MEDIA
08/07/2013 02:21 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2013

RNC's Hillary Clinton Movie Threat Leads To Strange Political Alliances

When was the last time an issue found Media Matters agreeing with the Republican National Committee, and the New York Post backing the so-called "liberal media"?

That's exactly what's happened thanks to the RNC's threat to ban CNN and NBC from hosting any Republican debates unless they drop plans to make a documentary and a mini-series about Hillary Clinton.

RNC chair Reince Priebus blasted the programs as clear signs of political bias in favor of Clinton, and an unacceptable intrusion by the networks into the electoral process.

The different responses to his move saw some strange political bedfellows pop up.

Media Matters chair David Brock, for instance, sent a letter to NBC and CNN siding with Priebus, though for different reasons. Brock wrote that the timing of the programs "raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election."

He added, "Is your network also prepared to respond to criticism it is not being fair to other potential candidates? How will your network respond to the right-wing noise machine that is already pressuring you to adopt its ideological lens on Clinton?"

Joining Brock was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote a piece called "Reince Is Right." Though she said Priebus was "goofy" to try to ban the films, she wrote that he was right to be worried about them:

Films can dramatically alter the way famous people are viewed, making them cooler, more glamorous, more sympathetic -- and the reverse. Clever filmmakers can offer up delicious soufflés of propaganda and storytelling, putting a new imprint on the historical record.

The conservative New York Post, meanwhile, backed the Clinton programs, saying that anyone should be allowed to air anything they wanted.

"We don't accept the argument that there should be restrictions on the right to broadcast or advertise any film, even a fawning one, during a campaign," they wrote. "That's the Obama argument. Now it's being used against Hillary."

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