Remember the debacle at the CNBC Republican debate in October, where the moderators were horrendous in their treatment of the candidates?

I suggested at the time GOP needs to make an example of NBC News:

The GOP has a long history of subjecting its candidates to abuse by debate moderators.

From George Stephanopolous to Candy Crowley, debates are a time for network journalists to earn their battle badges by damaging Republicans.

And the GOP just sucks it up and takes it….

NBC News issued a statement saying it hoped to work with the RNC to resolve any differences.

Don’t let it.

The GOP has stumbled, almost blind, into a way to harness the anger of the Republican electorate while also resetting the relationship between the GOP and the hostile media.

Make an example of NBC News.

It’s a winning issue. No one likes journalists. The profession is not well respected and is viewed widely as biased. Who is going to come to the defense of NBC News?

So why would the CNBC moderators have thought the most recent Republican Primary debate should be any different? …

I don’t think all networks should be shut out. Divide them against themselves.

Will CNN turn away the largest audiences it ever had and the massive paydays to defend NBC News? Let the others profit from NBC News’ loss. They’ll get the message.

Turn the narrative around from the GOP needing the media to the media needing the GOP.

Ted Cruz scored a good soundbite off the moderators:

Reince Preibus commented at the time:

I expected the RNC to chicken out and strike a deal with NBC to be nice next time.

Much to my surprise, the RNC has struck back, as CNN somewhat gleefully reports, NBC replaced by CNN for GOP’s Super Tuesday debate:

The Republican National Committee has decided to sever ties with NBC News for February’s Super Tuesday debate and will instead partner with CNN, it was announced Monday.

“The Republican National Committee has decided to move forward without NBC’s participation in our February debate in Houston, Texas. The RNC has awarded the debate to CNN, who will broadcast it on Thursday, February 25th in Houston at a location to be decided,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a statement.

Priebus said that the debate will include Telemundo, the NBCUniversal-owned Hispanic media company that had been scheduled to co-host the debate; National Review, NBC’s original conservative media partner; and Salem Communications, CNN’s conservative media partner in previous debates.

The decision comes two-and-a-half months after the RNC suspended its partnership with NBC News because of CNBC’s handling of the third GOP debate in October, which the Republicans said devolved into a series of “gotcha’ questions.

More, please.


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