Report: NBC News Fears 'Retaliation From the Former First Lady' If Hillary Miniseries Airs

August 21st, 2013 11:05 AM

On August 8, I speculated that the Clintons might have been responsible for three different NBC employees within a few hours of each other speaking out against the network's planned miniseries about Hillary.

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter cited unnamed sources at NBC News claiming that fear of the Clintons might be playing a role in that network's apparent cold-feet regarding the project:

[S]ources at NBC News say that it was not simply Republican ire that set the news division on edge. Rather, it was the specter of retaliation from the former first lady and secretary of state, who very well could be a leading 2016 presidential candidate. The Clintons' penchant for grudges is legendary. And Hillary in 2008 threatened to boycott an MSNBC-sponsored debate over former anchor David Shuster's comment that Chelsea Clinton had been "pimped out" for her mother's campaign. Any scripted Clinton project almost certainly would include content objectionable to Bill and Hillary. "The Clintons are the ones to worry about," says an NBC source. "Who needs those headaches?"

For those that have forgotten, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Robert Gibbs within hours of each other spoke out against this project on August 7.

Independent TV news analyst Andrew Tyndall marvelously observed to THR, "It's a bit rich for Todd and Mitchell to cry foul now about their journalistic purity being contaminated by commercial and ideological considerations. As if the MSNBC lineup where Todd and Mitchell ply their trade every day is not shared with activist ideologues such as Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz."


Since then, the Republican National Committee voted not to participate in presidential debates on CNN and NBC if those networks proceeded with plans to air programs about Mrs. Clinton.

Hours later, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told Deadline the miniseries might never go into production.

On Tuesday, an executive at one of NBC's rivals told The Wrap, "It's going to die a slow death."

Apparently, that's what's happening. According to THR, many at NBC believe the project will never happen.

"I don't think anybody anticipated it would become such a headache so quickly," an NBCU source told THR.

As such, THR claimed "NBCU sources predict [Greenblatt] will let the furor die down and the project will simply disappear without a big announcement."

I guess that really was a rat I smelled a few weeks ago.