Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Writers Strike, Victory At Last?

I found this this morning at United Hollywood. While it would seem that the strike may be over, I urge all to exercise a bit of cautious optimism. In other words, let's wait and see...

From United Hollywood...

This was sent early this morning to membership. The delay in publishing the deal points, we've learned, was because the companies dragged their feet enshrining some of the final details in an attempt to renege on some of what they had promised. The last-minute fight to keep that from happening took until late last night.

To Our Fellow Members,

We have a tentative deal.

It is an agreement that protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery. It creates formulas for revenue-based residuals in new media, provides access to deals and financial data to help us evaluate and enforce those formulas, and establishes the principle that, "When they get paid, we get paid."

Specific terms of the agreement are described in the summary at the following link - here- and will be further discussed at our Saturday membership meetings on both coasts. At those meetings we will also discuss how we will proceed regarding ratification of this agreement and lifting the restraining order that ends the strike. Details of the Los Angeles meeting can be found at here.

Less than six months ago, the AMPTP wanted to enact profit-based residuals, defer all Internet compensation in favor of a study, forever eliminate "distributor's gross" valuations, and enforce 39 pages of rollbacks to compensation, pension and health benefits, reacquisition, and separated rights. Today, thanks to three months of physical resolve, determination, and perseverance, we have a contract that includes WGA jurisdiction and separated rights in new media, residuals for Internet reuse, enforcement and auditing tools, expansion of fair market value and distributor's gross language, improvements to other traditional elements of the MBA, and no rollbacks.

Over these three difficult months, we shut down production of nearly all scripted content in TV and film and had a serious impact on the business of our employers in ways they did not expect and were hard pressed to deflect. Nevertheless, an ongoing struggle against seven, multinational media conglomerates, no matter how successful, is exhausting, taking an enormous personal toll on our members and countless others. As such, we believe that continuing to strike now will not bring sufficient gains to outweigh the potential risks and that the time has come to accept this contract and settle the strike.

Much has been achieved, and while this agreement is neither perfect nor perhaps all that we deserve for the countless hours of hard work and sacrifice, our strike has been a success. We activated, engaged, and involved the membership of our Guilds with a solidarity that has never before occurred. We developed a captains system and a communications structure that used the Internet to build bonds within our membership and beyond. We earned the backing of other unions and their members worldwide, the respect of elected leaders and politicians throughout the nation, and the overwhelming support of fans and the general public. Our thanks to all of them, and to the staffs at both Guilds who have worked so long and patiently to help us all.

There is much yet to be done and we intend to use all the techniques and relationships we've developed in this strike to make it happen. We must support our brothers and sisters in SAG who, as their contract expires in less than five months, will be facing many of the same challenges we have just endured. We must further pursue new relationships we have established in Washington and in state and local governments so that we can maintain leverage against the consolidated multinational conglomerates with whom we bargain. We must be vigilant in monitoring the deals that are made in new media so that in the years ahead we can enforce and expand our contract. We must fight to get decent working conditions and benefits for writers of reality TV, animation, and any other genre in which writers do not have a WGA contract.

Most important, however, is to continue to use the new collective power we have generated for our collective benefit. More than ever, now and beyond, we are all in this together.


Patric M. Verrone
President, WGAW

Michael Winship
President, WGAE

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chelsea Clinton, Pimped Out???

Chelsea Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign stop for her mother, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Friday Feb. 8, 2008 in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

The Always Wrong Right is at it again, only this time they have decided to attack Hillary Clinton's daughter.

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson on Friday excoriated MSNBC's David Shuster for suggesting the Clinton campaign had "pimped out" 27-year old Chelsea by having her place phone calls to celebrities and Democratic Party "superdelegates" on her mother's behalf.

Yes, the trolls are at it again.

Realizing they have no chance of defeating either Hillary or Obama, they have fired the opening rounds in what will certainly be another disgusting, distasteful campaign on their part by attacking the only vulnerable target in sight, Chelsea Clinton. To wit:

Wolfson pointed to what he called a pattern of tasteless comments by MSNBC anchors about the Clinton campaign. Weeks ago, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews apologized to the former first lady after suggesting her political career had been made possible by her husband's philandering.

The entire article appears here.

Frankly, I'm not a Hillary supporter.
I was an Edwards man. In this case it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you support Hillary or not. It doesn't matter if you think she is "Bush Lite" or the "Second Coming". What matters is that the Right Wing Slime Slingers have started up once again and this time we must nip it in the bud.

Pimped out? Pimped out? This is how the party of good Christian, Family Values plans to win support for their own lame candidates? By smearing and besmirching the reputation of their opponents daughter? Good God! What if Obama is the candidate? Can you imagine the racial slurs and innuendoes we have to look forward to?

This must stop right here, right now.

It is up to us to let MSNBC know that this type of character assassination will not be tolerated. We will no longer sit by while innocent people are swift-boated by right wing zealots with the collective morality of a slug!

Here's the clip of Shuster:

Now the clip of Matthews:

Enough people. I once did a post here that declared that the United States Marines are America's Attack Dogs, (When Good Marines Go Bad). It's time I remembered that. It's time to bite back!

Call, write or e-mail MSNBC and tell them you will not put up with sleezy character attacks like these. Don't let the Always Wrong Right swift-boat another Progressive candidate! Let's nip this in the bud!

By email: Letters To

By snailmail:
NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112

By telephone: 212-315-9016

Let's get to work API! It's time to show them that we know how to play "Hardball" too!

Now, where's my bat?


This is a copy of the e-mail I sent to MSNBC. Feel free to make it your own.

I am extremely disgusted with the behavior of two of your supposed "journalists", David Shuster and Chris Matthews, regarding the Hillary Clinton campaign. While I have come to expect this type of "journalism" from Fox News, I have long believed that MSNBC held itself and it's employees to higher standards. Apparently, I was wrong.

Should MSNBC continue to allow yellow journalism of this type to infect it's airwaves I will have no choice but to place it in the same category as Fox News and restrict my viewing to CNN.

Believe it or not, we who comprise your audience know the difference between real reporting and infotainment. We tune to you for "News" not entertainment. I strongly suggest that you review your standards and take whatever actions you need to insure that this type of character assassination doesn't occur on your airwaves again.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

Got this in an e-mail from my Father today. I've been so busy with the Writer's Strike I almost forgot the main reason I blog here - to expose the Republi-cons for the Corporate shills that they are and to defeat them at every turn!

I have to admit that my initial preoccupation with the strike was due to the fact that my livelihood is tied to the outcome.
It has, however, become increasing clear to me that this strike is actually a microcosm of what is happening to "Labor" in every part of the United States, as the Corporations, aided and abetted by the Bush Administration, continues to wage war against Unions and the working family in general.
Oh you can have a job alright, but you'll work for what we'll pay you when we want you to work. And benefits? That's un-American! Aren't we all cut from that "Daniel Boone" cloth that rewards rugged individualism?

Well, it's time once again to take on the Always Wrong Right. So with that in mind, I give you...

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

* Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

* Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

* The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq.

* A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

* Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

* The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

* If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

* A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

* Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

* HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

* Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

* A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense.

* A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

* Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

* The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.

* Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

* You support states’ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

* What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.

Thanks Dad!


ps: Feel free to add to this. I'm sure there's a whole lot more we're missing here!

The Writers' Strike

A blog bud of mine, Buffalo, left me a comment asking what would happen if the studios looked for writers elsewhere.

I found this over at United Hollywood. I think it answers the question quite nicely.

Don't believe the rumors! Get it straight from the horse's mouth!

Visit United Hollywood for the Real Deal!



"You're Sure You're Not In The Guild?"

Thanks to Laeta Kalogridis and United Hollywood

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Giant Win, A Super Bowl!

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates with the trophy alongside New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, right, and Terry Bradshaw after the Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl XLII football game Sunday Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris O'Mear)

Perfect Victory Spoils Perfect Season!

The New York Football Giants are the Champions of the World!

Read about it here!

It is with great joy that I congratulate the New York Football Giants on their incredible victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots!

Eli, this one's for you!

I'll even give you this, Mag's song for me! For you are now and forever more will be, The Boy From New York City!

What a game! Thanks to both teams for a dramatic, spectacular season and an awesome Superbowl!


Writers Strike - It Ain't Over Til It's Over

There are a ton of rumors circulating the main stream media this morning concerning the impending resolution of the Writers Strike. No-one wants this to be true more than me, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, it ain't over til it's over.

For up-to-date information, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak visit United Hollywood. The latest post can be viewed here.

Keep your fingers crossed!