Yesterday marked the launch of an avowedly conservative media platform for all the Tea Baggers, Birchers, Oathkeepers, and fans of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Ayn Rand. Now you may have thought that there was already such a network in Fox News. You may have noticed that most of the rest of the media is already catering to the right-wing as well.
Featured programming on RIGHTNETWORK includes the comedy show Right2Laugh with guest Jon Lovitz. Lovitz is best known for his pathological liar, a character that should feel right at home amongst the conservative set.
Nevertheless, founders of RIGHTNETWORK have determined that there is a burning need for another right-wing network and they are providing one that went live yesterday. The network is financed by a group including Ed Snider, the CEO of Comcast Spectacor, and actor Kelsey Grammer. As it is a private enterprise, the remaining investors have not been disclosed.
The significance of someone like Snider participating in this network is that he will have some influence over the network’s carriage on the nation’s biggest cable system operator, Comcast. Comcast is presently in the process of acquiring NBC which, of course, includes NBC News and MSNBC. What impact that would have on NBC’s content remains to be seen. But it is a legitimate matter of concern with regard to the possibility that Comcast has an interest in shifting its other news outlets farther to the right.
Grammer has been busy promoting the network, including an appearance today on Fox News with Neil Cavuto. I wonder why the right is so accommodating to Grammer when they ordinarily lambaste any celebrity who deigns to venture into politics or social commentary. And Grammer, a well known conservative, is doing far more than offering his opinion, an act that, by itself, would stir an avalanche of disdain were he Sean Penn or Jennifer Aniston.
Whether or not there is an audience for the network is debatable. Fox News previously tried to produced a comedy newscast that was laughed off the air. In a statement from the new network’s president, Kevin McFeeley, the network is seeking to corral the same conservative couch-potatoes as Fox News:
“Investors hope that the support of a conservative audience that has made Fox News Channel and radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh successful could also work for entertainment programming.”
At least McFeeley acknowledges that Fox News is a right-wing network with a conservative audience. Cavuto didn’t have any problem with that characterization either when he interviewed Grammer. Maybe they are getting closer to abandoning the “fair and balanced” slogan that was never a realistic description of their reporting.