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Friday, October 30, 2015

CNBC just cost Comcast millions

Republicans fired NBC from hosting a presidential debate in February. This will cut into NBC's bottom line.

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.

The letter:

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.

Reince Priebus
Chairman, Republican National Committee

My letter would have been simpler:
Dear NBC:
CNBC's debate on Wednesday was the last straw. You are dead to me and the Republican candidates. Forget February, and next fall, too.
Conservatives 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.


  1. For LibDems their ideology comes before their business sense. Expect to see non-stop snarky reporting from NBC & CNBC on Republicans.

  2. For the first time in years, I have some respect for the RNC.

  3. "Expect to see non-stop snarky reporting from NBC & CNBC on Republicans."

    So what's new?

  4. "Expect to see non-stop snarky reporting from NBC & CNBC on Republicans."

    I'm not sure of that. Perhaps the best way to support Hillary's coronation is to make sure the Republican candidates get NO exposure in the media, in other words, to "disappear" the Republicans. The election game is won by gaining name recognition among the vast numbers of lazy and uninformed voters who know nothing about a candidate's policies, but simply pull the lever of the voting machine for the name that rings a bell.

    Hillary has name recognition. Donald Trump has it. The other Republican candidates might as well be visitors to our planet from Mars. Most of them are faceless and, in the minds of many voters, both indistinguishable and interchangeable in their anonymity. The Republicans want and need media exposure; the Democrats' allies in the MSM have for many decades given them exposure of the negative kind, every step of the way. However, the election fortunes of the Faceless Republican candidates will not substantially improve if that negative exposure is replaced by no exposure at all. The Republicans need to find ways to by-pass the MSM to get their message out to voters, whether in the current election cycle the media choose to smear them or to ignore them....assuming the party has any message at all, which, after the passage of the new 2-year budget bill, I seriously doubt.

    1. I get your point, but CNBC had their highest viewing audience ever for this Republican debate, just as the previous debates have drawn huge viewerships. Even if Trump was the main draw the others have gotten valuable exposure to all those viewers.

  5. Reince Priebus will probably never enjoy more across the board support than he does this very instance. And I wonder if it will dawn on him that people are happy because for once the Republican party establishment stood on it's hind legs and told someone (besides conservatives) to get bent.

  6. "Larry SheldonOctober 30, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    For the first time in years, I have some respect for the RNC"

    This sentiment is precisely what Donald Trump is capitalizing on and the RNC (and most of the candidates) have just been too stupid to see it as it stands naked before their very eyes.

  7. P.S.: AS The Donald says, YOU'RE FIRED. (Your little dog, Toto, too.)

  8. I like your letter better.

  9. This is long overdue. It should have happened after Candy Crowley took Obungler's side in the debate in 2012 but Mittens was too big of a wimp to challenge her especially since she got her facts wrong.

  10. He didn't cancel, he suspended. He left room to change his mind. Word game.