Editorial: Striking writers are good TV

  • Updated: November 19, 2007 - 5:47 PM

It's often said that it's unwise to pick a fight with a newspaper because newspapers buy ink by the barrel. (We notice that people pick fights with newspapers anyway.) By now it must be obvious to the entertainment industry, locked in a fight with the striking Writer's Guild of America, that ink isn't the medium to worry about. Executives concede that they are in a losing public-relations battle. They've gamely tried to present their side of the labor dispute in print ads. But the writers are a tough, creative bunch who, right now, don't have a regular outlet for expression. They can't write for their television shows or movies, so many of them are writing for the union instead -- some in blogs, others in bits broadcast on YouTube. For their part, the executives are represented on the Web by clips of the likes of Sumner Redstone -- who, powerful media mogul though he is, does not seem to have a natural talent for television. Fans of "The Daily Show" can go to www.startribune.com/a3687 to see writer Jason Ross, above, deliver a diatribe about the strike that would be worthy of the show he used to work for, with a guest appearance by correspondent John Oliver as "John J. Viacom Jr. III." These days, one takes one's comedy where one finds it.

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