Please NBC, Let The Republicans Take Their Toys And Go Home

Ever since Wednesday night, Republicans have been steaming about the CNBC debate, claiming the moderators had a “liberal bias.” Which is odd, because if anything, I actually thought Fox’s Megyn Kelly was a lot harder on the candidates than any of the CNBC moderators were.

Apparently, it is very rude to point out to someone that their tax plan is mathematically impossible or to ask them how they plan to get Mexico to pay for a $2 billion wall, and we’re all just supposed to go along and pretend so that no one’s feelings get hurt. The GOP claims they’re upset by the lack of substantive questions, but it’s pretty hard to ask those questions when the only answer you’re going to get, regardless of what you ask, is something about the invisible hand of the free market. Or Jesus.

Thus, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has decided to sever the RNC’s partnership with NBC, and has written a letter explaining his decision:

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

Man, NBC, if you really are anywhere near to being as in the bag for the left as these people want to think? PLEASE, PLEASE just let them go. Seriously. It would be the coolest thing you ever did. I would love you madly forever. I would even start watching whatever it is you have on Thursday nights now that “Parks and Rec” and “30 Rock” are off the air!

Don’t give into them, I beg of you. Yes, I get that the ratings are great because everyone wants to watch to see what insane shit they’re going to say, but trust me, it is so worth it. Let them hold their breath, let them take their toys and go home. It will be beautiful.

Now, Ted Cruz has an interesting idea. He would like to have a Republican debate moderated by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. I am in full and enthusiastic agreement with Joan Walsh of The Nation here — I definitely want to see this happen:

Let the candidates stay within their wingnut bubble – the same bubble that let them believe Mitt Romney was cruising to victory in 2012–and compete over who can be the most vicious to undocumented immigrants, the cruelest to women seeking abortions, and the kindest to the top one percent.

Let the voters watch—and then cast ballots for the Democrats in droves next November.

I’m telling you, this is the smartest play. It’s the Willy Wonka play. Give them everything they want and let them hang themselves. I’m into it.

[The Nation]