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1

Oh, I can express my ambivalence quite well, thank you...with my remote control.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 27, 2007 4:48 PM
2

Story is dated 12/21, and was covered on the Slog then.

For the record, I'm against it. For them to work is scabbing. Jon Stewart's a scab. Not something I ever expected to see.

Posted by Fnarf | December 27, 2007 4:57 PM
3

I thought the same thing.

Damn. Aside from how writer intensive their shows are and how bad they will suck without the writers, their stock in trade is progressive politics and strike busting sucks!

Say it ain't so.

Posted by Respect The Strike! | December 27, 2007 5:00 PM
4

I agree. I'm sure I'll pop in to see how it's coming off, but, yeah, scabs. Middlemen scabs.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | December 27, 2007 5:06 PM
5

I never thought I'd say it but... won't be watching. It's a pretty shitty move. It seems like there's a lot more going on here than is being admitted. Wonder if they got a "go back or don't have a show" ultimatum or something?

I can't believe the scab-ulousness of this.

Posted by Jessica | December 27, 2007 5:12 PM
6

Whatever.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 27, 2007 5:39 PM
7

They are wealthy men. We can live without their contributions to entertainment. They are scabs.

Posted by homage to me | December 27, 2007 5:42 PM
8

I read somewhere that they're doing it in order to avoid laying off non-writing staff. Don't know if that's true, but if so, it's good of them. Because they are gonna look like damned fools.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | December 27, 2007 5:50 PM
9

Colbert and Stewart are nothing more than Republicans playing to a liberal crowd for money. They are scabs: I am not watching them any longer and I already through my copy of Colbert's book in the fireplace.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | December 27, 2007 5:50 PM
10

Your ambivalent, uninformed opinion would have been welcome last week when this was actually news.

Posted by boomer in NYC | December 27, 2007 5:54 PM
11

@10, I would have commented but my writers were on strike.

BTW, isn't Stewart a Jew? Hmmmmmm....not saying another word. A scab and a Jew.

Posted by HA HA HA | December 27, 2007 6:13 PM
12

what about the argument that not going back to work is unfairly punishing the rest of the show's staff?

Posted by citrus | December 27, 2007 6:16 PM
13

@12, what about the argument that everytime a high profile person crosses a picket line it weakens not just the untion that is on strike but other unions as well. In case you have not noticed we are living in a new Guilded Age in America where the employee is treated like shit and all is done for corporate interests.

A strike is the last power play that workers have against corporate interests. Stewart and Colbert caved into that power.

Damn, are there any liberals left on Slog anymore?

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | December 27, 2007 6:27 PM
14

My last comment on this (I know thank god the liberal will finally shut up). But this was an interesting comment on Daily Kos. And I agree that we will find out who the real liberals are out there? Will Bill Maher cross the picket line? And if he does will Dan Savage still be willing to go on his show?

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/21/81358/800/1000/425133

Can we just have liberals someplace that believe in principle just for a little bit?

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | December 27, 2007 6:40 PM
15

Stewart has said in the past that his great hero growing up was Eugene Debs. Huh. I think the network is holding his feet to the fire.

Posted by Fnarf | December 27, 2007 7:37 PM
16

Go scabs!

What do the union fan-boys want? Do workers own their jobs, and we're all supposed to stand arround chanting supportive slogans until the Universe fufills their compensation demands? Or are we supposed to monitor the division of spoils among all the contributors to all the products we consume, and boycott them if that division differs from our ideals of cosmic justice by more than 10%?

Screw that. I hope the writers negotiate hard and get every penny they bring to the table. And if they demand more than that, I hope they all get fired and replaced by the next round of witty English majors. Where that line lies is between them and the studios who write their paychecks. There's no need for talking heads like Stewart or the rest of us to get involved.

Posted by David Wright | December 27, 2007 7:43 PM
17

@Fnarf

Stewart has said in the past that his great hero growing up was Eugene Debs. Huh. I think the network is holding his feet to the fire.

Now I'm no genius, I'll admit that...but that is probably the most moronic thing you have ever said.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 27, 2007 8:36 PM
18

This sad. I didn't hear about it. My friend in the "business" didn't know about it either when I talked to him about the strike on Xmas eve.

But, the talks aren't going anywhere and workers are losing lots of money. S&C might feel like they have to do it for the rest of the staff. I don't agree. But, I get it.

Posted by Papayas | December 27, 2007 9:14 PM
19

@12 said, "what about the argument that not going back to work is unfairly punishing the rest of the show's staff?

The blame for prolonging the strike, thereby "punishing" the rest of the show's staff, should lie with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, who could end the strike by negotiating to pay the writers fairly for their work when they profit from it by using it on the Internet and in other so-called new media.

Posted by Diana | December 27, 2007 9:41 PM
20

@2: I did an archive search for Dec. 21st and nothing about Stewart/Colbert came up. However, I didn't dig through the comments thread on the 21st in which you mentioned this story. I'm glad you're counting that as "covered."

Posted by Sam M. | December 27, 2007 10:02 PM
21

What is the bugmenot thing? That seems like so much work. Just make up a login and fake info and use (any thing you want)@mailinator.com

Then go to mailinator.com and check your temporary mail.

Posted by bugmenot | December 27, 2007 10:21 PM
22

And I've actually thought about this in the hours since I "re" posted. I'm not a fan of crossing picket lines, especially when it comes to executives willing to bleed cash just so they can hold on to mere percentage points (if not just percentage POINT). But Colbert and Stewart are in the land of basic cable, where I imagine Viacom undervalues its staffs enough as it is, paying them comparatively little BEFORE the strike put gaffers/show-runners/etc. in an economic hole. In that respect, Stewart and Colbert are in a lose-lose right now: betray their broke, suffering writers, or betray their broke, suffering support staff.


I don't think either of them were forced by their corporate overlords to do this--and if they were, I believe they have enough clout to say "fuck you" and get a job with another station in pretty much the same capacity. I imagine this is more of them going to their staffs, writers and otherwise, and saying, "Can we do this?" But, of course, it's still all conjecture, because these press releases don't reveal a damn thing. Could be utter betrayal. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. But my bleeding liberal heart can't help but give two of my favorite funnymen a little credit.

Posted by Sam M. | December 27, 2007 10:24 PM
23

@21: That sounds like too much work.

Posted by Sam M. | December 27, 2007 10:25 PM
24

Yes, I remember this specifically being brought up in the comments, where I first learned about it.

I don't see any reason why anyone should hold this against either of them. They obviously sympathize with the writers, but they are not the bosses of their own shows. Late night shows can still work without writers, however crippled they might be without them. Besides, the news and the government has been satirizing itself for years now, so all they have to do is edit together a whole bunch of clips from FOX News, have Jon Stewart straighten his tie dramatically, and they're set.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | December 27, 2007 10:29 PM
25

I'm a union member, and support the writers wholeheartedly. I wish the other TV unions would band with them to shut down production entirely. THEN we would see some progress.

Alas, too much of today's union leadership - at least in the City of Seattle's unions - are coasting towards retirement, trying to get another few days of vacation, rather than working on the issues that the rank and file are interested in. Or even the issues that will confront them as retirees.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | December 27, 2007 10:52 PM
26

This "scab" talk is moronic. Stewart and Colbert will be able to keep the rest working, which is a big deal, and the statements that they can make on-air in support of the strike will do the writers more good than anything.

It's about damn time.

Posted by Ryan | December 27, 2007 11:34 PM
27

@26 - That is naive. Every show that goes back on the air strengthens the studios and weakens the unions. "On-air support" is meaningless if the studios are able to generate revenue without the writers.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 27, 2007 11:56 PM
28

Instead of trying to convince other folks in this thread, I've decided to email the shows.

It's gotta mean something if a few people who relgiously watch the show stand up and say, "We're not ignoring this. It's not OK, it's bigger than just you."

Posted by Audi 5000 | December 28, 2007 3:58 AM
29

Reading through some of the comments above I am finding that Ronald Reagan really was much more successful and destorying unions and beyond that American's opinion of unions than anyone on Slog would want to realize.

Don't get me wrong, unions have problems but in the scheme of things they are better at protecting workers than ANY large corporation will ever be. And the guild VOTED to go on strike so to have members (high profile members at that) cross those lines is a sign of the power of the Reagan Revolution that we are still suffering from.

Another point that is worth making: some are bitching that this has been covered previously and therefore should not be covered again. I say to hell with that. This is not just about Stewart and Colber (forever known now as the hosts of "The Daily Scab" and "The Colscab Report") but it is about how we look at unions in general and how we look at the rights of laborers in the United States. In the industrialized/developed world we rank low in time off, health care, pensions etc and unions do help workers make some of that back. Supporting unions SUPPORTS WORKERS. And if you think that Stewart going back on the air helps the cause; well you should seriously go and work for Fox News or join the Mike Huckabee campaign.

We really are going to find out who is an honest to god real life liberal and who is a liberal because it is "cool' to be one aren't we?

Posted by Just Me | December 28, 2007 4:01 AM
30

I think this is win-win.

1. Workers who didn't vote to strike get to keep earning a paycheck while

2. Painfully bad/less interesting episodes demonstrate the need for writers.

A couple weeks of the Tonight Show, Late Night, Daily Show and Colbert Report completely tanking critically and in the ratings will end the strike faster than anything else. Mark my words.

Posted by Aexia | December 28, 2007 7:59 AM
31

Union busting sucks and I'm really saddened that the late-night shows along with Stewart and Colbert are going back on the air. I would assume the hosts got told they had to go back on and that they wouldn't be hanging the writers out to dry like this otherwise but wow, it just sucks.

Posted by Heidi | December 28, 2007 8:56 AM
32

Just a question, and honestly I am looking for a serious response:

If Stewart and Colbert continue to strike and all of their below-the-line workers are fired, and/or continue to go without pay, lose their homes, lose their pensions, what would be the appropriate solution to help those workers? There are how many writing staff working for these shows, compared to below-the-line employees?

I support workers, and I support the efforts of the writers... but the fewer in number, already-better-paid should be supported more than the rest of the workers?! Everybody is making this sound really black and white... it seems to be a pretty tough choice to me.

And I disagree that the shows going back on the air prevent the writers from winning their position. It will be clear how necessary the writers are, after a few weeks of this b.s.

So somebody please explain it to me.

Posted by John At Work | December 28, 2007 9:22 AM
33

Once a scab ....

Always a scab.

You can dress it up and pretend it isn't ...

But it still will be.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 28, 2007 9:30 AM
34

Aren't 'scabs' those that take the jobs of striking workers?

...

Posted by John At Work | December 28, 2007 9:56 AM
35

DailyKOS from link above:
"In the days that follow, you will be able to tell the shallow liberals from the real, solid people by their stand on this issue, and by observing who hems and haws about "nuance" and who understands first principles. Anyone who talks about the suffering of the other production folks who are paid less than the writers is engaging in patronizing, dishonest propaganda on behalf of the studios."

We will be able to separate the Fakes from the True Believers. This is not open to discussion and cannot be talked about. Anyone who shows their yellow bellies by being concerned for the livelihood of other workers will be cast off and ignored, not even worthy of a disdainful glare in their direction let alone a reasoned rebuttal.

Posted by hrmph | December 28, 2007 10:06 AM
36

Scabs is defined as anyone who works despite a strike. Also known as a strikebreaker.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | December 28, 2007 10:06 AM
37

Why does union-busting suck, exactly? Apparently 90% of sloggers are proud union members. Or, are just spewing whatever crap the guy with the clipboard said. The local tech workers union (WashTech) has done exactly zero for their members in terms of changing legislation, or 'protecting' them from foreign competition. Unions work great for dangerous jobs, but writers generally aren't operating overhead cranes.

This is TV, people, how many of you even watch it? How many of you actually pay for it?

Posted by wbrproductions | December 28, 2007 11:26 AM
38

Wow, the dogmatic insistence here on black-and-white right-and-wrong no matter what the cost would make Limbaugh and company proud.

First, empty tropes like :

everytime a high profile person crosses a picket line it weakens not just the untion that is on strike but other unions as well.
(Cato the Younger Younger @13)
Nevermind how "helped" the below-the-line workers will feel after going weeks or months without a paycheck to support writers who already make far more.

Then, after more reasonable people make cogent statements supporting Colbert and Stewart, the hard line dogma just puts its head in the sand.

Once a scab ....

Always a scab.

You can dress it up and pretend it isn't ...

But it still will be.

(Will in Seattle @33)

And the chorus screaming "scabs!" has the gall to anoint itself the only real liberals, when its position reeks of the short, narrow, fundamentalist vision that we despise from the right.

Will in Seattle, you in particular are usually an intelligent, thoughtful, and independent commenter.  You should be embarrassed by your role in this.

Posted by lostboy | December 28, 2007 11:36 AM
39

Who is lostboy? Never seen him comment before. Very interesting.

Posted by Hmmm | December 28, 2007 11:56 AM
40

Hmmm @39, try googling lostboy site:slog.thestranger.com.  I'm not a fixture, but I've been around for awhile.

Bear in mind, I have a post or two of my own that I'm now embarrassed by...

Posted by lostboy | December 28, 2007 12:03 PM
41

@37 - 90% of Sloggers are most likely NOT union members since only about 12% of the entire workforce is. Union busting sucks because that leads to their ineffectiveness.

If you ever watch commercials on TV, then you pay for the writers.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 28, 2007 1:21 PM

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