cowards cutthroats & weasels


Speaking of David Letterman this is pretty funny to me. It is David Letterman talking about the strike issue :




David Letterman is back on the air because David Letterman signed a contract with Guild Writers. All of Letterman’s writers are back at work too.

Jay Leno is back on the air because Jay Leno is violating Guild strike rules. All of Leno’s writers are still out of work.

Also would someone inform Republican presidential wishful thinker Mike Huckabee “supporting union writers” means not crossing our picket lines?


i am you know waiting to see if the ua deal is made up or real


20 Responses to cowards cutthroats & weasels

  1. I love the title of this post. It sounds like an adventure tale.

    Yay for Letterman. Down with Leno.

  2. max

    Letterman definitely rules. He is also one of the few television personalities established and powerful enough to make this move and withstand AMPTP retaliation. And with him leading, others may follow.

    Also CBS standing behind this and airing the show creates a breach between CBS and NBC that is huge in its implications. CBS is backing a show that went Guild. NBC is backing Leno against the Guild — and also trying to pull a work around to air the Golden Globes by screaming we [Guild writers] are being mean to Dick Clark. I do not think that is going to work out for NBC, which is employing scab writing and has been so internet greedy it has more than doubled its cash demands from iTunes to run shows [asking for as much as five bucks per episode or that is what I heard around the Nicholl table], will only sell shows as series on iTunes and short series at that, like four episodes of Razor selling for as much as a full television season, and has begun pulling its material off iTunes to air it at higher commercial rates on a poorly constructed substandard NBC webpage interface. NBC I think is about to take egg in the face bad. Which is really too bad. I like a lot of NBC shows. Battlestar Galactica. Heroes. ER. Law & Order. But their blunders are mounting and will not just hurt them, they will hurt their stars. No one in the community will forget Jay went back to work writing for NBC while the rest of his writing staff — and most of Hollywood — remained picketing in the street unemployed.

  3. I’ve always liked Letterman, I liked him more than Carson too. When I heard that Leno was violating the strike by writing his monologues I immediately thought of you… At first I thought, no big deal, if you’re on the air you have to have something to work with right? You can’t just sit there in silence. Then I discovered that he’s a member of the Guild… What a scumbag!

  4. I’ve sat in on deals before.
    This is funny because it’s true- they really do think and say stuff like this.
    No fooling.

  5. Kym

    Thanks for keeping us informed!

  6. max

    There is a really funny book, “A Martian Wouldn’t Say That,” that is a collection of actual studio notes. It is very funny and full of comments exactly like that.

  7. Betsy

    Have you seen where Leno and Kimmel are going to be guests on each other’s shows?

    Now THERE’s must-see TV.

  8. max

    Their guest list is pretty short. SAG is not crossing picket lines which leaves them each other and politicians.

  9. max

    Oh, and studio execs. Maybe they can get the guy in the Porsche on the air.

  10. I applaud DL for getting something done with the Guild writers. Ahem, why it took two months seems strange if he had this ability to do it all along. As for Leno, his explanation about going back on the air suited OK, although he’s in a difficult corner where I’d never want to stand. How can any business allow 16 people (the number of writers who work for Leno’s show) to put the other 160 people who work for the show out of their jobs? Plus, he’s not hired scabs to write the show. Instead, he’s doing it himself – and hoping his audience understands.

  11. max

    The AMPTP has had the ability to do it all along as well. Do not blame Letterman for waiting when the AMPTP created this situation in the first place and is still refusing to return to the negotiating table.

    Also, it is not 16 writers we are talking about here. It is 12,000 writers. 12,000 writers do not walk out, risking their careers, their homes, their paychecks and welfare and that of their families, fellow workers, friends and communities unless they have a damn good reason. And while portions of Leno’s audience may “understand,” his fellow writers will not — and neither will the actors and actresses who would normally be his guests.

  12. You’re right, Max, of course. And I’m short-sighted (and near sighted, too, for that matter). It is far more than the 16 writers who work for NBC’s Tonight Show who are impacted. I still prefer not to call Leno a “scumbag” because I think any rational human being can understand why he’s doing what he’s doing – or maybe not. I heard on the news this morning that now Leno and Jimmy Kimmel are doing guest spots on each others’ shows because they can’t book celebs to do their programs. So it eppears the networks’ decisions to put these programs back on the air is going to hurt them from a PR perspective. We’ll see how long advertisers stick with them.

  13. max

    Yes. Jay Leno is in a bad situation. He can stand steady with his fellow writers, which means watching his show go non-existent during the strike. Or, he can bow to Network pressures and “write all of his own material,” crossing the picket lines and undermining everything every other writer is fighting to achieve.

    Here is the thing. Every show runner in town is in exactly the same position. And if every show runner in town puts his or her own personal gain and ego above and beyond the membership’s needs, the strike will fail because networks will go on as normal, burning writers and collecting advertising revenue as if nothing is wrong while simultaneously deriding the striking writers through media news channels they own and control.

    [Odds are, though I do not wish to be unkind, Leno got promised a deal for doing it that gives him huge perks — much like John Wells who tanked the last Guild negotiations at great personal benefit and cost not only the Guild, but his entire writing team a whole lot. The big difference here is, last time around, AMPTP had the Guild president in their pocket. This time, they just have one talk show host.]

    [Everyone please say thank God for Patric Verrone.]

    Writers cannot afford to lose here. This is a make or break battle for writers. We have given ground and given ground and given more ground for the last twenty years and the AMPTP just keeps coming and finally has put us at the Alamo. This is one fight writers, all writers, absolutely cannot afford to lose.

    Writers tend to be pretty independent and not too good at all getting along or behind one common cause. We fight a lot, we are opinionated, we do not organize well. But we have one other trait the AMPTP has I guess forgotten. We fight like fucking banshees. It takes banshee will and drive and stamina and just an inability to quit to even break into this industry because writing for film and television is such a damn hard road even to embark on, let alone to break into, survive and prosper in. Most of us are nameless and faceless to the general public, only recognized occassionally and briefly on some show for best screenplay. Soon to be forgotten by everyone except the people we work with. And we don’t care. It matters more to make the dreams, to create them, and make them live, to the point for us, we just don’t care noboby except a few fellow working professionals know who the hell we are. Because that, to us, is normally enough.

    But not today. Today survival is at stake.

    Jay Leno just said, loudly, he supports NBC, [a network which is at the moment the enemy and is pounding the crap out of writers to try and get its million dollar payday for the Golden Globes] he does not care about his fellow writer’s or talent’s survival.

    That is why no actor or actress will appear on his show. Actors and actresses are talent. Their contract is coming up soon too. And if the writers fall, so do they. The public may not know or care about who we, the writers are. May not even recognize us. Or know that. But our fellow talent does.

    Thank you to every man, woman, and child of the Screen Actor’s Guild backing us right now with their beautiful faces. You have always made our dreams live. And now, our careers and future live too.

  14. Wow. I applaud the actors and actress who will not appear on his show.

    Here, you might enjoy this, Max:

    [from Wiki]

    George Lopez attacked Leno during an interview on radio station WOMX-FM in Orlando on January 24, 2007. “He’s the biggest two-faced dude in TV,” Lopez said of Leno. He also called him a back-stabber[7] and said he cannot interview guests well.[8] Later comedian Paul Rodriguez claimed Leno approached him at a comedy club mistakenly believing he was fellow Latino comedian George Lopez. According to Rodriguez, Leno said; “Listen, maybe you and I should sit down and work this out. We shouldn’t be airing this stuff in public.”[9] Rodriguez was reportedly hurt by Leno’s mistake; “I’ve worked with him for going on 30 years. Our families know each other. I thought I was on the inside of Jay’s circle. When Letterman was kicking his buns, I told my Latino viewers to support Jay. I don’t know what makes people so forgetful. Maybe it’s time for Conan O’Brien to come on [as Leno’s replacement].”[10]

    Howard Stern has accused Leno of stealing material from him, and for being such a “safe” interviewer. [11] Most notably, Stern says Leno blatantly stole the idea for the ‘Jaywalking’ segment, where Leno asks people on the street basic intelligence/current event questions, from his show. Stern was also upset with Leno for poaching announcer “Stuttering” John Melendez from his staff without clearing it with him first.

    Talk show host David Letterman has called Leno a “hump” and a “pinhead” on the Late Show.[12][13]

    Late comedian Bill Hicks criticised Leno heavily in his own stand up shows. [14][15] Hicks often impersonated Leno, opening his skit with the words, “Hey folks, I’m Jay Leno. Remember when I used to be funny?” He was also intensely critical of Leno’s endorsement and promotion of various consumer products, and would often mimic Leno eating Doritos tortilla chips on a television advertisement by saying “Mmmm-mmm, these are so good, I feel fulfilled, fulfilled spiritually as a human being”.

  15. Oh, I almost forgot:

    [from Wiki]:


    During the 2007-2008 WGA Writers strike, Leno was accused of violating WGA guidelines by writing his own monologue for The Tonight Show. While NBC and Leno claim there were clandestine meetings with the WGA where there was a secret agreement allowing this, the WGA denies such a meeting. [16]

  16. max

    Well. I do not take pleasure from seeing Leno fall. He is a fellow writer. This is a very hard industry. And it twists a lot of people up.

    It got him. And I am sorry to see him fall.

  17. Only a mean hearted person would take pleasure in seeing anyone fail.

    Ok, there are exceptions. But you know what I mean.

  18. max

    Yeah. It is such a hard business. I do not like seeing anyone on my team go down.

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