November 29, 2007

Striking Writers Cancel Democratic Debate

This story goes well with the CNN brouhaha today, even if it makes little sense. The December 10th Democratic debate on CBS from Los Angeles got canceled -- due to the writers strike. Leading Presidential candidates refused to cross a threatened picket line (via Hot Air):

A labor dispute which has darkened US light entertainment and chat shows claimed another victim on Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of a CBS News debate among Democratic White House hopefuls.

The debate, scheduled for Los Angeles on December 10, was nixed after candidates including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said they would refuse to cross a picket line that the Writers Guild of America Union had threatened to set up.

"CBS News regrets not being able to offer the Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Dec. 10 in Los Angeles," CBS said in a statement.

"The possibility of picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America and the unwillingness of many candidates to cross them made it necessary to allow the candidates to make other plans."

Oh my, where to start with this one? First, the writers have no business picketing a debate. They don't script the questions (the news division does that), and unless the candidates concede that they script the answers, the Hollywood writers have no involvement in the process at all. If the writers decided to picket a town-hall forum in LA for Hillary Clinton, it would be just as ridiculous.

Given that, the surrender to the union is risible. The Democrats can't even stand up for the public's benefit from seeing their own debate! How will they stand up to special interests if elected to the presidency? Not one of them appears to have the testicular fortitude to point out the irrelevance of a presidential debate to the writers strike, nor the will to demonstrate their commitment to open political discourse by crossing the line and exposing it for a fraud.

The Republicans couldn't have written a better script, not even if they could hire a Writers Guild member.

ADDENDUM: Still trying to figure out the Democratic message on this. Is it that DVD residuals are a higher public interest than Democratic presidential primary elections? That union disputes somehow derail the democratic process? We held a presidential election in the middle of our Civil War, but apparently the Copperheads of today can't even debate the issues in the midst of an entertainment-industry walkout.

Let's have a poll to see which message works!

What is the message from the Democrats' cancellation of the Los Angeles debate because of the Writers Guild strike?
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