Jon Stewart became the first late-night TV host to express criticism of demands by the Writers Guild of America. Returning to the air Monday night without his writing staff, Stewart at one point ridiculed the WGA's demand to be paid for shows that are downloaded from the Internet. "If you download a show on an iPod, do you think people should get paid for that?" he asked. "If you were to walk [into] a Hickory Farm with cheese on a stick, you wouldn't pay for that. No -- that's promotional cheese. That's what a show on an iPod is, promotional cheese." On the other hand, Stewart also took several whacks at the producers and networks, noting, for example, that Viacom has sued YouTube for a billion dollars for unauthorized use of its shows. However, he then added, "If there were real money in the Internet, don't you think they would have gone with a believable figure?" At the end of the show, Stewart segued to Stephen Colbert, who seemed to be caught feeding his script into a shredder, destroying any evidence that he might be breaking strike rules against writing his monologue. Later, Colbert remarked that Barack Obama had said he would not appear on his program during the strike but that he has said that he wanted to talk to the leaders of Iran, North Korea and Syria. "He'll talk to them," Colbert scolded, "but he won't talk to me?"




08/01/2008