The late night hosts are back, praise Paramatman, though only two, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson, are union sanctioned, as Letterman's production company struck an interim deal with the Writers Guild of America. Leno, Conan, and Kimmel returned minus their scribes, ostensibly to help those non-WGA staffers affected by the strike, but in reality to keep their corporate bosses from losing more ad revenue, and stem the hemorrhage of viewers watching, or worse, doing something else.
While Leno and Conan made all the right noises about supporting the strike, even though they are WGA members and have crossed the picket line to work, Jimmy Kimmel, ever the rebel, called the strikers "ridiculous" for picketing NBC. Now, no one's gonna confuse Kimmel with Big Bill Haywood, but it certainly doesn't help the writers' cause when a host openly derides their efforts. "Solidarity" is clearly not in Kimmel's vocabulary. But then, what the fuck does he care, so long as he gets paid? Identify with and front for the suits and you will not lose income -- that is, until they tire of your act and desire something cheaper to produce.
Whether or not the WGA gets what it deserves from this strike, the return of the late night scab shows, with liberal icons Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert about to cross the line as well, reflects the power corporations enjoy, and highlights the apolitical nature of most consumers, cynically catered to by the hosts. Writers are the most needed, and thus most despised, workers in the industry. If producers and corporate managers could eliminate writers without losing audience share or ad revenue, they would in an instant, then take lunch. They're already robbing writers wherever they can. Why not take the next logical step and be rid of any added drain on their wallets?
But that's not gonna happen, not anytime soon. Some kind of arrangement will be worked out with the WGA, doubtless one not favorable to the writers. Spinners of concepts are no match for makers of big business deals. On the privately-owned entertainment plantation, writers are forever in the fields.
Since Kimmel is a big fan of Letterman, here's a Top Ten list devoted solely to him:
TOP TEN JIMMY KIMMEL TRAITS
10. Eyes glaze over when polysyllables are used
9. Crank yanks cancer survivors
8. Believes that a football is pork
7. Usually drunk while on camera
6. Thinks that Filipinos make "awesome house pets"
5. Considers Ben Stein a rational, political observer
4. Jerks off to Sarah Silverman while she jumps on a trampoline
3. After hours dog fight referee
2. Dreams that one day, Letterman will call him "Master"
1. Scabs for kicks!
Read more strike coverage on the Huffington Post's writers' strike page.