Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

Close window

Fake News, Real Union: Onion News Network Writers Join WGAE

Writers for the Onion News Network announced this week that they had joined the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO and negotiated their first contract with ONN management.

The agreement will cover the second season of the show, which will begin airing on the Independent Film Channel on September 30.

The agreement calls for minimum compensation increases and health and pension contributions, retroactive to the start of writing earlier this summer. The producers also agreed to hire more writers and add extra writing weeks to the schedule.

The contract is a landmark. Until this agreement was reached, the Onion News Network was the last live-action scripted comedy show to employ non-union writers.

"Writing comedy is hard and time consuming work which makes Guild membership all the more important," WGAE Director of Communications Elana Levin told the Hillman Blog, "Having more comedy writers in the Guild is beneficial to the working standards for all comedy writers regardless of where they work."

Over 70 WGAE members from major New York-based comedy shows signed a letter of support on behalf of the ONN writers and hundreds of Guild members emailed the ONN producers.

“The ONN writers stood together and won real improvements,” WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson said in a statement.  “We welcome them into the WGAE and we look forward to a productive relationship with the company.”

 

Comments

C'mon. There has to be a joke here.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
 
 

Recent Tweets

Call for Entries: Canadian Hillman Prize, now open! $5000 prize for CA journalism for the common good. http://t.co/KIk6siHO43 7 hours 25 min ago
.@KathaPollitt and @Beyerstein talk about KP's new book "Pro" on @PointofInquiry: http://t.co/JWLL4gPkRt 8 hours 26 min ago
RT @BuzzFeedBen: Sexist French Uber Promotion Pairs Riders With “Hot Chick” Drivers http://t.co/Zbn6QGtGdf via @cwarzel 14 hours 51 min ago
RT @TexasMonthly: The years-long textbook saga of Texas continues. http://t.co/8AftdB3T0u 14 hours 52 min ago
RT @CJR: Humanizing #Ebola victims vs. respecting their right to privacy http://t.co/ybw3UF8QUn 14 hours 52 min ago