Deny them, of course, only if both networks proceed with their planned documentary and/or mini-series on Hillary Clinton sometime between now and 2016. If the networks cancel such plans, the RNC seems satisfied to continue partnering with both networks to broadcast primary debates.
Report from The Washington Post:
The Republican National Committee formally decided Friday not to partner with CNN and NBC News for any presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle, a rebuke of the networks’ plans to air programs about Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Top RNC leaders voted unanimously on a resolution stating that the national party will not partner with the networks nor sanction any primary debates they plan to sponsor and broadcast.
Cable and broadcast television networks have sponsored and produced dozens of presidential primary debates during the recent presidential election cycles, often partnering with state parties or other political organizations in order to draw candidates to the televised events. During the 2012 cycle, top networks sponsored at least 20 debates that stretched from May 2011 to February 2012; CNN hosted seven debates, while NBC News, CNBC or MSNBC hosted four.
The networks do not need the permission of the RNC to host such debates, but the resolution approved Friday likely will prompt state party officials and other conservative organizations to not sponsor, sanction or attend any debates hosted by NBC or CNN and thus keep candidates from attending.
In an early sign of the resistance the two networks might face in early primary states, officials with the New Hampshire Republican Party said the RNC “was right to raise concerns” and that it agreed with plans not to partner with CNN or NBC.
Party officials approved the resolution Friday morning in Boston at the RNC’s annual summer meeting.
Some GOP leaders have been calling for an outright ban on major media outlets altogether since they see an inherit liberal bias in their reporting to begin with. We’ll see how this plays out but perhaps the 2015-2016 debate season won’t look like it did in 2011-2012.