The Associated Press is reporting that:
The Republican National Committee, responding to plans by two television networks for programs about Hillary Rodham Clinton, approved a resolution Friday to block CNN and NBC from hosting GOP presidential primary debates.
The unanimous vote affirmed RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s threat against the networks if they went ahead with programs about Clinton, a possible Democratic presidential contender.
Let’s everybody stop, take a deep breath and count to 10 here. It’s kind of embarrassing when one of our country’s two major political parties throws a temper tantrum: “Do it MY WAY or I won’t play ball!”
It’s worth noting that this hoopla is about a television series that hasn’t even started filming yet.
And “Clinton herself has understandably not given her blessing to the show, which could easily end up focusing on things the former Secretary of State would rather not call attention to.”
And up until a few days ago, it looked like the series would be produced by Fox TV Studios (yes, Fox).
But RNC Chairman Reince Priebus didn’t want Clinton to have any additional airtime — positive or not.
So Fox pulled out of the project. Then the RNC voted to block CNN and NBC. And now it looks like the whole project is on hold.
The idea that one political party can dictate what gets aired on television should scare the heck out of all of us. That’s not what America is about. That’s not what democracy is about.
The ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1919)
Think about the precedent that this is setting. If the RNC has, in fact, succeeded in stopping this miniseries project, what’s next? Will the GOP threaten to boycott any media outlet that runs stories about the taking-it-to-the-streets protests by fast food and retail workers? Will the GOP threaten to boycott any media outlet that runs stories about how Obamacare is actually helping senior citizens?
Think about this, and then get really, really mad. These days, most voters get their news from television. What will happen to our democracy if one side succeeds in silencing the other?
On the playground, the threat to “take my ball and go home” only works if the other kids let the bully get his way.
Isn’t it a shame that NBC didn’t tell this particular “kid” to go ahead and go home? It’s not like everybody in America wants to watch the Republicans in action, anyway. During last year’s RNC Convention, the fourth episode of Honey Boo Boo topped the ratings.