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Striking writers crack jokes in Congress

Washington_Missing some of your favorite political jokes because of the writers' strike?

The striking writers of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,The Colbert Report and The West Wing debuted some fresh ones Wednesday as the Writers Guild of America, East met with members of Congress in an attempt to raise awareness about the ongoing strike.

Using the format of a fake political debate between the writers and the movie studios, moderated by former White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers, the writers got in a couple of zingers on the gathered lawmakers.

_ On coming before Congress? "We saw Charlie Wilson's War last night and are a little disappointed by the lack of strippers that we've seen here."

_ On the writers strike? "It would cost Paramount a total of $4.6 million to give the writers everything they're asking for. That's half the amount it would take to get Reese Witherspoon into a movie. Now, I ask you, what's more important to a movie: a script or half of Reese Witherspoon?"

Another of the writers quipped: "Which half?"

The fake debate even had its own fake pink T-shirted protester disrupting the event, whose disruption was disrupted by a fake green T-shirted protester.

Lawmakers showed their own sense of humor, with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., donning a long black beard before coming to the lectern, saying she was growing a beard in solidarity with the writers, as late night talk show host David Letterman did briefly.

Union president Michael Winship and the other writers met privately with lawmakers while in town. Winship said he was hopeful that the renewed informal talks between their union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Wednesday would soon end the nearly 3-month-old strike.

"I live perpetually in hope," he said.

Congress has several options it could take that could affect the strike, said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. But "I think most members of Congress prefer to let the bargaining play out," he said.

Jessie J. Holland, AP Writer Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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