted on 08/12/2013 7:40:10 AM PDT by Senator_Blutarski
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To: Kaslin

Wasn’t George Stephanopoulos single-handedly launching the Dems “War On Women” strategy enough?????


29 posted on 08/12/2013 7:50:23 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Kaslin

Even an effete, broken clock is right 2x per day.


30 posted on 08/12/2013 7:55:38 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Kaslin

Yes,The RNC is RIGHT about”ditching”debates run by NBC,CNN,etc.,but WHY is it being made”conditional”?Whether or not the MSM make”Glowing Travesty Laden”DOCS. about Madame Shrillary has NOTHING to do with it!!They should”Ditch”them anyway because they have Nothing to gain by participating in them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


31 posted on 08/12/2013 8:17:28 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: Kaslin

In 2016 the Republicans should agree to 4 debates. Then tell the dems that Rush and Hanity will moderate 2 of the debates and you pick who moderates the other two.


32 posted on 08/12/2013 8:34:44 AM PDT by BobinIL
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To: Kaslin; All

I look at it this way...

Those of us who value our time can certainly decide to NOT watch the promotional program(s), (Hillary-fest 2016), that they intend to broadcast on THEIR network...

Why the RNC is wasting their time and publicity in an empty threat (IMO) to networks that are absolutely in the tank for the democrat party is beyond reason, but it is an ongoing RNC leadership/management decision...


33 posted on 08/12/2013 9:13:10 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: stevie_d_64

I have no intention in watching the Hillary love fest of these two networks but I agree with Reince Preibus (sp)


34 posted on 08/12/2013 9:29:16 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

Me neither...

Remember when we were told as kids that to make “some” annoyances “go-away”...You just simply ignore them...

I know (in this case) its hard to ignore, the networks are going to do what they want to do, why interject your obvious political objections and validate (on the surface)their efforts to prop this woman up???

It feeds their fire...

I believe the party needs to show indifference to the media, and the democrats in general...Why take the bait...

Just my opinion...


35 posted on 08/12/2013 10:29:24 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: Kaslin

The primary debates should be organized by the state party organizations. Moderators should be drawn from state party officals, questions submitted by Republican voters. Let CNN or NBC or whoever wants to broadcast the debates free of charge — but there’s no reason their ridiculous TV hosts should be moderating.


36 posted on 08/12/2013 1:10:36 PM PDT by Plummz (pro-constitution, anti-corruption)
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To: Kaslin
Isolate and marginalize the "news" media and they will become irrelevant. Sound like a familiar tactic?

The next conservative President should turn out the lights to the Daily Press Briefing Room and have his Press Secretary just issue press releases to all media, giving priority to those who won't spin them (much), like FOX, Brietbart, Media Research Center, etc.

And don't back down when the lamestream media cry foul!

37 posted on 08/12/2013 6:21:58 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: jeffc
Isolate and marginalize the "news" media...And don't back down when the lamestream media cry foul! ?

Sounds like our Gov LePage, who recently said while "flying" a fighter simulator, "I want to blow up the Portland Press Herald".

38 posted on 08/12/2013 6:24:41 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves Month")
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Hey Rennie!

Ska-rew the Hillary promo threat. Tell ‘em no network-run debates period.

Also kill all the open primaries.


39 posted on 08/12/2013 6:28:47 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves Month")
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