Right Network: 'Pro-America, Pro-Business, Pro-Military sensibilities'

NEW YORK - APRIL 13:  (FILE PHOTO) Actor Kelse...

Actor and right-wing news guru, Kelsey Grammer. Image by Getty Images via Daylife

(Updated)

Comcast has joined forces with the Tea Party movement to form by airing “Right Network,” a television/web/phone venture that hopes to “entertain, engage, and enlighten Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.” (emphasis mine)

It’s all very exciting. Kelsey Grammer is a partner in the venture! Remember Frasier, you guys?

The operative word here is “reinforces.” Right Network is media built specifically for teabaggers. It exists not to inform, or encourage critical thinking, but to reassure far-right, fringe ideologies. Quite simply: it’s propaganda — and that fact is plainly stated in RN’s own preview document. (h/t Shoq)

On television, through partners including Comcast, RIGHTNETWORK delivers programming on demand that enables our audience to watch what they want, when they want. Everything Right, at the click of a remote. The lineup focuses on entertainment with Pro-America, Pro-Business, Pro-Military sensibilities — compelling content that inspires action, invites a response, and influence the national conversation.

As opposed to what? The mainstream media is already pro-America, pro-business, and pro-military, unless I’m missing a Burn The Flag, Marine-Shooting Cooperative network hidden between MSNBC and Comedy Central.

Fox, the mouthpiece of the GOP, is obviously as pro-America, pro-business, and pro-military as a network can get, but the other news networks, CNN and MSNBC, also share these qualities. All major networks are inherently pro-business because they are owned by larger corporations AKA “businesses.”

For example: MSNBC is part of NBC, which is owned by GE, which builds fighters, helicopters, nuclear weapons, and unmanned aircrafts. When your business is war, the incentive for peace is almost nonexistent, and the media underlings are unlikely to harbor the desire to ruffle the boss’s feathers by adopting an anti-war platform.

Unless, of course, peace becomes a valuable commodity. Back when peace was very “unhip,” Phil Donahue was promptly sacked from MSNBC in 2003 — not for burning the flag during a Communism-inspired rage — but because he was an opponent of the Iraq war.

During a time when the other networks couldn’t staple enough American flags to their sets, Donahue did the unthinkable — he questioned the actions of the government, something good journalists are always supposed to do, but nevermind. Donahue was “anti-American” and “anti-military,” and of course, “anti-business” because GE was/is making oodles of money from wartime weapons and contracts.

Now that the Iraq war is unpopular, MNBC has all kinds of friendly “liberal” faces, such as Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann — neither of whom are explicitly anti-war, nor anti-Capitalist pinko Communists. But they do represent the farthest the media is willing to wade into the “liberal pool.”

For these reasons, it’s redundant to call a new media outlet “pro-business” or “pro-military.” Now, if Frasier was launching something on an “anti-business, anti-military” platform, that’d really be news.

Nor was there a need for yet another conservative news niche. The right-wing Fox network is  the highest rated basic cable channel in primetime, beating out ABC, CBS, and NBC. Limbaugh’s radio audience alone is around 20 million people. The Sunday Morning bobblehead shows are consistently dominated by Conservatives, the people normally associated with the “real America” i.e. business and military-loving patriots. And most recently, the teabaggers have enjoyed a level of media coverage anti-war protesters can only dream of.

The superfluousness of RN aside, the fact that Comcast is a partner in this venture should concern fans of real news. Comcast is set to merge with NBC even though this would be a huge blow to diversity in media. If the merger takes place, Comcast will gain control and access of news, online information, and cable television. The ideologies of such a corporation should interest every American, and by entering this partnership, it’s clear that Comcast’s leadership has a keen interest in the teabagger movement.

It’s very likely Comcast views RN as a smart investment*, and nothing more. Tea parties are “in” right now, so they’re profitable, and it behooves the company to get in on the action. That’s Rupert Murdoch’s old song and dance: it’s business, nothing personal. Even though the founder and president of Fox, Roger Ailes, a veteran of the Nixon and Reagan campaigns, worked for decades as a Republican operative in Washington, and shaped George H.W. Bush’s media strategy, the formation of a right-wing propaganda channel is just part of a business model. The fact that the craziness spouted 24/7 on his network ultimately gained credibility and permanently altered the political landscape of the country — in favor of right-wing ideology — is just an accidental byproduct of doing business.

Even Fox hides behind a small degree of shame: No, really, you guys! We’re fair AND balanced! Right Network is just the logical conclusion to an absurd equation first etched by Murdoch and Ailes. Take a huge corporation (Comcast,) add crazy (teabaggers,) subtract any shame that might inspire a network to report facts without spin, and watch the propaganda grow.

This time around, the agenda isn’t even hidden. RN exists only to reinforce a Pro-America, Pro-Business, Pro-Military agenda. And make no mistake: “Pro-America” has a very specific meaning. If you don’t believe the free market can cure all of society’s woes, but you do believe the government should help poor people, black people aren’t more likely to be poor because of laziness, and gays are human beings who should be treated as equal citizens, you’re probably part of the “anti-America” crowd.

It’s an old message, but now it has a powerful new platform. After each massive media merger like the planned Comcast-NBC wedding, the media pool shrinks. Not only do reporters lose jobs, but the media content becomes more homogenized. In other words, the teabaggers’ megaphone just got turned up courtesy of their partnership with Comcast, and should the Comcast-NBC merger occur, the noise will get even louder.

The FCC just extended the comment period for the Comcast-NBC merger. If you feel the urge, an anti-merger petition is located here.

*Update: RightNetwork COO, Kevin McFeeley, contacted me to clarify Comcast has not formed RightNetwork, a claim I never actually intended to make. RN’s original wording — the “partnership” business — was the point I wanted to highlight. When I use the word “investment,” I do not mean Comcast has stock in RN, but normally businesses only partner with other businesses if they see it as a lucrative investment in the sense that the partnership will benefit both businesses in the end.

21 Comments

  1. Rini Hara

    I hope that network totally fails. I hope it falls flat on it’s face.

    Is that wrong of me?

    I know it’s not “right.” (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

  2. andylevinson

    What about the Obama-wall street-media fascist left wing network….which actually is in power and running the country into the ground?

  3. leonkelly

    GE’s no. 1 enabler: Barack Obama.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Obamas-hidden-bailout-of-General-Electric_03_04-40686707.html

    The left had a chance and it is being blown.
    What is really saddening is the American people have this corporatist or a Republican to choose for president going forward. It’s a long shot, but the only hope is a 2rd party.
    All the media changes for the better or for the worse won’t matter when the people vote and the elected don’t do their bidding.

  4. cultofzoidberg

    ummm….doesn’t Fox News already exist? I’m pretty sure it does.

    on the bright side, it should divide up the base and lower fox news ratings.

  5. scottchaffee

    And America’s race back to the 20th Century continues.

  6. winski

    Amazing that ANOTHER propaganda outlet pops up amid that most biased media forest we’ve seen as a nation in decades… Let’s see, will Eric Prince get his own comedy show??

    Another clear attempt of a neo-nut rich guy trying to buy the brain-space of easily manipulate non-thinking american droids with just another layer of hate-spew…

  7. bulletproofair

    I’m SO glad you defined what being “American” is to these radicals…I was hoping you’d point that out.

    It seems being “American” means restraint from using strategies and policy that has proven useful and successful elsewhere…

    And now that they’ve got their VERY OWN NETWORK, they won’t have to worry about those HORRIBLE and demeaning subject restraints that are put on Fox news….right….

    I’m not sure where ANYONE gets off calling the “mainstream media” liberal….it’s just factually not.

    In fact, the media seems MORE reluctant than ever to wade out in the unexplored depths of liberal commentary and journalism….

    So while us “progressives” were so busy “whining” and being “loons” over the past 10 years in our attempts to tell the right “our country is headed in the wrong direction,” they called US UNPATRIOTIC.

    But NOW that they’ve decided to wake up (there IS a Black man in office….) THEY’RE the ones who preach violent acts and have a cable channel devoted to fabricating lies……but the Progressives are “unpatriotic.”

    Wow….I just YEARN for the day when Republicans learn that what is good for Fox is NOT good for our Country……but how far do they have to take it before they figure it out?

  8. andylevinson

    RE:The operative word here is “reinforces.” Right Network is media built specifically for teabaggers.

    Hey, what do you think of reuters for revealing Obama’s plan to bomb Iran: is it treason or did obama plant the story?

  9. kurtfawnigat

    Apparently the drunk-driver Kelsey has a thing about left-handed scissors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehMl-CztpnA

    oh wait…I get it. “left”-handed scissors! Brilliant!

    sounds to me as a media man like this thing’s a half-baked “strike while the crazy’s hot,” type deal. It won’t work because there’s only two options for the copycats (herd of copycats waiting in wings)- either outcrazy Beck and Hannity with the fake tears and fema camps, which just can’t be done imo. Or, they’re banking on the appeal of a network where non-bat-shit crazy conservatives don’t feel slimey/insane by association.
    And we call that the MSM.
    The post 9/11 world (which oddly ewnough only exists in certain corners of North America) is to salesmen what undocumented immigrants are to the next governor of Arizona.
    cha-heffenreffen-ching!

  10. larryb33c

    Finally! An alternative to those leftists such as David Gregory, Brian Williams, and John Roberts.
    Now..if only they would infiltrate academia and root out all those well entrenched Marxists who are poisoning our young minds.

  11. jham710

    Thank you for this article. The whole idea of this network turns my stomach. When I hear people talk about “Liberal” media, it always makes me laugh…when has it been liberal in the past 30 years, exactly?

    http://www.thehamandlegsshow.com

  12. senafitz

    I’m from Comcast Corporate Communications — here’s the official comment of the company:

    The blog reports that Comcast is an investor in, or partner of the Right Network are inaccurate. We have no partnership with this venture and have no plans to launch or distribute the network. As we have done with hundreds of other content providers, we have met with the network’s representatives. We do carry a number of independent networks on Comcast representing a wide variety of interests and diverse viewpoints.

  13. jingobingo

    So Ummmmm what is so bad about celebrating being an American? The last time I checked there still was freedom of Speech, it seems like a group of people decided to exercise this wether I agree with them or not is irrelevant. Our ystem will test wether most Americans share the shame values or not because if they don’t this Venture will fail. It seems though that The “right wing radio host” Like Beck and Limbuagh are trumping the left wing ones . So maybe majority of Americans Love the military,celebrate the costitution and hate overtaxation after all. Hmmm but then again the select ” intelectual- progressive- liberal- thinking New- York -times -reading” look down the the soocalled “working -class- unenlighthened- right- wing- Americans, they thik they are irrelevant,ignorant,uneducated rednecks, And if you happened to be not white you are just a sellout. This confuses me. Whats so enligthened about this?

  14. His first name is “Kelsey”;
    He played a liberal, elitist academic on Cheers;
    Which character developed into a latte-drinking metrosexual on Frazier;
    He voices an effeminate animated snob on the Simpsons;

    This is the righ-wing spokesman of the moment??
    The only thing linking his persona with tea party values is that it appears as if his last name is the word “Grammar” misspelled.

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