Blog Critic News Episode #4 - Writers' strike? What writers' strike?

John Shinal · December 20, 2007 · Short URL:

While the Hollywood writer's strike has gotten plenty of coverage from the mainstream media, the entertainment industry trade press and the blogosphere, everyone has missed the real story.

In fact, not since the network nightly news programs showed a certain U.S. president standing in front of a banner inscribed "Mission Accomplished," has old or new media gotten a story so wrong. 

Not that you would expect the networks to accurately cover a strike by their own contract workers.

But even the trade press and media-focused blogs have failed to say what needs to be said.

Lucky for you,'s Blog Critic News is here to fill the void, step into the breach, give you the straight dope and provide several more vague cliches in the name of imparting the unvarnished truth.

And that truth is this: the writers could be in some deep doo-doo here.

Many stories have portrayed the work stoppage as a repeat of the last one 19 years ago -- a test of wills over how to share revenue from a new medium.

The writers got a measly four-cent residual from each DVD unit sold in their last contract, and they want to double that to 8 cents for the next contract. They're also determined not to make the same mistake when negotiating their share of future digital video revenue.

But framing the story that way misses an important fact. Something happened between the last strike in 1988 and now that has radically altered the economics of video production. That something is called the Internet.

Inexpensive yet high-quality digital cameras, combined with the distribution power of the Internet, have allowed independent creative types to produce content at a fraction of the cost of the old Hollywood and New York studio model.

Some of that content approaches and even surpasses the quality of what gets served up on the boob tube, and some online entrepreneurs, including Ask A Ninja creators Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine are building profitable Web-based shows.

Of course, we already told you about all this weeks ago, in this episode of Vator Reports. But while informative, that show left a few things unsaid about the dark underbelly of the strike that can only be explored in a forum like Blog Critic News.

To get to the visceral, human-interest issues behind the strike -- all the finger-pointing, wife-swapping, limo-parking, dope-smoking, animal-abusing behavior typical of Hollywood -- look no further.

(Editor's Note: Oh, and by the way, if you're looking for the truth, you won't find it here. This being a work of satire and all.) 

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes