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All the latest from the weekend plenary: NED White, Seymour and the decision on the Interactive contract!

October 16, 2009 (19:09) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

A lot of stuff will be happening at tomorrow’s Plenary. (10/17/09) The Seymour thing. Then in the afternoon around 3:pm a vote on the Interactive contract, and the NED David White issue later at the plenary

* In a nutshell, here is what happened at the weekend’s plenary. Interim NED David White, sans any vetting process, was voted to be SAG’s new NED. Seymour Cassel’s two year suspension was upheld by the SAG board, but the Interactive agreement was not passed instead there will be caucuses in Hollywood, NY and the branches where the members in attendance will make a decision. This, of course, will give an edge to the go-along-to-get-along USAN/UFS supporters who want this thing passed, a decisive edge since they control those areas, where little of this type of work is done.

More info on exactly when these SAG Caucuses will be held. In the meantime there will be an AFTRA Caucus this Thursday 10/22/09. If you feel that we should NOT turn rank and file actors, in this agreement, into primarily background actors, you should attend this meeting. I will post the time and place when I get the exact information.

In his video conference to the membership meeting our new SAG President Ken Howard said we should all work together, which is rather ironic in that it was President Howard’s gang that showed NO solidarity when the TV/Theatrical contract was in negotiations under then SAG NED Doug Allen and President Alan Rosenberg. Sort of the “do as I say, not what I and my gang have done.”

You’ll remember that he and his pals gave aid and comfort to our employers by repeatedly parroting AMPTP propaganda, going as far as issuing a statement saying that the then negotiators demands were “unrealistic” and “unattainable.” Of course as is their MO, they never articulated what those unrealistic and unattainable gains were.


So, First thing Saturday morning at the plenary, the board will go into executive session for the Executive Legal report including Articles 14 and 13 covering the Disciplinary Trial Board Reviewtranslation they will have to deal with the Seymour Cassel issue. Later in the afternoon, they will be voting on the Interactive contract. I have been told that Gabrielle Carteris is telling fellow voice actors that actors she will be voting YES on the interactive contract this Saturday at the plenary because her fears of “non-union” production. *bunny

And before the plenary ends, the board will once again go into executive session at which time David Whites interim NED position will be discussed.

In the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to concerned SAG actors to put forth a summary of what has happened in regards to the Interactive contract.

September 8th – Interactive caucus held to discuss “atmospheric voices” which has been proposed by Interactive producers to both the SAG and AFTRA negotiators. ( Neither the negotiating committee for SAG nor the committee for AFTRA had been invited to participate in these negotiations – only SAG and AFTRA staff members have met to discuss this with producers. ) Though sparsely attended, the actors present at the caucus vote unanimously against the entire concept. The SAG Interactive negotiating committee had already voted NO to the concept on two previous occasions (by a vote of 4-3.)

September 30th – SAG Interactive negotiating committee meets and is told by staff that the Interactive contract is now a non-negotiable “done deal” including the “atmospheric voices” clause that the caucus and negotiating committee voted against. The committee is told that they must vote in favor because AFTRA’s committee has already voted to recommend it to the AFTRA Administrative Committee which is set to ratify the contract on October 14.

The SAG negotiating committee votes against the contract (4-3) but after one of the 4 NO votes leaves the meeting – after being told there would be no more votes – another vote is taken and now the vote is 4-3 in favor of the contract.

The NO votes demand a caucus which SAG staff inconveniently schedules for October 13th, the night before AFTRA is scheduled to ratify.

October 13th – A large contingent of interactive actors show up for the caucus and are shocked to learn that the “atmospheric voices” concept is a “done deal” and that they’ve been given no input on this subject whatsoever. They demand that SAG turn this contract down but are told by the staff that it will nevertheless be sent to the SAG Board on October 17th (though David White tells the room that he will make sure the SAG Board knows about the feelings expressed at the caucus.)

October 14th – 15 Interactive actors show up at the AFTRA lobby demanding to speak with Mathis Dunn before the AFTRA Administrative Committee is set to meet and ratify the contract. He tells them that he has received hundreds of emails and phone calls against the contract. The actors also speak with Board member Gabrielle Carteris and NED Kim Hedgpeth. They are assured that AFTRA “hears them” but Mathis Dunn says he is determined to “recommend” the contract to the AFTRA Administrative Committee.

October 14th – AFTRA announces via email blast that the AFTRA Administrative Committee has met and has “recommended the terms of the new agreement to the National Board for its approval on Oct. 24”, a reversal from the original plan to have the Administrative Committee RATIFY the contract. The email also states that “as previously planned” before there would be informational meetings held on October 22nd, but no one in the Interactive community has heard of such “previous plans” until the email of 10/14.

October 17th – The SAG National Board is set to vote on ratification of the contract. MembershipFirst has vowed to vote against the contract on behalf of the Interactive community. Unite For Strength has yet to make such a pledge. Gabriel Carteris is scheduled to be at the SAG Board meeting serving as a SAG National Board member for UFS. She has attended all of the Interactive caucuses and received many emails and phone calls, but has said she would vote for the contract.

So, basically this is a contract in which those who would be affected by it (the membership) had no hand in the Interactive negotiations. But then it goes along with what our new “go-along-to-get-along” president said during his interview on Fox Business News.


And there’s been presidents before, an example, although it was a long time ago, was Charlton Heston, who was the president of Screen Actors Guild for six years, at the height of his career, but there is a way, in terms of delegating to a very large staff, and you have to be able to trust those around you.

In fact the Ol’ Dog has been told by two independent sources that President Howard will be initiating his new “hands” off style at tomorrow’s plenary by not showing up.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

*The timeline was furnished to the Ol’ Dog by someone who has been following it every step of the way!

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Emails Urge AFTRA’s Mathis Dunn not to SELL OUT ACTORS.

October 15, 2009 (19:09) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

There is an email campaign going on right now (October 14, 2009) trying to urge Mathis Dunn, AFTRA’s Assistant National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator on the AFTRA Interactive Agreement NOT to ratify the agreement.

Here is a copy of the email that the Ol’ Dog received. To protect the name of the actor/actress who sent the email from employer retribution, I have redacted the name of the sender of the email and another person mentioned in the email.

Here is a portion of an email I received explaining the variables of the atmospheric portion of the interactive agreement.

What are the details of the “atmospheric voices” rate?

As I understand it, it creates delineation between a “Principal” character/voice and an “atmospheric” character/voice. It also creates a new type of game voice recording session an “atmospheric voice” session. Here are the definitions as I understand them:

Principal characters/voices must have ONE of the following.

1. A proper name,
2. Dialogue that advances the plot, and/or
3. Over 300 words of dialogue.

Atmospheric characters/voices cannot have:
1. A proper name,
2. Dialogue that advances the plot, or
3. Over 300 words of dialogue.

Principal voice sessions are no different from the sessions we’ve been doing in any way.

Atmospheric voice sessions have the following requirements:

1. At least ten (10) principal performers must have already been hired on the project for that project to be eligible to utilize the atmospheric rate,
2. No more than twenty (20) unique voices can be recorded per actor per session,
3. Every character must meet the qualifications above for “atmospheric characters/voices,”
4. Actors must be paid no less than scale (as per a 3 voice, 4 hour scale session).

Now, I’m not sure what scale is for those who provide atmospheric voices, but under the dictates of what I’m reading, an actor could provide 20 voices with 299 lines per voice, meaning that they could provide 5980 lines of dialogue and still not be considered principles, but rather background actors.

This Interactive agreement is just another example how AFTRA’s giveaway tactics will eventually effect us all. If you remember, the last interactive debate was over the actors getting residuals (Royalties) for their work. Originally, they stood firm, but the go-along-to-get-along AFTRA First actors siding with Interactive producers caved in on the residual standand the agreement contained no residual consideration.

And, guess what, in the next TV/Theatrical contract, producers demanded no residuals for actors on new media, and succeeded! Does anyone doubt that the animation agreements of the future will be affected by the decision made now on this Interactive agreement. And it figures that down the line day players with lines but no character name will be downgraded to a background player. No? I have done a few hundred SAG movies and TV shows as a day player supplying voices for, primarily newscasters, sportscasters and disc Jockeys and have always received the day player rate and residuals. I recently played a sportscaster on a hit AFTRA cable sitcom, and instead of the SAG day player rate ($782) I got what must have been the AFTRA Under Five Rate ($365) and NO RESIDUALS for the first year. So, instead of well over a grand for my work I ended up with $365 dollars.

And things are only going to get worse if SAG’s Membership supports “go-alone-to-get-along” leadership and agrees to “go-alone-to-get-along” employer contracts.

Although, by now, I’m sure Mr. Dunn and AFTRA’s compliant leadership, have already done what they were going to do. But, if you would like to let Mr. Dunne know how you feel about this actor giveaway, here is his AFTRA email address and phone number.

www.mdunn@aftra.com

(323) 634-8100 phone

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

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We’ve got, not only, a link to the Ken Howard interview on Fox Business News, but a complete transcript for the interview

October 6, 2009 (19:09) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

Well, to prove that new SAG President Ken Howard had not had back surgery, Nikki Finke’s SAG sources stated that he had appeared on Business News, the day before.

Now, after a few hours sniffing around, the Ol’ Dog finally found a video of President Howard’s interview on Business News.

One wonders, why none of his supporter bloggers or websites, chose not to link up to his interview. Perhaps, the reason is that they, actually, saw it. *shock

And if you’d like to see it click the following link.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/search-results/m/26690023/new-sheriff-in-hollywood.htm#q=Ken+Howard

And here is an (Automatically Generated Transcript that may not be 100% accurate) which the Ol’ Dog did his best to correct.

There’s a new Screen Actors Guild sheriff in Town, and by town, of course, I mean Hollywood. He, actually, has a lot of work to do, building bridges, mending relationships in his own union, to a possible merger with a rival union. How does he plan to handle it all we welcome SAG president Ken Howard joining me now for a Fox Business exclusive interview. Ken we know in Hollywood, they call you prexy, so we’ll call you prexy. How you doing?


Fine, just fine, thanks for having me on.


Anytime, this was a huge story, just after the writers guild struck, people were concerned about the Screen Actors Guild striking and it didn’t happen. But tell us what’s your number one focus in now leading the screen actors guild.

It really will be to reestablish our relationships with the other unions; the director’s guild, Writers Guild and particularly with AFTRA –you know, AFTRA and SAG negotiated side by side for 25 years, until this last negotiation, and we saw the result of them breaking apart. And it was very bad for SAG and the future of actors.

WOOF ! Yes, SAG and AFTRA negotiated together for the last twenty five years and did not even get an increase in the DVD formula. This is because the AFTRA negotiators with their fifty percent say, and ten percent stake in the issue, were always willing to go along with the AMPTP on the issue. And as we saw in the last negotiations when they chose to go it alone, nothing had changed. They were still willing to give the AMPTP what they wanted, even if it undercut actors salaries and protections–and undermined SAG negotiators.

And so, that will be my first priority, and I’ve already been in touch with the heads of other guilds and in particular with AFTRA, so that we can start working together, so that in two years when going into the next negotiation, we”ll be, you know, working as one.

And, of course, down the line, I think that should eventually, lead to a merger, where all performers and all actors are under one tent, and that will put us in a much stronger bargaining position with management on the situation than we were in the last time.

WOOF ! If AFTRA hadn’t of pulled out of the last negotiations and undermined our SAG negotiations by accepting what employers wanted, and, instead would have joined SAG in negotiations, how would have that improved our bargaining power? Hello, it doesn’t improve your chances of winning a fight, if you have a bunch of cowards at your side.


What would you do to be able to effectuate a merger between SAG and AFTRA? They, truly, are two disparate groups. For example AFTRA, they have a lot of newscasters in there. I USED TO BELONG when I worked in Bostonand so I’m wondering, how would that work? Especially, if the actors and studio chiefs are having trouble? Yet, the newscasters don’t have anything to do with something like that.
WOOF ! Ah, the pivotal question: the one that must be answered before any SAG/AFTRA merger, including broadcasters, can be considered. Let’s see how our new UFS SAG president answers that one? Will, he face it directly, or try by obfuscation to avoid answering. Here’s his response, you judge.

Well I think what’s happened is that the Media is changing before our eyes in such a way that a lot of these various distinctions have been blurring more and more, an obvious example is reality television, and various actors who are also hosts and various actorswho are performing..

WOOF ! Whoa, Big Guy! Talk about “blurring!” The question was how NEWCASTERS, who don’t have anything to do with actors negotiations, help them in negotiations. The question was not about actors and performers on REALITY SHOWS.

I was never in agreement with what I thought was an elitist point of view about actors as opposed to host of reality shows and newscasters

WOOF ! Well, it’s pretty obvious that Ken is using the art of deceptive debating, by mischaracterizing the opposition to including newscasters in SAG/AFTRA merge, as an elitist stance. It is not elitist, but rather, It has to do with including in your union, those who don’t work your contracts, and would have no bearing on your bargaining power. By Ken Howard’s convoluted logic, Baseball Players, are then elitist for not wanting football players in their union, and football players for not wanting soccer players in theirwell, you get the idea. Hey, to his credit, Howard only labeled those opposing such a union as elitist! At least he didn’t follow AFTRA’s NED lead, and imply that those opposing a merger which would include broadcasters were RACIST. Okay, let’s get back to the SAG President’s little tap dancing routine.

And weather-people, and here’s why; management is interested in product. And they need a lot of product to fill time, we’re talking, greatly, about television, now!

WOOF ! Ah, ah, Mr. President, are you telling us that the MANAGEMENT that SAG bargains with, needs that local newscast, weathercast, traffic report, etc.


That’s their concern. And I think we’re better off acknowledging the fact that we are all presenting that product. And the more we can work together the more we, I think we can be effective

WOOF ! Earth to Ken, we don’t have to merge with those who don’t work our contracts and who cannot go out on strike with us, to work together. We don’t need those non-actor broadcasters; newscasters, disc Jockeys, sportscasters, weathercasters in cities all around our country to be voting on who would be SAG’s president, board members, etc. Actors should control their destinies not BROADCASTERS.


And, also, just financially you’re talking about one set of initiation fees, one set of dues, all the revenue going one health and pension plan. I think it’s something that’s inevitable quite frankly and I think it already should have happened I wish that it happened in 2003.

WOOF ! Oh my, he makes it all seem so easy. First off, one of the problems in the 2003 merger attempt was the factor that broadcasters did not want to pay the same dues as actors, and instead, wanted to pay a lesser amount. And how are Actors going to feel about AFTRA Broadcasters, not paying on their non-union work, like Larry King on CNN.

And then, there was the problem with merging the pension plans. The Merger Memo made it clear that merging with the SAG Pension plan with the AFTRA plan would not be beneficial for SAG participants.


At that time we could only predict what we thought would happen if we didn’t — and now that we’ve seen it. And I think we can solve that but it’s going to take a little time. and thank you for your last input, I think I’m going to immediately go to the heads of studios and insist that actors when they work.”

WOOF ! Yeah, we’ve “seen” it, alright. We’ve seen Ken Howard and his USAN/UFS/AFTRA/AMPTP gang, stand by AFTRA every step of the way, as they went from only two cable shows, to poaching almost every cable show on TV. We say them support AFTRA as the cut actor’s minimums and gave away their residuals. Then when AFTRA undermined SAG negotiations, by bribing non-Broadcasters to vote on their TV/Theatrical ( even if they didn’t work the contract) we saw Ken and his pals support them. And now after being instrumental in doing irreparable harm to actors ability to make a living, they blame the membership for not merging with AFTRA, and say, see we told you.


(Responding to his coffee quip) Exaclty! Well, they can come to Fox and get free coffee. NBC I’m not so sure of anymore. Ken looking at what happened with digital in the explosion of online and web episodes, things like that. And I mean the perfect example is the show “Lost” which had a quadrillion downloads, and the people who created it, wrote it, made it happened, that didn’t get a dollar from that–and of, course, the studios would argue; well, we don’t know, the landscape is so nebulous at the moment. How long can they really claim that — how do you protect actors to make sure that they get paid for that?

I don’t think they can claim any more. One of the reasons I use the phrase new model for addressing this. It’s an appropriate business term I think we’re going to need help from the outside people, who know how to do this, but we need a new model for addressing this, and that is that the creative aspect of all the work that goes on out there, we should share in the profits. How big that piece of the pie is, remains to be seen, but to suggest that, in no way, does the creative element deserve any part of what looks like it’s going to be very substantial profit, and a big direction in which we have businesses going. That is unacceptable! But how we do it, the kind of model we have were we can present it to management in a way that that works I think that’s possible. But it’s certainly comes from a lot of conversation. Rather, than a shot across the bow from either side, before we even sit down. I think that kind of posturing and threatening has been very ineffective, really for both sides.

WOOF ! Yeah, tell that to the AMPTP, who, with the help of actors like Ken Howard and his USAN/UFS/AFTRA/AMPTP First pals, not only took away internet residuals, actors clip consent, force majeure, and more, but, also, gave our signatories the right to do NON-UNION productions on the internet.


Well, you’ve got the support of actors like Tom Hanks and that George Clooney who are always very vocal in these situations and it was a bitter battle with Anne-Mare Johnson, and she’s an actress, you’re an actor, who won an Emmy for your role in “Grey Gardens, congratulations. Do you plan on continuing to act through all of this, because you got this massive effort before you, to repair what was a bloody battle to make sure and strengthen the Screen Actors Guild.


One phrase that was used in explanation to me, when I’d raise this question before taking this on the phrase is that SAG is built in such a way that the service is adjusted to the work, rather than vice Versa, because we’re all actors and we want people representing us who are in the workplace.

WOOF ! Hmmmyou mean like Roberta Reardon, who has never worked a single job under the TV/Theatrical Contract? A leader you supported while at the same time she lead negotiations of that contract that undermined working actors ability to make a living? Is that the kind who you want representing us, who are in the workplace?


And there’s been presidents before, an example, although it was a long time ago, was Charlton Heston, who was the president of Screen Actors Guild for six years, at the height of his career, but there is a way, in terms of delegating to a very large staff, and you have to be able to trust those around you.

WOOF ! Translation: Like I said, President Howard, will be nothing more than a front for the likes of Richard Masur and SAG NED David White, who only a couple of weeks before his interim appointment as SAG NED, was doing work for his mentor, and MPAA head honcho, Robert “Whipsaw’ Pisano.


But I think, actually, if I’m working and involved on the set and on the scene. It will make me even more effective as a president.

As we finish up, are you going to raise union dues?


I don’t know yet, I know we’re dealing with some financial trouble on the deficit. And, I will say it’s not a matter dodging the question, I don’t have the answer for that, but I do know that eventually merging of AFTRA and SAG, would lead to a lowering off initiation fees and lower dues, because of the size of the power of the revenue– that’s clear to anyone looking at it. So our goal is to lower fees and lower dues, and I think we’ll be able to succeed on that, and, also, to lower qualifications for health and pension, and raise what comes back to actors.

WOOF ! Wow! We should get soothsayer Ken a turban. But no need to get him a crystal ball he already seems to have one of them. When it comes to merger, in the last attempt in 2003, both sides seemed to acknowledge that a merger would lower dues for some and raise them for others. Ken’s focus is on the size of what comes in revenue. He doesn’t seem to be concerned on what goes out. For instance, SAG now only has to negotiate a handful of contracts, but how much is it going to cost this new merged union, to negotiate the couple of hundred individual broadcaster contracts, and how much might it cost this new merged union in lawsuits if they try and kick out all those high profile broadcasters, like CNN’s Larry King, NBC’s Brian Williams the multitude of others that switch between union and non-union work. But, butno need to bother President Howard with pesky little details like that.


It is so good to see you, good luck to you, as you take on this new challenge — thank you for coming on Fox Business.”


Thank you, I appreciate it. It may be my toughest role.

(Chuckles) Possibly. Something makes me think it’s going to be. SAG President Ken Howard, we’ll be right back.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

It’s post time! *toast

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Committee Seats and the NEC Anne-Marie Johnson reelected as First VP and more

October 5, 2009 (19:09) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

The Hollywood board has reelected Membership First’s Anne-Marie Johnson as Ist VP, and Joe D’Angerio will take UFS’s Ken Howard seat on the Hollywood Board (Howard had to give up that seat when he was elected as SAG’s President. )

By the way Mr. Howard reportedly was their and looked in tip top shape. So, the Ol’ Dog will have to take BACK his report about Howard having surgery. Once, again my apology to him, and say that I’m glad I turned out to be wrong.

More updates when they come in.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

* Some more info from tonight’s Hollywood board meeting: Ken Howard will head the Agents Relations Committee, and the big news is that Membership First has control of the NEC (National Executive Committee) and, even, poor Ned Vaughn, who was completely rejected by SAG voters will head the Communications Committeehmmm, maybe he will use his position to communicate to the membership how he feels about them.

You think?

I got some more stuff here, but it’s getting late, and I’ll put more up tomorrow.

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An unintentionally funny post by the AFTRA/USAN/UFS/AMPTP anonymously run website SAG Watch.

October 3, 2009 (19:09) | 2009 | By: Arlin Miller

And a frightening thought Update: Nikki Finke says Ken Howard did not have Back surgery SAG Prez has Back Surgery. Will give up Office

* The Baghead website SAG Watch (On The Rhine) has once again demonstrated why they have Zero Credibility by managing to make a post in which they are able to contradict themselves in a single paragraph.

Hmmmthey are either hedging their bets, or are completely inept. One would expect that if, (as suggested, their website is backed, in part by the AMPTP,) those backers could get someone rather than these anonymous bumblers to do their dirty work, but then when you get bottom feeders that are to cowardly to stand by their statements, I suppose you have to take what you can get.

By, the way if you check below here is what I actually said:

The facts I reported at the beginning of this post are literally correct; Ken Howard had back surgery. And he gave up his office to Amy Aquino, but, butHE DIDN’T RESIGN!

The down side to this is that I could have reported incorrect information about our new SAG President. (Hopefully, he’ll show up at 5757 Wilshire, fit as a fiddle, today to occupy his new office, and that will be the end of it.)

The upside is that it has sparked an interesting debate; if, indeed President Howard had actually resigned who would get his post.

SAG Constitution Article V, Section 3 (G) 1.

(G.) The Board of Directors shall have the power to fill permanent vacancies among the National Officers of the Guild as follows:
(1.) If a permanent vacancy exists in the office of President, the Secretary-Treasurer shall serve as acting President until the next plenary meeting of the entire National Board of Directors unless the next election of National Officers occurs earlier and shall, during that time, serve as both the President and Secretary Treasurer. At the plenary meeting, any qualified Guild member shall be nominated and elected to the office of President for the balance of the then-current term;

So, you can see why, a lot of Membership First supporters where afraid that someone like UFS spokesperson Ned Vaughn, who was completely rejected by the voters, could become president under these circumstances.

You want to hear something really scary? So could the Ol’ Dog. Hmmmso, how many of you now think that article needs some work.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

* Update: Nikki Finke says Ken Howard did not have Back surgery.

This story from Deadline Hollywood.

SAG Internet Rumors Ridiculously Wrong!

By Nikki Finke | Category: Uncategorized | Saturday October 3, 2009 @ 1:15pm

I can confirm that there is NO truth to that ridiculously wrong Internet report that newly elected SAG president Ken Howard has undergone back surgery and has already handed over his office at 5757 Wilshire Blvd to newly elected Secretary-Treasurer (and fellow Unite For Strength camper) Amy Aquino. In fact, Ken made an appearance on Fox Business just yesterday. SAG sources tell me he’s fine, he didn’t have surgery, he’s not resigning or giving up his digs at 5757 Wilshire Blvd, and Aquino is not taking over or occupying his office. All I can say is that SAG members deserve the truth from all sides, and you’ll read it here.

First off, if my source was wrong, I would like to personally apologize not only to Mr. Howard but my readers.

My source on the back surgery account, has never given me wrong info in the past.
Actually, I never considered that anyone would make up a story about his back problems and pass it on to the person who gave me the story; my main concern was that the story about his resigning was wrong, and I satisfied myself through my sources that it had all been confusion over interpretation of what had been said.

Anyway, you do this long enough, over a thousand posts and you are bound to get something wrong, sooner or later.

However, it wasn’t a ridiculous story, it was just one that apparently had incorrect aspect about it. I stand by the second part of the story that Ken Howard was going to give up his office to Amy Aquino. But I doubt he will do it now that the story has gone public.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

Yep, the Ol’ Dog learned from 3 independent sources that not only has SAG President Ken Howard had recent back surgerybut he will give up his office to SAG Secretary/Treasure Amy Aquino.

Yes, that is how the story for the Ol’ Dog ended, but it is not how it began.

It began with a tip that Ken Howard was resigning and Amy Aquino would take over his office until the next plenary when the board would decide by majority vote who would be SAG’s next president.

Well, come on this was a big story, and the Ol’ Dog would, of course, like to break the story, but, but better safe than sorry, so I started checking around.

Well, I didn’t confirm the resignation, but I learned that Mr. Howard was in the hospital for back surgery.

Hmmm, although, I had originally been skeptical of the resignation story, this definitely peeked my interest, but I still would not go with it for one reason, I didn’t feel it would be fair to President Howard, and for another, something about it bothered me. So, I held back.

I knew it was time to get the Ol’ Dog’s number one investigator Ima Sleuth to do some snooping around. Ima had helped me on many stories in the past and she didn’t disappoint this time.

The facts I reported at the beginning of this post are literally correct; Ken Howard had back surgery. And he gave up his office to Amy Aquino, but, butHE DIDN’T RESIGN!

For reasons that I’m sure will be debated, Mr. Howard gave us office at 5757 Wilshire to Ms. Aquino. I have already heard that it is cause he won’t be around the premises a lot, but the Ol’ Dog prefers to believe it is because Mr. Howard is a gentleman.

So, how did, the fact that Mr. Howard was letting Ms. Aquino occupy his office at SAG headquarters, become “He was resigning his office” by the time it got to me?

Hmmm I seem to remember, a party game back when I was a kid, when we all got in a circle, and the first kid whispered something in the second kids ear and.

A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief WOOF !

*PS We wish Mr. Howard a speedy recovery, and hope Ms. Aquino enjoys her new digs, with this caveat. Remember Amy, you’re only occupying the office, you ain’t really president, so don’t let it go to your head.

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