Saturday, January 5, 2008

If It's In The Paper It Must Be True

In a Variety article, polls showing that the vast majority of Hollywood professionals feel that the WGA strike is losing cause.

"The town's opinions have budged a bit since the November survey on the question of whether the WGA's decision to go on strike was a "tactical mistake."

Among all respondents, 57% said no while 35% said yes -- not much different than the divide in November (57%-31%). WGA respondents are holding fast, with only 16% agreeing that going on strike was a tactical miscue.

But among DGA respondents, 42% now agree it was a tactical mistake, compared with 34% in November. Doubts among SAG members are also rising, with 25% agreeing that the strike was a tactical mistake, compared with 15% in November. Half of IATSE members are convinced the work stoppage was a tactical error, inching up to 50% from 47% in the November survey."

A lot of figures and percentages are thrown around as proof that the WGA strike is failing and creating a lot of hostility among other entertainment unions. According to Variety, half of all IATSE members are convinced that the dispute is a tactical error. Well, sorta. You see only 616 Variety subscribers responded and of that 616, 7% were IATSE members. So 3 1/2% of all the respondents who also happen to be IATSE members and subscribers thought that the strike was a "tactical mistake". And how many real people are we talking about? 7% of 616 is 44. So half of that is 3.5% or 22 people. Which means that in an industry consisting of hundreds of thousands of people Variety makes a statement that there is a large percentage of opinion against the strike and represents that "half of all IATSE members" are against it. The opinions of 22 PEOPLE now pass as consensus! Looked at another way, with it's circulation estimated at 31,000, Variety is making that statement based on the opinions of 0.07% of it's readership.

I'm not in the middle of the fight but from the outside, thats worse than sloppy, thats disingenuous. That's Corporate Media posing as a free press.


Erin said...

Hello! I've been reading your blog for awhile now, its always very interesting.

Just wanted to add my two cents in that Variety is more geared for the studios than the writers or even the "common people." I've been taking everything strike-related from Variety with a huge grain of salt.

Humble Nailbanger said...

I think what you're seeing there is just self interest...pockets are tightening, people are getting desperate. This is especially so to people who won't necessarily benefit (other than being able to return to work) from the terms reached at strike's resolution. The holidays really must've been hard for a lot of people because of this, and there's got to be increasing pessimism as a result.

One NYC StageHand said...

Ever since the strike I'm on a kick about Corporate Media ownership. So many of our people were stunned to see the distortions in the press. If it happens to a story that they know so well and they see the facts so twisted, then imagine every story in the Corporate Media is twisted the same way. It's not that 22 people in Los Angeles thought that the strike wasn't going well. It was that Variety reported that half of all IATSE respondents didn't think that the strike was going well. Facts, context and the truth. You only sometimes get all three sides of the triangle.