NBC NN Fails to Cover NBC Being Stripped of GOP Debate, Given to CNN Instead

On Monday, the major English and Spanish network ignored on their evening newscasts the decision by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to officially strip NBC News of its chance to host the February 26 Republican presidential debate that was soon after awarded to CNN (while keeping previous partners Telemundo and National Review). 

This, of course, included NBC Nightly News, which made no allusion to the RNC vote to remove NBC as the network tasked with holding the last debate before Super Tuesday on March 1st. This comes despite the network having repeatedly acknowledged the party’s warning that this could happen following the disastrous CNBC debate on October 28. 

The announcement that RNC would instead give the lead spot to CNN made its first on-air mention on CNN’s The Situation Room with host Wolf Blitzer explaining that CNN and previous debate partner Salem Radio Network will join Telemundo and National Review

The Republican National Committee announced just a few moments ago that it will award its February 25th Republican presidential debate to CNN. That debate was originally assigned to NBC, but after the RNC's October CNBC debate, the RNC suspended its partnership with NBC for the February debate. CNN will partner with the Telemundo network with National Review and with the Salem Radio network to put on the February 25th debate. 

Commenting on the matter, CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston touted the event as “arguably one of the most important debates of the cycle” before going on to take a few shots at NBC for having suffered this “crushing blow”

Wolf, this is clearly a crushing blow to NBC. There is so much interest right now in the Republican presidential race. Look, we saw NBC did the debate with Democrats, but here at CNN we do welcome in opportunity, you know, to host this debate during this very critical time during the election.

Just before the evening newscasts, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell released a statement expressing his approval of the “unworthy” NBC losing its chance to host a GOP debate. That statement can be found in full here.

The relevant portion of the transcript from CNN’s The Situation Room on January 18 can be found below.

CNN’s The Situation Room
January 18, 2016
6:48 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: This just coming into The Situation Room. The Republican National Committee announced just a few moments ago that it will award its February 25th Republican presidential debate to CNN. That debate was originally assigned to NBC, but after the RNC's October CNBC debate, the RNC suspended its partnership with NBC for the February debate. CNN will partner with the Telemundo network with National Review and with the Salem Radio network to put on the February 25th debate. This debates comes only five days before the March 1st Super Tuesday primary where voters in a dozen states cast their votes and Mark Preston, the February 25th debate will take place in Houston. It sets the stage for a lot of contests a few days later. 

CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR MARK PRESTON: No doubt about it and arguably one of the most important debates of the cycle and look, Wolf, this is clearly a crushing blow to NBC. There is so much interest right now in the Republican presidential race. Look, we saw NBC did the debate with Democrats, but here at CNN we do welcome in opportunity, you know, to host this debate during this very critical time during the election. So Wolf, I guess very simply, we'll see you in Houston. 

BLITZER: We're all going to the Houston at the end for the Republican presidential debate. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center