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.”