Not the Daily Show explains the writer’s strike

If I haven’t made it clear already, I fully support the Writer’s Guild of America. I’m happy to note than a clear majority of Americans does, too.

If you’re unclear on the main reasons the WGA is on strike, allow one of the writers from The Daily Show to explain it.

Uh, you should actually watch it, uh, anyway, even if you already understand the issues behind the strike, because it’s the closest we’re going to get to The Daily Show for quite some time, I fear:

Man, I miss The Daily Show. Those guys are awesome writers, and they deserve better than they’re getting from the AMPT.

25 thoughts on “Not the Daily Show explains the writer’s strike”

  1. God, that’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing, Wil. I really miss the Daily Show. It’s the only thing I regret about dropping my cable.

  2. Don’t know if you’ve heard about the awesome fan support of the WGA strike generated by Fans4writers.com which is a site put together not long after the strike began. It’s worth a look. I *heart* the fact that we, as fans, are being so supportive instead of being grumpy about our shows that have gone missing.

  3. Corporate executives (especially those depicted in the NTDS video) have really managed to learn the fine art of double-speak, previously reserved only for politicians… unbelieveable…

  4. Rumour has it they’ll do a few of these a week, during the strike… because, well, it’s The Daily Show, and I don’t think they can help themselves.
    Fingers crossed it’s true – I think, when I’m back on the East Coast, I’ll go picket for a day with WGA East. (And if anyone else is in either picketing location, they should seriously consider going down and supporting the people who create the words for their favourite characters.)

  5. I put this video on my Live Journal. Watching it made me realize how much I miss The Daily Show and Colbert Report. I hope the writers get what they want and soon!

  6. (Not) The Daily Show writer segment on the writer’s strike

    Wil Wheaton has brought a wonderful and funny video, made by one of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart writers, explaning the writer’s strike in the style of The Daily Show: With guest appearance by John Oliver….

  7. This should just about clear it up for you

    If you haven’t figured out who to support in the TV writers’ strike that is crippling late-night TV, this feature from the writers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart should help clarify things for you: (HT: Wil.) Incidentally, that…

  8. Eh, I’m actually a little sympathetic to both sides. On the one hand the writers really did get bent over in 1988 and they rightfully aren’t about to let that happen again. On the other hand, well, if I went into my boss and asked for 2.5% of our revenue, not profit, revenue, I’d rightfully get laughed out of the room. At any rate, hope the two sides can resolve their differences.

  9. Since I’m at work I can’t view the video right now. I just wanted to post that I’m one of the majority Americans who support the writers! And I also miss The Daily Show (and Colbert Report).
    My friends and I were talking about Heroes last night. One said she hopes the strike won’t affect that show. I said I had mixed feelings. I don’t want it to have to stop, but if that is what it takes for the writers to get a fair deal then so be it. So I don’t get to see a TV show. No problem. Writers need to make a living, that matters more.

  10. While I hope that the writers do get a better deal, I’m also hoping that this ‘break’ recharges some creative batteries. Sometimes when you’re locked into a tight writing schedule, you make compromises with the quality of the material just so you can meet deadlines. Hopefully the Heroes writing team is standing together in the picket line brainstorming new ideas without the pressure of delivering a script right away. That’s one thing I liked about Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 show – how Matthew Perry’s character was under such stress to produce creatively in a compressed time frame. While it would be cool to write for a TV series, it would also be tough as hell to keep up with the pace.

  11. Writers Strike

    Thanks to Wil Wheaton for showing me the following Not the Daily Show video that is very enlightening.
    I am in full support of the writers. While I may watch a reality show or two, there is only so much of that that one can take. And …

  12. Some economics blog-spew:
    “Value” is the intrinsic worth that someone gets out of a good or service. Value can be created by transforming goods with less value (time) into goods with more value (jokes) or by trading a good from someone who values it less (Viacom executive) to someone who values it more (me). The difference between the old value and the new value is called “surplus”.
    When you trade (buy) for a good, you have to give (pay) at least as much as the other values it. You also have to give less than the amount that you value. Within this price range negotiation determines how much of the surplus goes to each party. Generally, the amount of surplus that goes to a business is called “profit”. Surplus that goes to a consumer is called a “good deal”. But negotiation is the key word here.
    In different situations, different sides of the negotiation have the upper hand. Much of the theory of our economy is based on the idea of competition. Two businesses that are competing against each other give the negotiation advantage to their customers. They both lower prices to gain customers and as a result most of the surplus goes to the customers. Businesses figured this out pretty quickly and learned how to form cartels. Luckily, there are more people than businesses and The People decided to make cartels illegal using antitrust laws. Still, cartels exist outside of US jurisdiction. OPEC and DaBeers are two examples.
    Competition also affects negotiation advantages in employment situations. A business with only a few competitors but a large pool of potential employees gets the negotiation advantage. Such a company would be able to drive wages down to subsistence levels. The television and movie industry has a fairly high barrier to entry due to distribution costs (it costs a lot of money to create a network like NBC — although the internet is lowering that barrier to entry). There are lots and lots of people who want to be in that industry. These people figured out pretty quickly that they didn’t have any negotiation power and so they decided to work together to improve their position. When employees band together, we call it a “union” instead of a “cartel”. Again, since there are more people than businesses, The People have decided this is a good thing (in many states). It also fits in with the basic theory of competition causing value transfer to the population instead of concentrating it in a few businesses.
    I support unions because they are a necessary component of the balance of power that keeps our economy moving and growing. Maintaining a union is expensive and that cost would not be carried if they were not needed. It is not easy to walk out on a job that you love (and I am assuming that the writers love their jobs). They would not do that if they did not feel it was actually necessary.

  13. Alan: I don’t think the argument is that the writers don’t have the right to strike over their contract. I think it has to do, just like in ’88, with the incredibly murky nature of monetizing content in this age.

  14. I agree that the murky nature of monetizing content in this age made negotiation difficult. In fact it made negotiation so difficult that the writes were willing to go on strike and the content distributors were willing to let them go on strike.
    I think we are in violent agreement. I am just a windbag and have to say it in five paragraphs.

  15. Strange as it may be, the thing I have wondered most about this strike is if any of the writers have similar issues that Ive had when not in a position to write.
    Their Muses have chosen THAT particular time to be a little more creative than usual and bombard them with what could be some awesome movies/episodes.
    And standing in the picket lines, theres not much they can do about it, other than hope the idea sticks around for awhile.

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