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RNC’s Priebus Finds Liberal Allies in Dowd and Brock

by Bobby McGuire
Contributor
Thursday Aug 8, 2013
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Less than two days after issuing an ultimatum in a pair of stinging letters to NBC and CNN for their plans to produce a miniseries and documentary on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has found himself with an unlikely duo of liberal allies; David Brock, founder of progressive watchdog group Media Matters for America and Maureen Dowd, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times.

As previously reported by EDGE, in response to plans by CNN and NBC to produce and air films on the life of Hillary Clinton, RNC chairman Reince Priebus sent a pair of strongly worded letter to the heads of both networks calling the films a "thinly veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election" further stating that both projects constituted "special treatment (which) is unfair to the candidates for the Democratic nomination who might compete against Secretary Clinton...and to the Republican nominee, should Clinton compete in the general election."

In an ultimatum to both networks, Priebus ended the pair of letters saying "If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote of the RNC statting that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor."

The films in question are documentary on Hillary Clinton produced by CNN for theatrical and television release, and a four-hour miniseries on the life of the former Secretary of State starring Oscar nominated actress Diane Lane.

Yesterday in an op-ed piece published in The New York Times, liberal columnist Maureen Dowd offered her somewhat left-handed support of the RNC chairman, saying "Reince Priebus says a lot of goofy things, but the chairman of the Republican National Committee has a point." Dowd further goes on to say "Films can dramatically alter the way famous people are viewed, making them cooler, more glamorous, more sympathetic - and the reverse. Clever filmmakers can offer up delicious souffl├ęs of propaganda and storytelling, putting a new imprint on the historical record"

As reported by Politico, on Tuesday, longtime Clinton ally and founder of liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America David Brock, sent letters to the leadership at NBC Entertainment and CNN International expressing his support for RNC chairman Reince Priebus and his pledge to pull the two networks’ rights to moderate or sponsor Republican primary debates unless they pull their film projects.

In his letters to letters written to NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, Brock states "Given that this project could coincide with a potential Clinton presidential campaign, the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election."

Both letters ask Greenblatt and Zucker if their were "prepared to respond to criticism [for] not being fair to other potential candidates?" further asking how both networks would "respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?"

Brock further goes on to say "Unless you are prepared to answer these concerns, those raised by Mr. Priebus, and others that will likely arise in the future, I call on you to reconsider this programming,"

"The reality is, it doesn’t matter whether the movies are positive or negative or in between," Priebus told Fox News. "Presidential elections are huge cultural votes, and when you have media colluding with a potential front-runner on the Democratic side of the aisle... it creates the cult of personality."

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