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Writers' Strike: Behind the Studios' PR Push

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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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.

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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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