By leveraging his status as a TV icon to pitch a conservative TV channel in the U.S., Kelsey Grammer is flying in the face of his most famous character: the snobby elitist, Dr. Frasier Crane.
In reality, as the Daily Beast points out, Grammer has "long been one of the few ambassadors of conservatism in Hollywood." By politicizing his personal brand by becoming a pitchman for the nascent RightNetwork, the veteran actor is not shying away from being an outspoken conservative in the decidedly liberal entertainment capital of the world.
"There's wrong, and there's right," begins Grammer in the RightNetwork promo above, a spot that ends with a large red flag-waving tagline: "RightNetwork: All that's right with the world."
The back-story of confusing information surrounding the launch has afforded this fledgling brand more viral buzz than anyone anticipated.
It began on Crooks and Liars, a liberal blog, which reported that the new network was partnering with Comcast. "On television, through partners including Comcast, RightNetwork delivers programming on demand that enables our audience to watch what they want, when they want." The post continued that the programming schedule will be "entertainment with Pro-America, Pro-Business, Pro-Military sensibilities."
Following that lead, The Huffington Post put up a banner on their media page, “Tea Party TV,” and then The Drudge Report reported that Comcast and Grammer were launching a conservative-themed network.
Comcast’s reply – not so. "The blog reports that Comcast is an investor in, or partner of, the RightNetwork are inaccurate. We have no partnership with this venture and have no plans to launch or distribute the network." Comcast's rebuttal was carried in the New York Times, Yahoo and other media outlets.
The confusion: a top Comcast executive, Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns Philadelphia’s Flyers and 76ers sports teams, is helping the network get off the ground as a side project to his role at Comcast.
Snider is quoted in the launch prospectus, "We're creating a welcome 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."
It's one thing for a Hollywood actor to put his money and his mouth into the project—but Snider, as a high-level executive at America's biggest cable operator, found out this week that Comcast's corporate brand can't afford to be confused with his personal interests.