Jon Stewart Says WGA Nixed Side Deal

Sources who attended Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show taping today got an earful of complaining from the comic host about his dealings with the Writers Guild. This was his show’s first day back after its strike hiatus and Jon’s jawing came prior to taping. That’s when audience coordinator Teri Abrams, and then Stewart in more detail, talked about how they joined with cable channel Comedy Central to lobby the WGA to accept the same deal that the writers guild made with David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. Stewart told the audience that he was turned down by the WGA last Thursday.

It was apparent that Stewart was completely flummoxed by the Guild’s decision and questioned the logic behind the rejection. But what the audience wasn’t told, however, is that the two situations are very different: Comedy Central, a division of Viacom, owns Stewart’s show, whereas Worldwide Pants owns The Late Show with David Letterman as well as the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Viacom is one of the 8 biggest members of the AMPTP which is refusing to bargain with the WGA at present.

During the pre-show, Stewart became serious and said he believed what the writers want is important and he supports them all the way. Asked what he did during the strike hiatus, he said without the show he’s just an old guy yelling at the TV.

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