RNC leaders formally voted not to partner with CNN and NBC News in 2016 for the presidential debates, in retaliation for the networks' planned documentaries on Hillary Clinton.
In a unanimous resolution, RNC officials accused the networks of planning "programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton," which "will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks."
"The Republican National Committee calls on CNN and NBC to cancel the airing of these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment; and...if CNN and NBC continue to move forward with this and other such programming, the Republican National Committee will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor," the resolution continues.
The Washington Post explains:
Cable and broadcast television networks have sponsored and produced dozens of presidential primary debates during the recent presidential election cycles, often partnering with state parties or other political organizations in order to draw candidates to the televised events. During the 2012 cycle, top networks sponsored at least 20 debates that stretched from May 2011 to February 2012; CNN hosted seven debates, while NBC News, CNBC or MSNBC hosted four.
The networks do not need the permission of the RNC to host such debates, but the resolution approved Friday likely will prompt state party officials and other conservative organizations to not sponsor, sanction or attend any debates hosted by NBC or CNN and thus keep candidates from attending.
“We’re done putting up with this nonsense,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said before the vote, NBC News reports. “There are plenty of other outlets. We’ll still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors’ networks.”