RNC chair criticizes networks for lack of convention coverage, hints at bias Update: Storm makes it moot

No coverage of the RNC on Monday night by networks, but the shorter three-day social-issues-palooza the Democrats are planning will be covered each night. Reince Priebus is not impressed:

“I am pretty disappointed with the networks for not covering us on Monday, but we are getting good at dealing with the mainstream media,” Priebus told CNN…

“Listen, I think the media has an obsession with distractions, they havent been focused on the economy, jobs and the promises that Obama has failed to deliver,” Priebus said. “Again, we getting used to getting our message out in spite of the mainstream media.”

Here’s how network coverage stacks up:

ABC and CBS will each air one hour of prime time convention programming on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights of both the Republican and Democratic conventions. NBC will mirror the other networks in coverage of the RNC, but at the DNC, will air one hour of primetime programming on Tuesday and two hours on Thursday.

Maybe we can get some of that sweet, sweet NBC tape-delay everyone loved during the Olympics. In the place of the RNC Monday, “CBS and ABC had opted to air re-runs of Hawaii Five-0 and Castle, respectively, while NBC would air an all-new episode of Grimm.”

Ann Romney’s speech, originally scheduled for Monday has already been shifted to Tuesday night, so it will be covered. She’s a charismatic woman with the potential to give a great speech, so it was wise they moved her.

Until late this afternoon (Friday), the Romney campaign had remained optimistic that the networks would adjust their schedules to accommodate the aspiring first lady’s speech, but they refused to budge, forcing last- minute maneuvering.

The stalemate arose because this year’s four-day Republican gathering is a day longer than the Democratic National Convention. In the interest of fairness, the major networks will cover each convention equally, broadcasting three total hours spread out over three nights. This means less overall coverage than in 2008, but is on par with 2004.

Democrats had originally planned a four-day convention, but abandoned their plans for a one-day CarolinaFest at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the face of slow fundraising. Sorta feels like Republicans are taking it on the chin for getting their stuff together and not having to cancel a day of their convention, huh? But as Priebus says, we’re used to it. “In the interest of fairness,” and all.

Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush will speak Monday, but their speeches will go uncovered. It’s a shame to lose Haley and Bush coverage in prime time, because they’re both impressive. But not seeing Huckabee, who is of course a great speaker, means the most prominent vestige of Akin support will not be seen from the podium. That may prevent some media obsession with that storyline.

Update: Well, I guess we’re cramming everything into three days anyway:

The Republican National Committee released a statement late today saying that due to concerns related to Tropical Storm Isaac, Monday events in Tampa are canceled.

Party Chairman Reince Priebus said in the statement the convention will convene Monday and “immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon.”

Tropical Storm Isaac moved into Cuba on Saturday after causing flooding and several deaths in Haiti. Forecasters say it is on a track that would bring it toward Florida on Monday and Tuesday.