Earlier this week, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, threatened to ban NBC and CNN from the 2016 Republican primary debates.
The problem? Both networks are planning to air programs centered around Hillary Clinton.
NBC, in particular, was warned to "cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production," referring to a planned miniseries starring Diane Lane as the former secretary of state.
But if Republican accusations of bias are to be expected, the network probably didn't foresee taking fire from its own news stars. NBC political director Chuck Todd, for one, agrees that the miniseries should never see the light of day. On MSNBC's Morning Joe, he railed against his own network, claiming that the "miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News":
Because it doesn't, you know, we know there's this giant firewall, we know we have nothing to do with it, we know that we'd love probably to be as critical or whatever it's going to be if it comes out. But there's nothing we can do about it, and we're going to only own the negative. Whether it's negative because the Clinton people are upset because it's too tough on them, or negative because the Republicans think it's this glorification of her. No matter what, only we are gonna own it because people are going to see the peacock, and they see NBC, and they see NBC News, and they think, "Well, they can't be that separate." [Morning Joe]
Chuck Todd wasn't the only person at NBC concerned about the miniseries. Talking with former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on her own show, Andrea Mitchell said that Priebus was "understandably miffed" at the network.
She went on to say, "A lot of the news people would say, including the MSNBC news people and Chuck Todd and the rest of us, a really bad idea given the timing."
The four-hour miniseries is expected to run before the potential announcement of a Hillary Clinton candidacy, which would clear NBC from violating the Federal Communication Commission's equal-time rule.
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