Reince Priebus’ Letter to NBC Chairman Suspending Debate Partnership

Everyone who watched the CNBC hosted GOP Presidential Candidate Debate Wednesday night was a witness to Mainstream Media bias in action. A tsunami of articles condemning the moderators — John Harwood, Becky Quick, Carl Quintanilla — ensued, and deservedly so. Harwood, Quick and Quintanilla were three Freshman who got suited up with the Varsity and didn’t know what hit them.

The first question that should come to mind is, who in the world thought this would be a good corporation to host the debate? Next will we have MSNBC host and Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris Perry, and Chris Matthews as moderators?

Fortunately, the GOP contenders were quick-witted and did not cower before the Progressives, but pushed back in spectacular fashion. It was beautiful to see. Further, the audience cheered and applauded like they would at a REAL debate: they grew more boisterous as the candidates cut through the asinine and sophomoric questions that sounded as though they were crafted by

Perhaps, the debate became an accidental watershed moment where the GOP field united and attacked the media for being, as Senator Marco Rubio noted, “Hillary’s super pac.”

Senator Ted Cruz lit the room up as he quipped, “The questions asked in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions — Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?”

Rubio and Cruz were absolutely right and the audience, both in the hall and those watching on TV across the nation, knew they were right. A roar emanated throughout the hall and echoed across America as, for once, those Republicans showed the gumption that is sorely needed.

Conservatives have the time tested ideals that weave the fabric of our families and our nation into strong cloth. The ideals of Washington, Lincoln and Reagan. We have the worldview that is right and will encourage life, liberty and the pursuit of (true) happiness. What’s lacking is for every last one of of us to follow Cruz and Rubio’s lead and become apologists all: our nation needs no less than every last conservative to fight and never quit.

Now, in a move that is, as my best friend noted, “damage control,” Reince Priebus, has written a letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack suspending the GOP partnership with the corporation for any further debates. Perhaps it’s prevent defense and a little late, but it’s a start. By golly it’s a start.

Here’s Reince’s letter — I’ll call it the “shot heard round the world” that may start an avalanche of determination:

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

Better late than never, Reince. Now let’s all follow his lead and start acting like our nation needs us desperately and we have the answer.

First published at