NBC News’ Chuck Todd Says Hillary Clinton Miniseries Will Be ‘Total Nightmare’ For News Division

Hillary Clinton Documentary
Scott Olson/Getty Images

NBC News’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented the network’s plans for a miniseries based on the life of Hillary Clinton, saying that it would be a “total nightmare” for the news division.

In an appearance this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Todd said that “we know there’s this giant firewall. We know we have nothing to do with it. We know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever it is going to be if it comes out. But there’s nothing we can do about it. And we’re only going to own the negative, whether it’s negative because the Clinton people are upset that it’s too tough on them, or negative because the Republicans think it’s the glorification of her.”

He added, “No matter what only we are going to own it because people are going to see the peacock and they see NBC and they see NBC News and they think, ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.'”

The plans for the miniseries already have generated protest from the Republican National Committee, which sent a letter to the network earlier this week urging them to drop plans for the project or face no cooperation from the party in sponsorship of 2016 primary debates. On Tuesday, on the other side of the spectrum, Media Matters for America also called on the network to cancel he project, with its founder David Brock concluding that they raise “too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election.”

NBC News issued a statement earlier this week, pointing out that it had nothing to do with a project being developed from its entertainment division. Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, told reporters when he announced the project that it would air before Clinton would announce any candidacy, to be assured that the network didn’t run afoul of FCC equal time rules.

The RNC and Media Matters also have called on CNN to drop plans for a documentary on Clinton, to be directed by Charles Ferguson and to be developed through its CNN Films unit. The network objected to the judgment of a project when it is far from finished.

Todd went on Twitter after his appearance and wrote that it was “too soon to do this.” “To any entertainment folks looking for a complelling miniseries: Try John Edwards.”

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  1. Michael Anthony says:

    It makes you think that the powers that be ONLY want political films based on living powerful politicians IF they ONLY focus on what a side wants. In this case, RNC wants a hack job, news guy here wants it canned, and so forth. More push for censorship then in the film business. All these groups think voters are stupid and led astray. Well, maybe in Scout Carolina.

  2. G. Jardoness says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen, please. If people want to create and air this, fine. If they want to foment over it for publicity, fine. The extent to which the rest of us are manipulated into making this a battleground or some litmus test of any kind, shame on you. The only thing the producers of this are truly worried about, is whether it’s up against any of the current ‘reality-based melodramas’, like, “Duck Dynasty” or “Honey Boo-boo…” — and the rest of us can take comfort in still being able to make up our own minds and express our own opinions.

  3. Rod says:

    Not that NBC ever enters partisan politics (er, MSNBC), so what if the mini series enrages both Republicans and Democrats, it’s always all about the ratings. If they’re really low, then NBC should be enraged. If the mini series is very flattering to Ms. Clinton, then FOX can trot out one that trashes her. Either way, the Clintons have become inured by attacks on their character over the decades. Their skin is so thick as to be impenetrable so I doubt one mini series or more is going to change anything. Shame on the RNC for being so petty. My word, the DNC has had multiple opportunities/reasons to make idle threats to “unfair and unbalanced” FOX News or is that Benghazi News or Obamacare News.

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