1/03/2008

I Heart Huckabee

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has actively sought union support during his campaign, crossed WGA picket lines outside NBC studios in Burbank Wednesday in order to appear on the Tonight Show, all while offering several (often lame) excuses for his actions.

Before heading to LA for his appearance yesterday, according to the AP, Huckabee told reporters traveling with him that he wouldn't be crossing any picket lines because the WGA had made interim deals to allow all latenight shows back on TV.

"My understanding is that there was a special arrangement made for the late-night shows, and the writers have made this agreement to let the late night shows to come back on, so I don't anticipate that it's crossing a picket line," said Huckabee.

"I support the writers, by the way. Unequivocally, absolutely. They're dead right on this one. And they ought to get royalties off the residuals and the long-term contracts. I don't think anybody supports the producers on this one. Maybe the producers support the producers, but I think everybody in the business and even the general public supports the writers."

However, when the reporters told Huckabee he was incorrect and the WGA had only made a separate deal with David Letterman's company - and not the Tonight Show - Huckabee pled ignorance: "But my understanding is there's a sort of dispensation given to the late-night shows, is that right?"

Uh...no.

And when the reporters tried yet again to tell Huckabee he was flat out wrong? His response: "Hmmm. Oh."

So he knew. And not just from the reporters. UH.com has confirmed that members of Huckabee's staff were in contact with Guild officials while Huckabee was on the NBC lot - but before the Tonight Show taping started. To again explain the situation and clear up any "confusion" Huckabee had. To make it crystal clear that he was indeed crossing a picket line (all this is in addition to Guild members having discussions with Huckabee's communications director a day earlier, giving him plenty of time to "understand" the situation and change his plans).

But to no avail.

Apparently "unequivocally" and "absolutely" don't mean what they used to. Or perhaps "this show has an agreement, this show doesn't" is really, really, really confusing. Unlike less complicated issues such as foreign policy and the economy.

41 comments:

Tomboys said...

Uhhh! Maybe a guy that doesn't understand something so simple should not be running for President.

Hello said...

The show is now made without contribution from striking people - so why shouldn't people cross the picket lines? No struck work is being performed.

Becca said...

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers should take back their support of Huckabee. How can this man state he supports unions and your union and so blatantly cross the picket lines that blocked the entrances? I guess ignorance is bliss, which makes him the perfect for the White House. Pretend these voting Americans aren't there and act surprised when they are.

What a joke of a man and presidential candidate.

Jake Hollywood said...

I guess when he saw picketers outside of NBC Burbank he didn't think they were there to picket Scabber Jay...more likely though, he like Leno, talks out of both sides of his mouth.

Jim said...

Please, let's not pretend that Huckabee lost the writers votes by crossing picket lines. He's a republican and will never get union support anyway, let alone TV and Movie writers. All this does is present the inevitable negative press sooner.
Nothing lost here...

ificandream said...

I don't know if this is hilarious, but I posted a blog in support of you and your cause. http://capitolideaortwo.blogspot.com/2008/01/jokes-on-leno-kimmel-and-obrien.html

Good luck from a longtime union (Newspaper Guild) member.

ildirector said...

Haha! That's just what I needed to start my morning...

G.I.Basterian said...

Huckabee = Huckster-be

The guy is the latest flash-in-the-pan snake oil salesman from Arkansas, just like the last one who's bull wife is now running. Read Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi or re-read Huckleberry Finn for the dirt on Arkansas, a state filled with riff-raff and con artists.

If the evangelicals are dumb enough to put their money on him, they deserve what they'll get, electoral melt-down.

Meanwhile you crafty liberals out there stealth supporting the Huckster ought to consider what you'll get if *you* push him. He might just win... stranger things have happened in the politics of apocalypse.

Post Guy said...

So gang, is Leno now the worst kind of scab there is?

Way more than Huckabee, a republican, where you would except this?

I sure hope the guild is not playing favorites and ousts Mr. Leno and others who are writing their own material.

Opinions?

Justine Bateman said...

What, no Republican Party Trolls posting here?
Hukabee was completely aware of what he was doing. At the very least I, and I'm sure others, sent his headquarters an e-mail three days prior reminding him that he would be crossing a picket line by appearing on Leno.
He's just another political scumbag who couldn't refuse an opportunity to "jam on his ax" on national television. He's just like any reality show contestant.
What really turns my stomach is all his bullshit about God. Hey Mike, GOD DOESN"T CROSS PICKET LINES.

Caitlin said...

Look, I can't stand Huckabee any more than I can any other Republican. But he is not a WGA member. He is a guest on a show that chose to come back. A show, I might add, that you're picketing at while making very sure we know you aren't complaining about it or the host themselves, just the moguls that own them. Huckabee's lack of understanding/truth-twisting are reflective of, well, him. But if you're not going to bitch about Leno being back, why bitch at the people who come on his show? Anytime anyone complains about the WGA's actions in this strike, you tell them that it's the AMPTP screwing us all over. It's them, not writers, actors, directors, hosts, or even politicians. It's what you remind people all the time. Time to remember that yourselves.

Feel free to hate the guy anyway, though. If we elected him, I'd want to kill myself.

rubberpoultry said...

Does Huckabee really think that story will fly? I'm more of a centrist... not a knee jerk democrat or republican, so his party affiliation doesn't color my reaction.

Many of us fans wrote emails to his office. I got an "out of office reply" that I have no doubt was set up after he learned that he was in fact crossing a line.

I wouldn't have voted for him anyway, but I hope those who would have voted for him see what he did, and I choose not to support him now.

Stand strong WGA! The fans of good writing are with you!

-Rubberpoultry
Fan

codefool said...

I think this is unfair to Huckabee. He clearly thought he understood that late shows were resolved,just as Leno apparently understood it was okay for him to "write for himself." He relies on many people to feed him information on things - you can't expect him to get it right all the time. He meant no harm, intended to do no harm, and now he knows better. Lesson learned. Move on.

embers said...

As far as I can see Huckabee thinks that he can be all things to all people, or to put it another way: he thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time. I'm not impressed.

Bartleby said...

What do you expect from a dumb ass who doesn't believe in evolution, thought that gay people should be put in concentration camps, and thinks that we should build a fence around America to keep Pakistanis out.

copyroundtheclock said...

Let's be real people.

This is a candidate that has next to no budget.

He's a bright guy and I think it's unlikely he didn't know he was crossing picket lines.

The bigger issue is what it will take to end this devastating strike.

At the very least, hopefully most people will get the message that
most writers don't make the big bucks!

Right now, let's just show writers as much tangible support as possible. That's what I've been trying to do personally.

Hope this strike ends soon.

Dave
writerslifecoach.com

serena said...

Hey, Justine Bateman,

You wrote that" GOD DOESN"T CROSS PICKET LINES", but WGA member Jay Leno does and instead of being pissed about that, you do your little rant about someone who's not a WGA member or in this business.

johnmcmillion said...

I heart Huckabee, Leno, and the WGA members. Listen, there is only one evil here, corporate greed.

Everyday people who suffer, because corporations try to get more and more from us and paying us as little as they possibly can.

Everyday people like the sound guy on Leno should receive just as much empathy as the writer. Huckabee helped to provide the sound guy and the lighting lady, food for their family last night. Workers, btw, who don't enjoy residuals.

We're all people with family and loved ones who simply need us to put food on the table or pay for a child's education.

Huckabee is a good man who's trying to communicate his candidacy to as many everyday people as he can, so if elected, he can help them in tangible ways.

I'm a writer and I understand at the end of the day, the Presidency is of much more consequence than telling jokes about Britney Spears or the circus that is often on display on the Letterman show.

The Presidency has the potential to impact every American, including writers.

Obviously, the day before the Iowa caucauses, there's a few things on his mind. He stumbled on this. Huckabee, like all of us, is not a perfect person. But his heart is in the right place.

And that is why I heart Huckabee.

Andres said...

He crossed the picket line because he knew that most americans would never find out. He knows most news media outlets are owned by the AMPTP and will not report on it. He also knows that appart from us, the 200 geeks who follow these blogs daily, few Americans have enough information about this little strike. Flash your polls at me all you want, but Joe and Jane Doe in Iowa don't give a shit and you know it. I support the WGA btw.

erv said...

over the last 35 years i have belonged to 3 unions in 3 companies and have been involved in 5 strikes and one lockout. leno has lost me as a viewer and for huckabee....im a democrat so this just makes me like him even less.

Ilike2think said...

codefool said...
I think this is unfair to Huckabee. He clearly thought he understood that late shows were resolved,just as Leno apparently understood it was okay for him to "write for himself." He relies on many people to feed him information on things - you can't expect him to get it right all the time. He meant no harm, intended to do no harm, and now he knows better. Lesson learned. Move on.

Your kidding me...right

Kate said...

not that I like Huckabee personally, but you shouldn't be so hard on him, or any of the candidates for not knowing what is going on with the WGA. With their schedules right now, preparing for the caucus, I'd be happy if they still know their own names. And if you expect him, or any other candidate, to put the WGA above their own campaign you are delusional.

Barry Rubinowitz said...

Why the big deal about Huckabee and no post about Leno himself, who did strikebreaking work by writing a monologue? That the monologue contained the pernicious line "19 people putting 160 out of work", as if the writers were to blame, only made it worse. What the Guild has allowed Leno and Conan to get away with is disgraceful. Michael Winship's pathetic "we're not picketing them, we're picketing the companies" is the most harmful thing said by a Guild leader during this and if we do not ramp up our attacks on these scabs, we can fully expect showrunners and feature writers to follow Leno and friends back to work. I'm sure some of them have bought donuts, so the Guild won't be mad at them either.

Dennis Wilson said...

Some of you folks are way too tolerant, understanding and/or forgiving here. Mike Huckabee can claim he "didn't know" all he wants. But the facts are:

1. He showed up.
2. He saw picket lines.
3. He went inside.

Mike Huckabee is a scab.

badger said...

Huckabee obviously knew. His people obviously knew, that's their job. They told him,that's also their job. He chose to ignore it because he wants to be friendly to NBC and others in the media who need people tho show up on the show who aren't actors. He'll also appear friendly and supportive of businesses/corporations by doing this. Huckabee, for all his talk of being friendly to Unions is probably just about as consistent as any other political venture, you just change your belief, loyalties and actions as it suits you, your needs, the business need or the needs of your constituents. Remember, he said he was "friendly and supportive" to the writers. He didn't say he was loyal.

As far as those who don't understand why it's not okay for someone who's "supportive" of the strike to cross the line, the reality there is that if you go on the show, it helps the show stay in business, and in turn, NBC who has to get money from advertisers, and to keep the show current. If the show's being watched, NBC makes money and the advertisers do as well. It is critical that NBC feel the pressure to resolve the writers strike, or they win the day.

With so few actors and others willing to cross the line, that leaves the Huckabees of the world who are trying to get ahead.

And as far as the show being made by people who aren't involved in the strike --- that doesn't make it okay. The writers serve an important function, but without more people maintaining solidarity, and making it difficult for NBC to put on the show, it just serves to undermine the writer's plight.

Huckabee shouldn't have crossed the line if he is loyal to Unions of any kind. You allow NBC to mess with one Union, you make it easier to allow NBC to mess with all of em.

serena said...

What Barry Rubinowitz wrote is dead on, perfect, correct. Why any of you are wasting your time ranting about Huckabee, is beyond me. Keep yourselves focused. Michael Winship's letter is the perfect example of someone who isn't focused, but is making lame excuses for scabs. I'm not a writer, but even I understand WGA is on stike against NBC/ UNIVERSAL. Hey, Leno.....I can't be bought for a donut.............

Dave said...

I think its very interesting how Huckabee is taking heat, but I've heard no complaints about Emeril (or Chingy). Emeril had an acting gig at one point so I assume he is or once was a member of SAG. Seems like he would be a bigger target of criticism than a non-entertainer.
As for Huckabee, he lost zero votes, and quite probably gained a good many. He did a fine job, was personable, humorous, and came off as a moderate. I know that the regular readers of this blog won't think so, but to the average person watching he was very likable. Also, from NF's reporting, he went through an entrance where there were no picketers, so blame the picket organizers for that one.

Bartleby said...

His guitar playing sucks, too.

blitz said...

Forget Huckabee. Doesnt Bob SAGet appreciate the Full House residual checks hes gotten? More like Boo Sucket. (Sorry, AMPTP, this wit is off-limits until you pony up.) But seriously man, what the hell?

Wait, I DO want to talk about Huckabee again. Sorry. I was rash before. The election begins today. Guess who's going to win? The AMPTP. With their cheap whore news channels. Let's organize a BOYCOTT. Am I really going to be the one to organize this thing? I'm so disorganized. Have you ever seen what my suitcase looks like ten minutes before I go to the airport for a trip? (Please say no.) Iĺl give you a hint. Itś empty.

Anyway. Here's what we need to do. You don't deliver snowballs to your opponent in a snowball fight. (Unless throwing counts as delivery). And you dont give money to big corporations in a money fight. (no good analogy to snowball delivery. please disregard.)

How many writers are still paying for HBO? Somos locos? Let's make New Year's resolution to stop giving the AMPTP money while we are on strike agin them.

WHO SHOULD BOYCOTT
All WGA members

All SAG members fighting for same rights

All union members of any kind who believe sympathy BOYCOTTS are a nice club to hit back against corporate bullies. Perhaps WGA leaders can contact other union leaders and offer reciprocation when the time arises.

All production employees, above or below (or God forbid on) the line who want the industry working again.

TV fans and other supporters. (Sin acciones, getting support from the vast majority of people would be like if a candidate had the support of 90% of the people, all of whom said they have no intention of voting)

Anyone in Los Angeles.

Anyone in any city.

HOW SHOULD BOYCOTT
A website, a facebook page, a myspace page (though I'm also boycotting myspace. See Andy Blitz page there.) to spread the word, and get people to pledge to join boycott, then do it.

Use non-AMPTP alternatives as good or better. Really? PBS and NPR are better than FOX NEWS? Yes, itś true. Use myway.com or some news site not owned by a corporation who like a cranky two year old refuses to even sit at the table and bargain.

Let's cancel our Time Warner cable en masse, after signing a public pledge to do so. Let's use other cable cos or none at all.

How about this baby? Let's pick a week in the middle of February sweeps to be America, turn off your TV week. Are there still Nielsen families? Does anyone have their email?

Let's get people not to buy GE but instead go in the background of the Today Show with signs saying I HEART SYLVANIA LIGHTBULBS.

Even though I personally believe paparazzis should be illegal, let's use them for our benefit. If youŕe a movie star and you plan to make out with another movie star and realistically, youĺl get pappied all over the magazines- why not wear a TV shirt advertising Maytag, America's favorite dishwasher! The one to buy when your crappy GE machine has probably broken down.

I'm serious about doing this, man.

Someone help me. You know what I'm saying is right. Who's going to step up?

Let's fight rationally. When I want to make a CEO laugh, I tickle him right in the belly. Even without permission. When I want to get his attention, I boycott him right in the belly. Even without permission. Or in this case, ask for help organizing a boycott.

I can't think of anything else right now. But you know I'm right.

Don't watch FOX MSNBC or any of that other network junk while we're in the middle of this thing, man.

Charlie said...

Talk about a lack of focus. I think the biggest question is: if Leno was able to pull of a funny, entertaining show on his own, then why does the network need 19 WRITERS on his staff at all. The show did fine with ZERO writers. What this shows is that, after the strike, the studios could staff the show with FIVE writers and it would be just as funny and save them a lot of money. The studios/networks/producers are no doubt thinking the same thing (and it case they aren't, the sentiment has been expressed in countless articles this morning by critics who thought Leno was stronger than DAve last night). Doesn't help your cause much, does it? As I predicted, settling with Dave has backfired on the WGA and will do so more and more as time goes by.

reasonable said...

Speaking of taking heat for scabbing,
why isn't anyone talking about the writers on The Young & the Restless going Fi-Core over a month ago? My best friend's the Technical Director and he told me they haven't stopped working.

intrigued said...

Come on Huckabee knew he was crossing a picket line. He knew the writers were still on strike. This guy has a group of political advisors, even if he is paying zero attention to the strike (which he probably is), whoever booked him on the show briefed him of the situation (and fyi, he was booked before Letterman ever got his deal - so he def didnt decided to do the show because he thought the strike was settled).

What is actually important about his appearance is...

1) It confirms that outside of LA and NY, THIS STRIKE IS NONEXISTENT! A presidential candidate wouldnt cross a meaningful picket-line the day before the Iowa caucus.

2) Eventhough Jay Leno is supportive of the writers and their cause. He clearly is telling the WGA leadership that he doesn't agree with their tactics. The WGA was going to use Leno's show as a weapon against NBC by giving Letterman writers while not giving him his writers. I guess the WGA expected him to tank his show, not invite A-list guests and not be his normal entertaining self. Well, he sent them a very strong message last nite - as his show was clearly better than Letterman's last nite.

Rima said...

Why complain about Huckabee and not Leno or Emeril? Simple. Leno and Emeril aren't asking us to elect them our president. Dick Huckabee know? If so, he said "fuck you" to America's union members. If he didn't know, then he clearly can't handle the much more complex information and decisons that go along with being president. And the picketers weren't a big enough clue? Either way, he stepped in it.

What Emeril does has no bearing on my life. If I don't like what Leno does, I change the channel. I don't have to worry about them being in a position of real power that affects me and the people I care about.

Rima said...

How do you know Leno had no writers? I'm not buying that at all. Scabs.

Hurmoth said...

I'm really sad at this news. I am a Fred Thompson fan, but based on current poles I was hoping Huckabee would be able to win in Iowa but after this, I have to retreat from that position.

I'll admit, I'm a huge conservative, I know that makes most of you cringe, but that's who I am, I might disagree with liberals, but I don't fault you for who you are.

Please don't blame Republicans for Huckabee's stupidity. Most of my friends and family are conservatives and we all support the writers and the unions and we're all disappointed in Huckabee. He should have been smart and not said anything, let alone actually crossing the picket line.

Again though, blame Republicans as a whole for this. There's a lot of things you can blame the Republicans for, but not this.

Good luck writers in your quest to get a fair deal! You have my full support.

m.o.i.@ warrior ant press said...

Let the dummy eat squirrel and preach to the converted. After a few more primaries, America will no longer care about a huckster named Huckabee.

But will Americans still care about fair deals, writer-less Leno, and Late Show(s) monologues? It's a new year. Wouldn't that be a fine time to find a creative way to get folks back to the bargaining table?

Charlie said...

HUCKABEE WON THE IOWA CAUCUS!!! Gee, looks like that appearance on Leno not only didn't hurt, but it may have actually helped him win. Like someone up-thread said, outside of NY and LA nobody cares about this strike (although I've been saying that all along despite being criticized mightily for it).

Benry said...

Actually, I'm from New York, and besides me, no one here really follows the strike either.

Dave said...

Big win for Huck, as I said yesterday this "controversy" would not hurt him.
Also, watching Letterman as I write this, his writers just took a shot a Huckabee crossing the line. From the audience reaction, the joke fell completely flat.

yogi said...

Huckabee knew what he was doing, and chose to do it.

On top of that, to avoid WGA picketers on his way out he waited until after 6 p.m. to leave Wednesday AND he tainted the Telemundo gate. A WGA organizer witnessed it.

The only reason this hasn't been news, IMHO, is that we didn't catch a photo of him in his limo doing it.

I do think that this little slip of information is the capper on the narrative of Huckabee's Wednesday.

Crestmere said...

This is another nail in the coffin of Mike Huckabee.

If he wins, I know quite a few people who are leaving the country.