As I've said before, I'm completely convinced that studios are screwing the writers - heck, here's another example of what passes for "thinking" in that set, from Michael Eisner:
According to CNET's The Social, in addition to calling the strike "stupid," Eisner said that the studios "make deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners," adding that, "They make all these kinds of things, and who's making money? Apple! They should get a piece of Apple." Eisner then went on to say that, "If I was a union, I'd be striking up wherever he is."
Riiiiight. Should I get a piece of ABC, since I "pay" for the ads by watching them? With that out of the way, I have to say - I don't really agree with this piece at Forbes either, which backs the writers:
When 12,000 Hollywood writers traded pencils for picket signs this week, they took a huge risk. Even riskier: not striking. Losing to the studios now could doom their union as television gives way to the Internet.
I think my wife had the analogy about right when we talked about this last night. I mentioned something about the strike, and she said "Eastern Airlines". Remember them? The pilots struck, because they were being screwed over by the owners. However, the strike managed to be a lose-lose - Eastern just folded.
Now, I don't see the networks "just folding". However, I do see them losing touch with the younger demographic. My daughter, 13, already spends more time on the net than she does in front of the TV - and most of her friends do the same. With the few shows she does make time to watch ready to disappear, that tenuous connection to TV will just snap. Like the Eastern strike, the writers may well be outsmarting themselves - I don't know how much they can afford to lose from the younger, already drifting, demographic.
Sure, they're being screwed. The problem is, the cure may be far worse than the disease.