WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee charged Monday that NBC and CNN are promoting a potential presidential candidacy by Hillary Rodham Clinton, threatening to blackball them from future GOP primary debates if they air upcoming programs on her.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus called a planned NBC miniseries on Clinton and a CNN documentary on her an ‘‘extended commercial’’ for a future Clinton presidential campaign. In separate letters to the networks, he urged them to cancel ‘‘this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production.’’
Clinton has not yet said whether she will run for president again in 2016 but her future remains the subject of wide speculation. The primary debates typically provide a ratings boost for the networks and are coveted as the presidential campaign unfolds.
In making the charge, the RNC was raising a common complaint among Republican activists that news and entertainment industries favor Democratic candidates. Republicans have also used a potential Clinton campaign as a fund-raising tool .
CNN Films is planning a feature-length documentary film on Clinton, looking at her professional and personal life. It will be led by director and producer Charles Ferguson and is expected to air in 2014.
NBC has announced a miniseries called ‘‘Hillary,’’ starring actress Diane Lane. No air date has been announced but it is timed to be released before the 2016 presidential election. NBC has said the four-hour miniseries will follow Clinton’s life and career from 1998 to the present.