On his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck repeatedly suggested that the top Democratic presidential candidates have not shown support for the ongoing Writers Guild strike. In fact, all of the Democratic front-runners have expressed support for the striking writers. John Edwards joined them on a Los Angeles picket line, and Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton each issued statements of support for the writers. The candidates also withdrew from a planned December 10 CBS News debate, forcing its cancellation.
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On the January 23 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck repeatedly suggested that the top Democratic presidential candidates have not shown support for the ongoing Writers Guild strike, asking: "[W]hy haven't the pro-union Democratic candidates spoken up on the strike?" and "[W]hy haven't any of the Democratic candidates joined them on the picket line?" He added: "Are they laying low so they don't upset their Hollywood contributors?" In fact, John Edwards joined striking writers on a Los Angeles picket line on November 16, 2007; he carried a placard and said, "I'm proud to be with you in this march. I'm proud to be with you in this fight for justice. I am proud to be with you in this fight for fairness." On November 5, 2007 -- the day the strike began -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) released a statement saying: "I stand with the writers." A Politico article further reported that an Obama aide called the Writers Guild that day and asked, "What can we do to help?" Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) also issued a statement of support on November 5: "I support the Writers Guild's pursuit of a fair contract that pays them for their work in all mediums."
Moreover, the candidates withdrew from a planned December 10 CBS News debate, forcing its cancellation. John and Elizabeth Edwards also canceled a scheduled appearance on ABC's The View, as did Michelle Obama. By contrast, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a recipient of union endorsements himself, crossed picket lines when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 2.
In contrast with Beck, who did not acknowledge the Democratic candidates' shows of support for the writers, CNN's Wolf Blitzer did so on the November 26 edition of The Situation Room, but suggested that in also taking contributions from entertainment executives, the candidates were "trying to have it both ways."
From the January 23 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Plus, movie and TV writers still on strike, but why haven't any of the Democratic candidates joined them on the picket line? Are they laying low so they don't upset their Hollywood contributors? Hmm.
BECK: Oh, well, thank goodness the Hollywood writers are going to return to the negotiating table this week in hopes of saving us from shows like American Gladiators and the return of my personal favorite, Paradise Hotel.
But the real question is not when will they make their deal, but why haven't the pro-union Democratic candidates spoken up on the strike? Where, where, where, where have they been? I'll examine all of that in just a bit.
BECK: Coming up, if you want more proof that Hollywood is completely out of touch with the American mainstream, look no further than the Oscar nominees. And where are those liberals with the strikers and the writers? We'll look into it next.
BECK: Hollywood striking writers and the studio executives have said that they plan to meet this week for the very first time since early December, when their talks collapsed. Who's been paying attention? You know, might be good news for those of us who are really sick and tired of reconnecting with our family. I mean, whew.
But the most interesting side of this whole fiasco might be the political one. I want you to think about this. When was the last time that you saw a strike in our country where the Democrats haven't lined up to deliver hot coffee on the picket lines and denounce the big, bad corporation for keeping the man down? Well, where is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama now? Where's John Edwards?
The writers are starting to ask this question, and they don't like the answer. Democrats just get too much money from Hollywood to risk screwing it all up. Or, do they like Hollywood's money and their propaganda tools, but they just don't want to be seen around the Hollywood people?
Screenwriter and former Clinton/Gore staffer Chris Jackson told the New York Post, quote, "I was hurt by learning the truth. The DNC (the Democratic National Committee) are in bed with big business. They are for change when it comes to using marketing slogans ... but they only use Hollywood to milk money out of us."
Michael Medved is a nationally syndicated talk radio host, a veteran film critic. Michael, which is it? Are they just -- they don't want to be seen around Hollywood because they just -- they know it's really bad for them, or are they just getting too much money?
MEDVED: Well, I think it's a combination of all of the above, of course. But the main thing is they gain absolutely nothing by getting involved in this very, very, very bitter dispute. It would be like getting involved between the baseball players and baseball management when the players went out on strike.