Another defense is that this is primary season and not a good time for these shows (Colbert and Stewart) to be off the air. That others would have soon lost their jobs. And that, you know, it’s been a while, and they made their point. The point of a strike–the last resort unions have for leverage–is to put pressure on employers. You want them to be inconvenienced. If you’re successful, you can get them to negotiate in good faith.
The fact that a lot of this kind of language seems like outdated griping and we should all go along and get along is really a testament to how much unions achieved in the first part of the 20th century. The level of comfort we’ve attained in our work week and labor conditions were not the result of asking nicely.
I don’t even watch their shows regularly, but I tuned in the other night and found them doing some humor about the strike and being very ironic and showing some reluctance about being on the air. It made me feel a little uneasy. As we joked in our press release, they can’t be let off simply because they are funny and we like their show. I agree with Rall’s point here:
2. They’re talking a lot on the air about unionism and the strike. While that’s very meta, it doesn’t wash. The best way to make sure the corporate bosses feel the pinch would have been to stay off the air.
What if all the shows are “forced” back on the air, like Colbert and Stewart, or deals are made with them all? Where would this strike be? No one said it was going to be easy.
There are numerous shades of gray that can be applied to how difficult there decision was, but when it comes down to it, I see it like this: they are WGA members, there was no deal for them to go back on air and they clearly have written material. Therefore, they should not be back on the air. They should be out on the sidewalk.
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