Admission first: I’m a union member. I’m not a strident, by the book kind of guy, but I do participate. I’ve never been on strike and hope I never will be.
I have been watching, with interest, the labor dispute between the Writers Guild and producers. The economics of entertainment are changing rapidly. I really don’t know what the correct solution is.
No conventional broadcasting company is making enough money on the Internet to make up for the money the Internet has siphoned from over-the-air showings.
There is one thing that’s perfectly clear in this dispute. The writers are winning the war of PR and winning it handily.
The problem for the producers is, they’re up against people who can cleverly frame an argument… who are used to doing it for a living.
Here’s an example (see below) I found on Youtube.com. These writers from the Daily Show have taken the techniques they were using against politicians and turned them on the producers.
Substitute George Bush and Dick Cheney with Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch and you’ll have the idea.
As with any strike, there is peripheral damage. Lots of non-combatants are out-of-work. The economy in Los Angeles and, to a lesser effect, New York will feel it. And, of course, you and I will suffer when 2½ Men runs out of fresh episodes¹.
¹ – I’ve never watched the show, but it seems like low hanging comedic fruit to go after them. I have never shied away from a cheap laugh.