THE BLOG
12/28/2007 04:46 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

WGA Strike: Why Alec Baldwin is Right

Alec Baldwin was attacked as being ignorant by the same ignorant HuffPo'er who last week claimed I was ignorant. Ruh-roh. Doesn't this scribe have anything else to do? Well, a few weeks ago I defended Ann Coulter, and now by God it's Alec Baldwin's turn.

Alec Baldwin rightly points out, as I did, that the current WGA negotiators, by focusing on growing the guild membership as opposed to serving the needs of current members, have blundered repeatedly and destroyed the incomes of thousands in the process. The first thing they did in negotiations was take DVDs off the table. Hello? DVDs are a proven revenue stream and will be for years. Taking that off the table in the beginning was a mistake even Harvey Birdman would not make.

Variety reported the other day that, since the start of the strike, big media stocks have not lost value, most notably CBS who is the least diversified. The market has deemed the strike insignificant, and those are the voices the executives listen to. Disney makes more money off parks, lodging and food than they do on scripted entertainment. The only people hurting are the thousands the WGA has irresponsibly thrown out of work. Ask IATSE members how they feel about the WGA's rock star management. At the start of the strike WGA negotiator David Young marveled at the "havoc" he "created." Those are not the words of a serious man.

Pilot season is gone, probably for good. Writing staffs will be permanently reduced. Scripts are being outsourced (check postings on Elance and Guru.com). Contributions are dwindling to WGA health and pension plans. Havoc indeed.

The producers are logically using the cosmic ineptitude of the WGA leadership to reassemble their business model, in the light of competitive threats such as video games. Walk into a Blockbuster, then walk into a GameStop, and tell me where the crowds are.

About the third week in January, I think the pain will become too great, and the more prominent WGA writers will throw in the towel and go Fi-core, opening the floodgates to many who will follow. This is perhaps the only thing that could force a change in the WGA negotiating team, who are the laughingstock of the business world. Innocent WGA members are being undeniably ill-served by their amateur, careerist negotiators. Two weeks ago, I wrote in the HuffPo that Alec Baldwin should take part in the negotiations. I was half-kidding then. I'm not now. At least he knows how to behave like a professional.