Johnny Letter Strikes Again
I wasn't planning on being so verbose, but since the heading of the first letter to Heather's column "Viacom's Hostages" I decided to give in to my more bombastic impulses. Predictably, some goat was got. Some people like to split hairs over what is and isn't a scab. I'm not one of them.
More people commented unfavorably toward Colbert & Stewart after my letter compared with the lone dissenter in the dozens which preceded it. I always wonder about the people who read and never comment, as they are often the ones I'm addressing in Salon letters.
So without further ado, I dedicate the following letter to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. And labor-contemptuous liberals everywhere.
Oh, Stewart & Colbert ARE scabs, alright. Et tu?
Still tuning in, are you?
Typical "progressive" fakery. All moral posturing with no commitment.
What a pretty little package.
Forced back to work. That's the phrase liberals are using to justify the actions of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Talk about disingenuous. These guys didn't have to go back to work. Had they refused until a resolution, Viacom would've had to have been very, very careful about challenging them, in no small part because of the massive amount of public support either of them are capable of martialing.
As things played out, they returned to work - and, in doing so, weakened the strike's effect and the efforts of the very people they imply they support.
To believe they were forced back to work is to be a sucka. It's understandable their fans would prefer to characterize their return as being forced back to work. It's not like I'm unsympathetic. First there's no Santa. Now this.
Instead of directing the condemnation where it belongs - and God forbid anyone consider individual responsibility - the common refrain is "Sure, Stewart & Colbert are union members, but but but...
The only but that matters?
"... but, as a viewer, I want my entertainment. And I'll find any number of ways to justify my favorite liberal icons crossing picket lines in defiance of their own union's strike. Avoid watching? Hell no. Why should I have to endure the excruciating hardship of refraining from four hours of television every week until there's a resolution?"
Viewers of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show - millions of 'em - have bitched incessantly about Democratic politicians being unprincipled, spineless, corrupt traitors to liberalism for seven long years. But it's perfectly okay for these same viewers to refrain from exercising solidarity with the striking writers, even if it means becoming scabs themselves. Regardless of the mental gymnastics employed to assuage the conscience that knows better, the viewer - a real Friend of Labor, no doubt - tuning into Stewart and Colbert IS crossing a virtual picket line.
The next time you bitch about what weasels your Democratic representatives are, look in the mirror and be grateful you have a party which reflects its constituency just as capably as the ones conservatives have.
Some things really are as simple as they seem: As long as the strike is ongoing and you're watching The Daily Show and/or The Colbert Report, you're a scab.
If you're comfortable with that designation, no problem.
If you're not, don't blame me. That's your Conscience talking.