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Leverage and Lysistrata

And what caused this reaction, pray tell? Just this:

The Republican National Committee (RNC) voted unanimously Friday to pull the group’s partnership with NBC and CNN for the 2016 GOP presidential primary debates unless the networks kill their planned films on Hillary Clinton.

“We don't have time for the media's games,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote at the RNC summer meeting in Boston. “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets.”

According to the resolution, called “In support of media objectivity and accountability” and obtained by The Hill, the RNC called the planned films “political favoritism” and accused NBC and CNN of airing “programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton.”

CNN announced last month it had planned a feature-length film on the life of the former secretary of State and possible Democratic presidential contender. NBC will air a four-hour mini-series starring Diane Lane as Clinton.

She looks exactly like Hillary Clinton She looks exactly like Hillary Clinton

Better late than never, I suppose, that the GOP learns it's not a battered wife, and that it has the wherewithal to fight back should it so choose. It's generally a cold day in hell when Maureen Dowd agrees with Priebus, but hey, sometimes pigs really do take wing:

Reince Priebus says a lot of goofy things, but the chairman of the Republican National Committee has a point.

Films can dramatically alter the way famous people are viewed, making them cooler, more glamorous, more sympathetic — and the reverse. Clever filmmakers can offer up delicious soufflés of propaganda and storytelling, putting a new imprint on the historical record.

Priebus has complained to NBC and CNN executives about plans for what he calls Hillary Clinton “puff pieces” while Hillary is “on the dance floor...”

And then quickly come crashing back down to earth:

Of course, Priebus being Priebus, he went on to say something goofy, petulantly threatening to cut NBC and CNN out of Republican debates if they don’t cancel their Hillary shows by Aug. 14.

After his 2012 autopsy, the R.N.C. chief said that there should be fewer Republican debates (so the candidates have fewer chances to self-destruct, as Rick Perry did, or self-deport to the right, as Mitt Romney did). So maybe he’s just trying to kill two birds with one stone.

But that just made the Republicans look as though they were running around stamping their feet because they don’t have any leaders outside New Jersey anyone wants to see a movie about — let alone two. They are wasting time trying to stop Obamacare, and being led around by the nose by the cretinous Ted Cruz.

Well, Mo, half right. And her crack about the "cretinous" Ted Cruz is an early warning of the Palin-like fear and loathing the junior senator from Texas engenders within the leftist breast.

As for CNN, they're a legitimate news network, right? The sensible alternative to the left-wing loons on MSNBC and the wingnuts and wacko birds on Fox? They can be trusted to produce a fair and impartial documentary about the former first lady and secretary of State, correct? Ummmm, no --

“Any concerns the Clinton team had are all gone. This puts the ‘P’ in puff piece,” a Republican National Committee rep said this afternoon, in response to our report about the announcement by CNN Films that it had hired senior director Courtney Sexton, who previously oversaw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the bio-docu Jimmy Carter Man From Plains among many other projects. “What’s next: Michael Moore directing?” added Sean Spicer, the RNC’s communications director, in an email to Politico about Deadline’s coverage of the hire.

More from Deadline Hollywood:

CNN Films, the division of CNN Worldwide responsible for commissioning the documentary about Hillary Clinton that’s got the RNC’s knickers in a knot, today announced it is welcoming Courtney Sexton to its Los Angeles team as senior director. The Republican National Committee may latch on to this news — in much the same way it did reports MSNBC was giving Alec Baldwin a program — because Sexton has spent the last eight years working with Participant Media where, CNN noted, she managed from development to release such documentary films as An Inconvenient Truth. That’s the Oscar-winning docu about former Veep Al Gore’s global warming campaign. Other titles Sexton shepherded include Jimmy Carter Man From Plains, among many titles. Prior to joining Participant, Sexton worked for two years with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim — An Inconvenient Truth’s director — on the HBO series Deadwood, among other projects.

You can look, but you can't have You can look, but you can't touch

The unholy alliance between entertainment and politics needs to be sundered. As Sam Goldwyn famously said, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union." Priebus's Lysistrata approach paid dividends immediately. What took the Republicans so long?

(Thumbnail image on PJM homepage by Shutterstock.com.)