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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 03:11 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 03:11 | SYDNEY

Projector: The Hollywood writers' strike

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7 December 2007 11:17

This is the second installment in an occasional series called 'International Policy Projector' (here's the first), which looks at how aspects of international policy are portrayed in film and TV.

Via the outstanding economics blog Marginal Revolution, I found this Financial Times article explaining the legal and economic origins of the Hollywood writers' strike, now in its fourth week, which has halted production of political satires like Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and its brilliant spin-off hosted by Stephen Colbert.

As Passport explains, the strike has real implications for the White House race. Not only do politically committed young voters get a lot of news and information from Stewart and Colbert (more than from network news shows, apparently), but they get insights into the candidates when they appear on these shows. Barack Obama seems more in tune than any other candidate with the ironic detachment that is the hallmark 0f Stewart and Colbert, so the strike will hurt Obama.

Of course the viewers suffer most from the strike, so let's hope it's resolved soon. Australians have seen a little of Jon Stewart in a weekly half-hour package on SBS, while those with cable TV can watch Colbert and Stewart four nights a week. But when the presidential election really heats up next year, wouldn't it be great if the ABC could screen Stewart and Colbert every night, perhaps after Lateline? If not, those of us without cable will just have to rely on the internet for election coverage like this:

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