POLITICS

Hillary Clinton Is 'Cheering On' Reince Priebus, RNC

08/20/2013 10:58 am ET | Updated Nov 11, 2013

Last week, the Republican National Committee officially enshrined their complaint about a pair of Hillary Clinton-related film projects that are in pre-production in a resolution that holds that the organization will neither participate in nor sanction any GOP primary debates staged by NBC or CNN -- the two broadcasters that are slated to air these films. And if you are wondering what Hillary Clinton herself thinks about all of this, well, she's "cheering on Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's efforts," Bloomberg reports.

Don't even pretend to be surprised by this. Per Bloomberg's Albert R. Hall:

Members of the Clinton camp, however, worry the TV series are more likely to hurt than help their candidate in the likely event she decides to run. They calculate the Republicans are already, in the words of one pundit, "working the refs" -- meaning the networks now would have to bend over backward to avoid turning the programs into flattering portraits. And they note the director of the CNN program is Charles Ferguson, who won an Academy Award for "Inside Job," a scathing documentary on the Wall Street financial crisis. That film cast blame, in part, on key figures in President Bill Clinton's administration for their roles in the events leading up to the crash.

This sounds right to me. As I've said before, the irony of watching Priebus and his RNC cohorts fight these films is that he's working so hard to kill a documentary that will be highly critical of Clinton, and a biopic that -- at best -- will be cheesy and probably just deeply stupid. The smart play from Priebus would normally be to just leave this alone. But, he actually has a vested interest in limiting the number of primary season debates, as they proved to be problematic in numerous ways back in 2012. Couching all of this in a media bias complaint keeps everyone's focus off the real issue.

Media Matters' David Brock also took Priebus' side in this kerfuffle.

Hall goes on to basically speculate that CNN could very well capitulate to these demands, because without all those viewers that the presidential season brings to the network, they'd probably be in big trouble. I'd also point out that a Charles Ferguson documentary would be a difficult fit at CNN, because Ferguson is a serious journalist and CNN is terrible. In addition, there's a good chance that the NBC biopic may never end up getting made.

If the projects get scuttled, Priebus will likely declare victory, but the real winner would obviously be Hillary Clinton.

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