11/07/2007

Links: The Air War

The strike is being fought on the ground, but also in the media. Many writers are infuriated when the real issues of the strike get ignored in favor of company spin. After all, writers are the ones who are supposed to be good at spin, right?

Carlton Eastlake and I are quoted in today's New York Observer discussing Variety's coverage. At least Variety is on record as digging this blog.

The New York Times hasn't made anyone (who isn't an AMPTP flack) proud with its often derisive articles. Two great responses were posted by Glenn W. Smith of the Rockridge Institute and Joss Whedon of many things you have enjoyed.

Here's an excerpt from Joss:

[T]his IS a union issue, one that will affect not just artists but every member of a community that could find itself at the mercy of a machine that absolutely and unhesitatingly would dismantle every union, remove every benefit, turn every worker into a cowed wage-slave in the singular pursuit of profit. (There is a machine. Its program is ‘profit.' This is not a myth.) This is about a fair wage for our work. No different than any other union. The teamsters have recognized the importance of this strike, for which I’m deeply grateful. Hopefully the Times will too.

17 comments:

Kara said...

Give 'em hell, Joss! And rest of you guys, too.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you whiney bastads get a life. Who give's a damn if your crap is off the air for awhile.Most of it I can't watch with my children because it's such GARBAGE.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 100%.

Anonymous said...

The writers are totally unreasonable. If my roof leaks and the roofer repairs it, I pay him once and I don't pay him every time it rains.

Kara said...

anonymous,

you are a moron.

Kara said...

And only cowards post anonymous comments.

stuiec said...

Must-read article in Forbes magazine's online edition: Why the Writers Must Win -- not a prediction, but a call to the ramparts.

Excerpts:

When 12,000 Hollywood writers traded pencils for picket signs this week, they took a huge risk. Even riskier: not striking. Losing to the studios now could doom their union as television gives way to the Internet.

Hollywood writers want compensation for work on new media platforms like the Web--the central fight in three-plus months of acrimonious negotiations with the studios and networks. But as scripted television sheds viewers and work jurisdiction to other genres (like reality) and media (like the Web), they continue to lose leverage at the bargaining table. That's a harrowing prospect for a union that's already been fighting for nearly two decades to overturn a stingy VHS/DVD residual formula negotiated in 1985.

The way Jonathan Handel, an entertainment industry attorney with TroyGould in Los Angeles and a former associate counsel for the Writers Guild, sees it, the stakes are huge: "If the guild does not succeed in cutting an effective deal, it loses leverage, stature and will suffer continued erosion," he says.

Julia said...

Wow, three anonymous comments in 3 minutes. There's nothing more pathetic than posting in support of your own comment.

TVFan said...

God, I love Joss Whedon. Anonymous, by all means, turn off your TV. It's clearly way over your head anyway.

Anonymous said...

Actually kara (and other deebs) it takes (and is a waste of) time to create an account to be able to post here. And besides, why do you need to know who people are? So you can find them and threaten them?

Anyway, sure the others are making more than the writers - but they are making TOO MUCH and should make a lot less in a system where you don't keep getting paid for a job done once.

Jeff R said...

A couple of other sites have been doing great work.

The L.A. Times blog has been good, and I ran across AllYourTV.com linked from another site, and they are all over the strike (I just noticed they have the video from 'The Office' gang as their top headline.

Kara said...

"Actually kara (and other deebs) it takes (and is a waste of) time to create an account to be able to post here. And besides, why do you need to know who people are? So you can find them and threaten them?"

- from anonymous weenie

1. What kind of dweebie doesn't have a google account in this day and age? You post anonymously because you're a p*ssy.

2. And who says I want to threaten you? Maybe I just want to send you cookies and love poems...or read your blog and silently mock you.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Variety's strike blog? It's been shockingly pro-writer for the most part...

Scott Kraft said...

Huh? The New York Times who was sued by writers over the, uh, ohthatsright, the internet is not giving the strike a fair shake? Well, at least they got the WMD's right!

CAA brought drinks and healthy snacks to Radford today and we were very grateful. And another very kind gentleman brought Noah's bagels and coffee but I didn't find out where he was from. And even more important at one point we TURNED AROUND and walked in the other direction! It was very moving.

Seriously, good turnout.

Good to see instead of wasting their time in front of TV anonymous is out there surfing the net! Yeah, anonymous, and someone pays you every time it rains, right? Right. I don't understand, the Rolling Stones already recorded the album once and someone bought it. Why should I have to pay for it too?? Can't I just copy it?

David Grenier said...

If I were to agree with Anonymous, then I should be able to walk down to Best Buy and take a copy of the DVD for XXX: State of the Union off the shelf for free. After all, I already paid for it once when it was in theaters.

Seriously, did I just admit that I paid to see XXX: State of the Union? Jeez, you see what I'm willing to do to support my brothers and sisters in the Labor Movement?

Anonymous said...

"If my roof leaks and the roofer repairs it, I pay him once and I don't pay him every time it rains."

If he repairs it with a MAGIC patch that generates thousands of dollars for you every time it rains, maybe you better consider paying him some friggin' residuals.

John Aboud said...

Anonymous: You are riffing off of a quote attributed to the much more articulate Lew Wasserman. It is said he once joked, "My plumber doesn't charge me every time I flush the toilet." To which the proper response is, "True. But every time you buy a toilet, John Crapper gets a cut."

It's time to put an end to the misperception that writers want to get paid for doing the same job twice. Anonymous, I recommend you check out the Huffington Post piece I put on the blog earlier today. A residual is not getting paid twice for the same work, it's a payment for the reuse of intellectual property. It's like a patent.