Monday, November 5, 2007

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Political winners and losers from the Hollywood strike

Forget the troubles in Pakistan -- let's focus on something really impirtant, like the Hollywood writers and how it affects the 2008 campaign.

USA Today's Gary Leven and Bill Keveney explain the immediate effects from the strike: "Jay Leno and David Letterman will go dark tonight as last-ditch talks failed and the first strike by movie and TV writers since 1988 began at midnight." Also The Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, etc.

In other words, every show that takes delight in mocking/satirizing the presidential candidates is now down indefinitely. If the politics of campaigning is a zero-sum game, who wins and who loses?

I'd have to say the big losers are Barack Obama and John McCain. As his SNL cameo suggests, and as Kevin Drum elaborates, Obama has largely been immune from press criticism, and I'd wager that this extends to the satirical shows. McCain, as everyone knows, is the Ed McMahon to Stewart's Johnny Carson. As I pointed out in The National Interest, Obama and McCain are unusual in that they are politicians that can get (and want) access to "soft news" outlets. They don't have that option for the near future, denying them free media.

The big winners are all the candidates who are vulnerable to satire.... or the favorite targets of Hollywood writers. In other words, Hillary Clinton and the entire Republican field.

The biggest winner is likely the news media itself..... they won't have Jon Stewart to kick them around for the indefinite future.

posted by Dan on 11.05.07 at 10:09 AM


Hollywood on strike = WE'RE ALL WINNERS!

posted by: Useless Sam Grant on 11.05.07 at 10:09 AM [permalink]

McCain, as everyone knows, is the Ed McMahon to Stewart's Johnny Carson

But Stewart is NOT the Johnny Carson to McCain's (or anyone's) Ed McMahon.

posted by: Alan K. Henderson on 11.05.07 at 10:09 AM [permalink]

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