Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, reverted to playground rules last week when he declared that two television networks — preparing what are likely to be fawning biopics about presumed 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton — would not be involved in hosting GOP presidential primary debates.
If the other team can’t be fair, he seemed to be saying, the GOP just won’t play.
Priebus’ declaration — approval of a subsequent resolution was unanimous — drew a standing ovation and war whoops from those gathered in Boston for the party’s summer meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal. It probably got a similar reaction from millions of conservatives nationwide tired of the belief their candidate has to defeat Democrats and the national media every four years in order to become president.
“We’re done putting up with this nonsense,” Priebus said.
Spokespersons for the networks — CNN and NBC — naturally cried foul, saying their programs were in the early stages of development and no conclusions could be drawn about the content.
C’mon, who believes that?
It’s no secret most television networks and other big media lean hard left. A 2007 Pew Research Center study of journalists and news executives found the ratio of newsroom liberals to conservatives was 4 to 1. Similar studies back to 1981 showed the same thing.
There are actually two things to consider.
First, why would the two networks prepare a biopic on any potential candidate for the presidency in 2016, knowing that fairness dictates they treat all candidates the same?
Imagine, for a moment, the hue and cry from the left if, say, CBS in 1999 decided to air a positive — even neutral — program about Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then the leading contender for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination.
(Of course, CBS would never have done that. It’s the network, after all, on which Dan Rather saw his career go down the tube when he ran a story based on phony Texas Air National Guard documents in an effort to discredit Bush in 2004. But imagine, for a moment, that the network wasn’t biased.)
The second question is why the networks would prepare biopics specifically on Hillary Clinton?
Is it possible, say, the networks want to get all of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state’s baggage out of the way before she declares her candidacy? Such programs could gloss lightly over the problems, and she later could say it’s all old news — nothing to see here — once her candidacy was declared.
Clinton, for all the love she receives from the left, has been mired in her share of controversies, from being in charge of the so-called bimbo eruptions during her husband’s 1992 campaign to the FBI files and Whitewater scandals during his presidency to her embarrassing “vast right-wing conspiracy” comment in defense of her husband’s Monica Lewinsky-related downfall to her foreign policy failures during the first Obama administration.
Of those, the most recent — and glaring — is the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack and her callous comment during a Senate hearing on why the tragedy — four U.S. diplomats dead in a terrorist attack, not because of a video, as she and the president first alleged — happened. Responding to a question by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., she said, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Priebus, however, might be better off eschewing all the left-leaning networks involved in airing debates — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS — and offering all the GOP debates to Fox, which would guarantee a huge cable audience since the network dominates CNN.
He’d also be better off with fewer debates in the first place since the series in 2012 became somewhat of a gaffe-of-the-week tour as big media delightfully made mountains out of molehills in an effort to clear the way for Obama’s second term.
Now, we can only hope national Republicans will take a page out of Priebus’ book and hold Democrats’ feet to the fire over the likes of the economy and Obamacare — instead of acting like Democrats-Lite.