RNC touts media victories

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Friday applauded his group's "media victories," touting a series of apologies it has extracted from news organizations in the last year.

During prepared remarks at the RNC's spring meeting in Tennessee, Priebus said the committee is getting results with the media by acting smartly and aggressively rather than simply complaining about a perceived bias in newsrooms.   

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"None of this is about just getting an apology," he said. "It’s about acting when it matters most, so we can level the playing field, hold people accountable and get our message out there."

He added: "I’ll believe they’re unbiased when I see it. Until then, our media victories matter."

Priebus cited the RNC's vote last year to restrict CNN and MSNBC from hosting GOP primary debates in 2016 if the networks went ahead with productions about Hillary Clinton, a documentary and TV miniseries, respectively. The networks eventually canceled the programs. 

In January, the RNC got the president of MSNBC to apologize and fire a staff member after the network tweeted that conservatives might hate a new Cheerios ad that features a biracial family.

Ebony magazine also apologized to the RNC in March, after an editor got into a twitter confrontation with an RNC press secretary. Priebus cited a number of other examples as well. 

"We all know that it’s often the media that gets in the way. In the past, Republicans would complain about it but didn’t act. That was the old way," he said. "By acting smartly in the most important cases, we’re getting results with the media."

At the spring meeting, the RNC is approving the creation of a committee to govern debates during the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Priebus and other Republicans have bemoaned the high number of debates and some of the moderators picked in 2012. The committee is expected to decide what debates candidates should participate in and which media organizations get to be involved. 

"Our candidates deserve a fair hearing," he said. "Our voters deserve a real debate. And the liberal media doesn’t deserve to be in the driver’s seat."