Strike Strife

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

With talks ending between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance for Motion Picture and Television Producers last night, there now is a very real possibility of a strike. The immediate impact of such a walkout would be to shut down much of late-night television — possibly even “The Colbert Report.” Colbert has used his show as a platform for his book tour, er presidential bid, so this could definitely slow the momentum in launching a South Carolina centric campaign. Today he has to show if there’s any seriousness to this: It’s the deadline to get on that state’s primary ballot. In any case, both Colbert and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” face going off the air and into reruns at a critical moment of the primary race, missing out on what is bound to be a ripe period for presidential fodder. Moreover, even if these talk shows continue during the strike, sans writers, will any of the presidential candidates who’ve been stumping on their stages still go on the show?

Blame the Moderator?:
With the consensus now that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential debate, primarily because of her murky answers to questions about the release of her records as First Lady and on giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, supporters are wondering, what happened? The Hill reports that in a campaign conference call on Wednesday, campaign operatives were upset with co-moderator Tim Russert’s line of questioning. “The other candidates were asked questions like, ‘Is there life in outer space?’ ” senior strategist Mark Penn said. The campaign used the opportunity to ask supporters for more money as the campaign enters what is expected to be a new and more negative phase.

All Paul: Joel Stein profiles Ron Paul in the upcoming Time, and has this exchange from the Republican contender’s appearance on “The Tonight Show” the other night. Stein writes, “On Tuesday, both Paul and Tom Cruise were guests on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The actor went to Paul’s dressing room to thank him for his work on a bill fighting the forced mental screening of grade-school kids. “Go. Go. Go. Go hard,” Cruise said. Paul turned to an aide and asked, “What movies has he been in?””

Toke, No Joke: “Price in Right” emcee Drew Carey’s latest Reason.tv video debuted today, in which he calls for legalized medical marijuana. “I think it’s clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it – safely and easily.”

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