Remember when Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin what newspapers and magazines she read, and Palin responded later by calling it a “gotcha question?” Well, the entire GOP essentially just did the same thing.

On Friday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sent an open letter to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, informing the network that the GOP was suspending their February 26th Republican primary debate on NBC after this week’s CNBC debate featured questions that didn’t make sweet, sweet love with the GOP’s platform.

“While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of “gotcha” questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates,” Priebus whines. “What took place Wednesday night was not an attempt to give the American people a greater understanding of our candidates’ policies and ideas.

“I have tremendous respect for the First Amendment and freedom of the press,” Priebus continued. “However, I also expect the media to host a substantive debate on consequential issues important to Americans. CNBC did not.”

Put another way: the GOP’s candidates do plenty to embarrass themselves on their own. They certainly don’t need CNBC’s help! Not that anything CNBC asked during the debate could really be interpreted by anyone outside of the right-wing bubble as a “gotcha question,” but hey, whatever helps you sleep at night, Priebus.

Arguably the funniest portion of Priebus’ rant? His claiming that he expects the media “to host a substantive debate on consequential issues important to Americans.” Yeah, CNBC! You should be more like CNN! Remember when they asked all of the candidates what their Secret Service codenames would be? A decision the president doesn’t even get to actually make? That’s apparently what Priebus means when he uses words like “substantive,” “consequential,” and “important.”

The February 26th debate was going to be hosted in a three-way partnership between NBC News, Telemundo (which is owned by NBC), and conservative wingnut watering hole National Review. But don’t worry, National Review fans who are inexplicably reading a progressive publication: Priebus plans on keeping that crappy outlet involved in that debate no matter what.

“While we are suspending our partnership with NBC News and its properties, we still fully intend to have a debate on that day, and will ensure that National Review remains part of it.”

Hey, I have an idea for you, Reince! Why not get Fox News to broadcast, ask Alex Jones to moderate, and bring in CainTV as well? Then you guys can create a human centipede that is all too willing to shovel your BS talking points in one end, which miraculously comes out the other end exactly the same!

Photo by Gage Skidmore