The RNC Battles CNN – Why it’s a Bad Idea

CNN vs. Republican PartyWhen the story broke last month that NBC and CNN were planning on creating docudramas about Hillary Clinton, the RNC was vocal with its outrage.  Last week the RNC voted to boycott any debates involving NBC and CNN in the 2016 presidential election unless the networks agreed to scrap their plans.

With the recent revelation that CNN was hiring Courtney Sexton as the senior director for the division that is handling the Clinton project, the RNC was once again shouting, “See.  I told you so!” from the rooftops.  Sexton’s credits include Al Gore’s documentary on global warming and a post-presidential documentary on Jimmy Carter.

Some have supported the RNC’s boycott of the debates, claiming that the media has grown so biased that it is time they are taken to task.  I certainly sympathize with those who are concerned about journalistic and media bias.  With that said, I have a different take on the topic.

Puff Piece

The RNC is concerned that the docudramas are going to paint Clinton in a favorable light and omit some of the unsavory aspects of her personal and political life.  While that may be the case, it is way too early to jump to conclusions about what is going to be included in the films.  The scripts have not been written and the projects are in the early stages.

The American people already know about the Clintons, good and bad.  Bill Clinton was able to get elected and reelected amidst the talk of scandal and corruption.  Even if CNN covered the sex scandals, Rose Law Firm, and various other matters, I am unconvinced it would have an impact on public opinion.  Here is a heads up for those on Benghazi alert, CNN will not be able to cover Benghazi accurately because finding someone who seems to know what happened in Benghazi is nearly impossible.

The Fred Thompson Phenomenon

Does anyone remember what happened to Republican Senator Fred Thompson in his 2008 attempt at the presidency?  He fell victim to the Fred Thompson phenomenon.  In 2008, the Republicans were itching to nominate a smart, articulate, strong, and capable candidate to follow eight years of George W. Bush.  When Thompson announced his candidacy, many conservatives were joyous.  After all, look how confident and commanding he was…on television.  It did not take observers long to realize that Fred Thompson TV president was a lot different than Fred Thompson candidate.  In real life Thompson was incapable of articulating like his television persona.  On television Thompson had complete mastery of every subject, both foreign and domestic.  Perhaps Clinton will experience the same fate.  Hollywood can only do so much.

CNN is not a Bad Audience

Ideally, any political party would like to limit the primary season.  Primaries can be messy as party members devour other party members.  Frequently words and sound bites are picked up for later use in the general election.  With that being said, exposing your party’s candidates to the CNN audience is not a bad thing.  CNN is not the same as MSNBC.  While CNN may be slightly left of center, it is not a mouthpiece for the Democrats.  Essentially, the RNC has just told CNN that we do not need to reach out to your audience.  Think about the logical conclusion of all of this – if CNN’s audience is so irrelevant that the Republicans can dispense with them so easily, then why make a fuss about a documentary.  It makes the RNC seem petty, especially three years away from the election.

Focus RNC – Focus

I remember reading once that when someone is focused on the activities of other people they are not focusing on improving themselves.  The RNC, and Republicans in general, need to fix some of the problems before the stage turns to primetime.  The continual infighting between Tea Party members and the Washington elite; lagging behind the Democrats in social media technology; and the inability to attract diverse members with a message of ordered liberty, small government, and Constitutionalism are all areas that need attention within the Republican Party.  A Hillary Clinton soap opera is the last thing on my list of worries.

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