Posted by: Rick | Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Unfunny Network

Fox News must be getting soft.  Right-wingers are starting up another propaganda channel:

The new network’s online overview . . . includes a statement from Ed Snider, the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor (a division of Comcast), in which he says: “We’re creating a welcoming place for millions and millions of Americans who’ve been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point-of-view.  RightNetwork will be the perfect platform to entertain, inform and connect with the American majority about what’s right in the world.”

Maybe this will work, but I think I hear a train wreck coming.  Kelsey Grammer has cut a promotional video that gives us a preview:

“Right to Laugh” is “a comedy show that proves funny people and funny things come from both sides of the aisle,” Grammer says.

“I did not vote for Obama, but I did order one of those Obama coins they were advertising on TV, because any collector will tell you a coin is worth a lot more when there is an obvious mistake on it,” one comic says in the clip.

“Politics & Poker” is “a new series that mixes entertainers, pundits, cards and politics. Turns out, they go together perfectly,” Grammer says.

“And we have President Obama. Is he going to get a second term? Or is this a one-time deal?” asks Guy No. 1, seated at a table where a poker game is in progress.

“My entire business model is built upon how horrible a president Barack Obama is,” says Guy No. 2.

Is this the good stuff?  I’m sorry, but right-wing comedy just isn’t very funny.  It goes back to Shakespeare.  In plays like King Lear, the Fool is a member of the lower class who uses his wit to skewer the folly and corruption of his “betters”.  Today’s conservative comedians — in their role as defenders of the powerful interests that run the Republican Party — are forced to make jokes at the expense of society’s weakest individuals.

This kind of “comedy” inevitably turns mean and falls flat — as Roger Ailes knows quite well.  Fox News airs the painfully unwatchable Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld at 3:00 a.m.

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