On Friday the GOP suspended its relationship with NBC amidst growing controversy over debate moderators who Wednesday took it upon themselves to ask candidates questions about themselves and their campaign platforms on live TV.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the suspension in a letter Friday, explaining that CNBC’s “handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith,” evidenced by questions “designed to embarrass our candidates,” which—to their credit—they did just fine on their own.
From Priebus’ letter:
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.
In response, NBC has said only that, “This is a disappointing development. However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”
Working in questionable faith is Priebus who, one imagines, has been scrambling in light of recent news that the campaigns are meeting Saturday without the RNC to plot out future debates on their own.