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Writers’ Strike: Behind the Studios’ PR Push

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EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Placard

Just when the WGA strike is thisclose to winding down, producers at the AMPTP go and hire big-gun D.C. operatives Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani, of the left-leaning consulting shop Fabiani & Lehane, and veteran Republican bag-man Steve Schmidt, of Mercury Public Affairs. But in the arena of public opinion, where the studios have been cast as greedy overlords, hiring pricey political flacks might actually backfire.

Fabiani and Lehane cut their teeth working for Al Gore and Bill Clinton (in his capacity as Gore’s campaign spokesman, Lehane famously called Katherine Harris a “hack” and “a commissar” during the 2000 Florida recount). Or as Matt Stoler of Open Left blog puts it, “Lehane is a longtime Clinton surrogate,” concluding, “Strike breaking is not okay. Clinton knows this. And that’s why she should sever all ties with Lehane and Fabiani and put out a statement announcing this.”

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