Check out Variety Magazine’s (specifically Brian Lowry) blame-assignment for the tone of the writers strike — a deflection worthy of an All-Star NHL goalie. The article starts out saying that writers are hurling vitriol at anybody not echoing their position, producers return the favor, and then this is blamed on… Rush Limbaugh, among others. What? I’d have thought it was all Bush’s fault.
In this way, strike rhetoric is oddly mirroring modern politics, where partisans now filter straight-ahead reporting through an Ã¢â‚¬Å“us vs. themÃ¢â‚¬Â prism, seeking out accounts that buttress their views while shunning those that might challenge them.
This represents a relatively recent dynamic, fueled by the Rush Limbaugh era of talkradio, cable news and the Internet, which barely existed during the last strike in 1988. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an especially poisonous environment when applied to this fracas, since talent and the studios must eventually reunite once the saber-rattling and marching ends, whereas political combatants (or at least their public mouthpieces) are now locked in a state of perpetual warfare, the better to spice up the give and take on Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hannity & Colmes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Huh? “Us vs. them” vitriolic protest is a recent dynamic? Has this guy ever heard of the 60’s? Yes, but that was “acceptable” protest.
When the left protests, it’s to correct a wrong and ensure equal rights for all. When the right protests, it’s nasty, vitriolic, greedy oppressive rhetoric from people unwilling to listen to other points of view — which is laughable to anybody who’s ever tried to convince a liberal of any sociological, economical or political equivalent of “the sun comes up in the east.”
Even better, when it’s acknowledged that a liberal protest (the vast majority of the Writers Guild members are liberals, let’s not kid ourselves) and their counter-protesters (Hollywood producers — again, a liberal lot) has gotten nasty, it’s blamed on right wing “media” who have little to nothing to do with what the writer and producer brats are squabbling about. In a “liberal vs. liberal” battle, the bad guy is still the conservative.
This point of view is even more comical if you think of it like this: Writers Guild members and Hollywood producers would find common ground a lot sooner if it weren’t for Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and blogs. As a result, Hollywood is at a stand-still.
Hey, who says conservatives can’t control Hollywood? Being greatly outnumbered doesn’t mean you can’t emerge victorious. This story would make Sun Tzu proud.