Blog ››› ››› ELLIE SANDMEYER
Fox previewed the Republican National Committee vote on Chairman Reince Priebus' proposed boycott of 2016 primary debates hosted by CNN and NBC over their planned productions about Hillary Clinton, but ignored the RNC's hypocrisy in not extending the ban to Fox News after reports surfaced that Fox Television Studios may produce the NBC miniseries.
Priebus announced on August 5 that the GOP planned to boycott any primary debates hosted by the news divisions of CNN and NBC if the networks' sister companies, CNN Films and NBC Entertainment, failed to abandon plans to produce and air programs about Hillary Clinton in advance of the 2016 presidential election. Like Media Matters, CNN and NBC on-air personalities expressed concerns about possible conflicts of interests and problems with objectivity regarding the Clinton productions.
During an August 6 interview on Fox's America's Newsroom, Priebus hinted that his true goal was avoiding moderators likely to refuse his candidates special treatment -- as he put it: "moderators who are not serving the best interests of the candidates." And after The New York Times reported on August 9 that Fox's sister company Fox Television Studios may end up producing NBC's planned Clinton miniseries, he admitted that the ban would not extend to Fox News.
But Fox & Friends' August 16 coverage of the RNC vote made no mention of Priebus' hypocrisy or of Fox Television Studio's possible involvement in the Clinton productions. Co-host Brian Kilmeade only said that delegates at the RNC would be "giving serious thought to boycotting the 2016 debates if CNN and NBC go ahead with plans to air special programs about Hillary Clinton" in an upcoming RNC vote. Fox correspondent Molly Line followed up with more detail, but similarly omitted the story's full context [emphasis added]:
LINE: Well, this meeting today really could have a big impact on debates, especially in the near future. The RNC expecting to have this vote today weighing in on whether or not to ban CNN and NBC essentially, for the RNC to refuse to participate in debates with those networks, because they're planning to air documentaries featuring Hillary Clinton. The vote would mean the RNC would not partner with those networks in the presidential primary debates in 2016, and they wouldn't sanction any primary debates that they sponsor. According to the RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, they don't want a news organization tipping the scales in this election.