Republicans fired NBC from hosting a presidential debate in February. This will cut into NBC's bottom line.Priebus just fired a shot across the bow of all media outlets, not just NBC. And it was long overdue. https://t.co/KtJpD1nk1w— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) October 30, 2015
The top ranked show on broadcast TV last week was the "NFL on Sunday," which drew 20 million viewers.
In August, Republicans drew 24 million viewers to Fox News with their debate. In September, Republicans gifted CNN with 24 million viewers. On Wednesday, Republican gave CNBC -- and Comcast, its owner -- 14 million viewers, which is more than triple CNBC's largest audience ever.
CNBC treated them like shit with disrespectful nonsensical questions about fantasy football and whether Donald Trump had a gun on him.
After pressure from the candidates, Reince Priebus (RNC chairman) sent a Dear John letter to NBC.
Mr. Andrew Lack
Chairman, NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112
Dear Mr. Lack,
I write to inform you that pending further discussion between the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our presidential campaigns, we are suspending the partnership with NBC News for the Republican primary debate at the University of Houston on February 26, 2016. The RNC’s sole role in the primary debate process is to ensure that our candidates are given a full and fair opportunity to lay out their vision for America’s future. We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns.
The CNBC network is one of your media properties, and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith. We understand that NBC does not exercise full editorial control over CNBC’s journalistic approach. However, the network is an arm of your organization, and we need to ensure there is not a repeat performance.
CNBC billed the debate as one that would focus on “the key issues that matter to all voters — job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.” That was not the case. Before the debate, the candidates were promised an opening question on economic or financial matters. That was not the case. Candidates were promised that speaking time would be carefully monitored to ensure fairness. That was not the case. Questions were inaccurate or downright offensive. The first question directed to one of our candidates asked if he was running a comic book version of a presidential campaign, hardly in the spirit of how the debate was billed.
While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of “gotcha” questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates. What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.
I have tremendous respect for the First Amendment and freedom of the press. However, I also expect the media to host a substantive debate on consequential issues important to Americans. CNBC did not.
While we are suspending our partnership with NBC News and its properties, we still fully intend to have a debate on that day, and will ensure that National Review remains part of it.
I will be working with our candidates to discuss how to move forward and will be in touch.
Chairman, Republican National Committee
My letter would have been simpler:
CNBC's debate on Wednesday was the last straw. You are dead to me and the Republican candidates. Forget February, and next fall, too.
DonnieConservatives are tired of being treated like second-class citizens in their own country.
I would also not do "Meet The Press."
There is a conceit in the press that they need "us" more than we need them.
We shall see.