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Impasse

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

Sorry for the delay in posting today — on assignment with a series of stories. And in Hollywood, just about everywhere you go there is some kind of buzz about a possible writer’s strike. It could begin on Monday morning, although both sides will meet Sunday for an 11th hour session to resolve the impasse. At the Huffington Post, Larry Gelbart refutes the comparisons being made of the WGA negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to the Bush administration and Iraq.

He writes, “The WGA is not some devious, messianic power seeking to impose a form
of regime change on some far-flung entity. Nor should the AMPTP be
mistaken for an enemy that is secretly armed with WMD — other than
Weapons of Mass Distribution, perhaps.

“Let others speak of the merits of the Alliance’s leadership, I can
attest that it has been ages since writers have been represented by
such devoted and determined elected and designated negotiators. To
compare their accumulative experience and business savvy with a
bungling White House which cannot finish a war over four years after
winning it is as inappropriate as it is insulting.”

Nevertheless, Variety’s William Triplett finds his own comparisons of the impasse to the kind of politics that D.C. is known for. He queries several pundit types for some advice to writers and management. Says Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, “It really ought to make people at both the studios and in the unions
look in the mirror when there’s an example of better behavior in
Washington.”

Mayor’s Message:
In 2001, the last time that it looked as if a strike was inevitable, Mayor Richard Riordan stepped in  and  tried to play a role in resolving the situation. One way was to issue a study that mapped out the dire consequences to the Los Angeles economy should there be a strike. There wasn’t.

So what about Antonio Villaraigosa? I talked to his spokesman, Gil Duran, on Thursday. He says that the mayor “has been talking to both parties over the past year,” albeit largely behind the scenes. “He realizes it will have a very devastating effect on the economy,” Duran says. He added that the mayor is “monitoring the situation closely, but obviously it is in a holding pattern right now.”

Off the Air: On Thursday, I mentioned that a strike would mean that shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” At the Politico, Jeffrey Ressner points out that 
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the ripple effect will pretty much shut out political humor in general, from “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to the Sunday Funnies segment on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Bono for Bloomberg:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets an endorsement of sorts from Bono, who told reporters on Thursday that Bloomberg “could do an awful lot of good inside or outside the White House.” The two met in Manhattan to discuss philanthropy. Bloomberg insists that his next job will be to give his money away — as part of a plan to expand his foundation.

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