What We're Up Against...

This was sent to me by a writer who wishes to remain anonymous. -JA

So, did you hear about the big WGA rally Friday? Unfortunately, if you weren't there, the answer is probably no.

After attending Friday's very inspiring and impressive event two days ago, I sat down at 11 p.m. that night to watch the Channel 4 news. I couldn't wait to see the coverage.

But wait I did.

And wait.

Past the segment about stolen copper causing a street light to be out on a popular bike path.

Then I waited some more.

Past some story about cats brought in to chase rodents at a police station (I'm not kidding). Until about 11:29 when they had -- no joke -- a 15 second snippet.

Yeah, yeah, I know KNBC is owned by one of the companies on the other side of the negotiating table. But come on!

You're telling me when 4,000 people show up in the streets of LA, shut down a main thoroughfare in the city, a laundry list of celebrities are on hand, Jesse Jackson addresses the crowd and the subject is an industry-wide strike some experts say could cost the local economy hundreds of millions of dollars, such an event only warrants 15 seconds at the end of the newscast?

Wow. I mean... wow.

You think if 4,000 striking UAW members took to the streets of Detroit after shutting down the automobile industry, it might make the local news before the high school football scores?

On the positive side, you'll be happy to know the cats are proving to be very successful at catching the rats. I know this because that segment was about four times longer than the one 20 minutes later dealing with a story that could affect the entire economy of Southern California.

Just my two cents... because four cents would be a stumbling block.

The author of the above is but one of many people be outraged by the lack of coverage. Darling Nikki called out the LA Times. I received email reports on how the other channels' news fared. Jeffrey writes:

Channel 7 and Channel 2 were no better. Each gave the rally less than 30 seconds of air time. But hey, Channel 2 did devote five minutes of air time on a segment about a rare killer amoeba. So in the larger scheme I guess Hollywood writers are lower than amoebas.

Elaine writes:
We saw something far more compelling as the lead story on our 6:00 news broadcast. Dangerous Glass Coffee Tables. Now that's news!


Beckylooo said...

Amazingly, Fox led with it and gave it some decent coverage.

Anonymous said...

The only people who seem to care about this are the poor crew folks whose lives we are going to ruin for no reason. It will probably get more new coverage when these crew people start to loose everything they have worked for and start coming down to the picket lines to show us how much they appreciate how much we are doing for them.

David Grenier said...

I wonder if all the folks bemoaning the crews affected by this will be on the line showing solidarity with IATSE when/if they need to strike. Or if at that point they'll pretend to sympathize with the writers and actors who are out of work.

BTW - if you really support IATSE members, you should be supporting the Broadway Strike.

Anonymous said...

very little coverage on the east coast...I can catch small little snipits on CNN and from what I've seen, they understand and agree.

The strike in NYC with the theatres got more coverage yesturday. Uniting forces with the actors and directors would force them to do something...good luck.

We are all on the same page.

Vicki, Raleigh, NC

Anonymous said...

Channel 7 polled about it, but I can't find it on their site, just on the pollster's:


I'm sure the fact people OVERWHELMINGLY support us can't be the reason KABC is burrying it, right?

Anonymous said...

Grrr, it ate the URL.

It's about five polls down on this page:


Ideefixe said...

Not to be disagreeable, but the WGA strike is getting more news attention that the supermarket strikers got, at least in the first week of the strike. That labor action involved far greater numbers and covered a wider geographic area.
The WGA coverage could be better, of course.

Matt Stoller said...

The local press is always hostile to strikers, whether GM workers, writers, or supermarket workers. It's what they do.

You should be aware that the FCC is considering relaxing media ownership rules yet again.


My guess is that the media moguls wouldn't like it if the FCC became hostile to their monopolistic interests, and that really is in play at the Presidential level.

Anonymous said...

The writers are not "ruining" the crew. The PRODUCERS are ruining the crew and screwing everyone.

Why don't people see that the film industry is like a ladder, with the producers at the top profiting most? On the ladder rungs are hundreds of people in hundreds of job categories do the work that make the moguls filthy-rich. It's the producers' job to squeeze out the most money by paying their workers the least. Basic economics. And its the workers' job to get their fair share for their work.

1. Nobody has a job without scripts, nobody works (except for reality shows). Ergo, a case could be made that everybody's jobs depend on writers' work.
2. If the producers succeed in stomping out WGA, SAG, etc., do you think YOU are protected from being fired, health & pensions rolled back, working conditions worsened?
3. Film industry workers, crew included, have it much better off than the workers outside the industry - supermarket, hotel & restaurant, sales associates, government workers, teachers, health workers, etc.

Mom of unemployed-most-of-the-time writer, TV Viewer, Movie Geek, New Media User

Lisa said...

I live in Dubai and the strike has made our newspaper several times.

Wishing everyone whose livelihood this is affecting a speedy end to this and a fair deal.

Anonymous said...

Telemundo also lead with a story on the rally. I've found that if you understand Spanish and really want the bare bones truth without much spin, watch Telemundo or Univision (the two major Spanish language networks).

I wish more people would realize that what is happening with the writers is also happening with workers in other sectors. Unless you are a top tier exec, you should be on that strike line representing any worker who is pushed to work longer hours, crank out more product of less quality, for pay that doesn't match the current cost of living.

Mary Fry

That Girl said...

I agree. It's absurd how difficult it's been to find information on the strike (other than this site) living outside of California and New York. I suppose people will really start to care when we're forced to watch Tila Tequila every night because all the shows have gone into reruns.

Anonymous said...

I remember being at an anti-war protest in New York a few years ago - hundreds of thousands of us shut down large avenues and filled half of the city. The same was happening in cities across the country. The main news networks barely gave us 30 seconds of coverage.

But hey, now the whole country knows we were right. So yeah, if you draw that parallel... I guess we just have to keep at it.

Owen Thomas said...

Okay, just gotta say, best close-out line ever. "Just my two cents -- because four cents would be a stumbling block."

Now there's a T-shirt slogan for StrikeSwag.com!

The Film Diva said...

Watch Channel 5.

Anonymous said...

now you know what it feels like to be a Republican in SoCal.....we could cure cancer and it would be a 10 second snippet at the end of a broadcast while Hillary Clinton eating at a Diner (oh, and they left out the part where she stiffed the waitress) is a 15 minute story.....

sucks doesnt it.....

PS- we do back you guys all the way

Anonymous said...

Solidarity is a two-way street. Sorry to say, but folks I've talked to said that writers weren't good at it in the past. But, the support's still coming. I hope the writers learn how to give solidarity. Just because you're smart and make a lot of dough doesn't mean you're more than a worker, and doesn't mean you won't have a time of need.

Until the strike's over, I'm not going to movies, in support.

Anonymous said...

You really expected the very media you're at war with to actully cover the strike? Are you high? HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!
The broadcast media is doing everything possible to pretend this strike isn't even happening. I was watching "Heroes" and "Journyman" tonite, and i saw a prome for Leno and Conan and it was advertising these re-runs as if nothing was wrong. The teasers for next weeks "Heroes" and "Journyman" also proudly anounced there would be new episodes next week, again, as if every thing was normal. Man, you guys are fucked. I say throw in the towell and get back to work. Ulike a UAW or teamsters strike this effects ME! I want my goddamned "Lost" back ON TIME! You can't win, these networks are too greedy, have enough money and other sources of revenue to with stand the financial losses of a long strike, controll the media, and unlike with the UAW or Hotel workers or whatever, most americans cannot relate to you guys. Oh, and the Bush administraion is far from sympathetic with regards to unions.

Michi Nagy said...

I think I got a healthy dose of 15 second news coverage. Two days after rumours started floating around online, I was in the hospital and they were showing the same segment of news over and over and over. I saw the same weak coverage of the strike over and OVER!
But media will have to start covering it. Its inevitable.