The Corner

No Variety Here

I sometimes summarize the difference between my native West Coast and the East Coast by referring to the reading material in airport lounges. On the old DC-NY shuttle you used to pick up free copies of the political and financial magazines (maybe you still can — I always take the train to NY these days), while on the West Coast shuttle from LA to San Francisco, you’ll find copies of . . . Daily Variety. At least that’s what was out in a pile in the Red Carpet Room in LAX this afternoon.

So I flip through a few pages and had my own Jay Nordlinger moment, where liberal political attitudes intrude into where they don’t belong. There’s a story in today’s Variety about the Writers Guild of America West Awards show last Saturday, which we all missed because it wasn’t even broadcast on cable — not even on CurrentTV. Their big lifetime achievement prize, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award, went to Diane English, the showrunner for “Murphy Brown” (not exactly a current hit), who got a standing ovation for remarks that included “an impassioned plea to CBS” that consisted of this: “If Sarah Palin runs for president, I’m begging you to bring my show back. Six episodes is all I need.” How original.

Steven F. Hayward is a visiting professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He writes daily at

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