Kelsey Grammer Launching Tea Party TV

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Jon Voight may be more outspoken, but for years Kelsey Grammer has been one of Hollywood’s most prominent conservatives. The Frasier star endorsed John McCain in 2008, and has told reporters he may someday run for office himself (he did, after all, play a Republican presidential candidate in the 2008 movie Swing Vote). Now, Grammer has taken his activism to its logical conclusion: This summer, he’s backing the launch of The RightNetwork, an on-demand television channel catering to, in his words, “Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and world-view.” Think of it as Fox News without the news.

The RightNetwork’s rollout hasn’t been without controversy. A press release from RightNetwork, which suggested that Comcast was a partner in the project, has since been taken down, and the broadcast giant has sternly denied any involvement (although it may still decide to carry the channel).

In addition to churning out and retracting press releases, the network is plugging three original shows: Right To Laugh, which features conservative stand-up comedians (sample joke: “I think it’s wrong to kill a fetus. Teenagers I’m not so sure about.”); Politics & Poker, which is exactly what it sounds like; and Running, a documentary-style program that shadows a handful of first-time conservative congressional candidates (like Ari David, a comedian from Malibu who tells us he’s running to take the seat “currently infested by Henry Waxman“). Judging by the trailer, Running may be the network’s most compelling offering; it’s a lot like the Real World, except most of the show’s cast will never actually make it to the House.

Considering his screen life as a snobby coastal elite, it’s a little surprising to actually see Kelsey Grammer launching it, but RightNetwork isn’t all that radical of an idea. Say what you will about the movement, but Tea Partiers are nothing if not entrepreneurial. As Big Government‘s Andrew Breitbart tells us in the Politics & Poker trailer, “My entire business model is built around what a horrible president President Obama is.” And that’s kind of the point of RightNetwork. Conservatives are riled up about the midterm election, and they’ll be darned if they don’t find a way to make some money off of it.

Unrelatedly, here’s an episode of Frasier (pdf) in which he and Niles throw a tea party. You’re welcome.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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