It goes something like this: "In an argument the first person to say that the other is 'worse than Hitler' is automatically wrong."
Basically, it means that the first person who loses their temper and starts name-calling and bullying has lost the argument.
Now take a look at this Deadline Hollywood Post about what the moguls are doing as 'revenge' against the WGA, SAG, and anyone else who dares stand up to them.
Okay, have you read it?
Now what does that tell you about the AMPTP's position?
Well, the AMPTP is basically screaming that the WGA is 'worse than Hitler' at the top of their lungs.
Now why would they do that?
Well, expressing rage is an attempt to establish dominance over a situation that they have lost control of. Despite the virtual blackout in the American mainstream media (all owned by studio parent companies), the silence of most of the A-List celebrities, and the relative poverty of the WGA in compared to their corporate foes, the Writers still have public sympathy.
Which is a given. Who will the public side with, hard working creative people looking for a fair shake, or a bunch of guys in suits who live lavish lifestyles, collect huge salaries, and openly try to screw everyone they do business with.
The moguls believe that since they control the networks, newspapers, and the movie studios they should be able to control the debate. And in the past they did, but the rise of the internet, ironically a source of immense revenue for the studios, has broken that monopoly.
So, they stomp around like a schoolyard bully, trying to force acquiescence through fear. They cancel contracts, cut off actors from their precious hair and make-up, spread nasty rumours, and occasional outright lies about the WGA and its leadership. There have even been physical altercations between writers on the picket lines and angry executives.
Livelihoods (& multi-million dollar bonuses) are threatened, tempers are frayed, but there is a question the AMPTP must ask themselves.
What Would Macchiavelli Do?
Now Macchiavelli was a shrewd dude, who specialized in studying the mechanics of power. Now many take a narrow view of his work, claiming that it espouses that the 'ends justifies the means.'
Macchiavelli promotes the careful and balanced use of good and evil to maintain and extend the power of the 'New Prince.' And to do that the Prince must have great self-control.
Macchiavelli's model Prince must dispense punishment and rewards in carefully measured amounts, and the Prince must not have a public hissy fit.
To put it in words movie-folks may understand:
You must be more like Michael Corleone, than Sonny Corleone.
Michael was always in control of himself, especially when he was scared or under pressure. Sure, he could be an emotionally distant cold fish, but that was the price he paid for power.
Sonny, didn't seem to control anything, from his libido to his temper. And we all know where that took him.
Right now the AMPTP is Sonny at the tollbooth, and there's no Tom Hagen to calm them down.
Anger is just an illusion of power meant to cover up the lack of an intellectually honest argument.
When you act out of anger, you are telling the whole world that you lack self control, and are lashing out because you are wrong and that you are weak.
The moguls know that it's only a matter of time before their shareholders start asking as to why there are no new movies and TV shows being made, and why the moguls are giving themselves massive pay hikes and bonuses while their companies are sinking.
They have to create distractions.
So they lash out in relatively childish ways.
And some of their tactics have been downright silly.
Especially their claims that the WGA has a secret $30 million public relations fund.
Because we all know there has been such a WGA ad-blitz on TV and magazines.
If I was a psychologist I would say that they were projecting. The AMPTP has hired some of the biggest PR firms in the history of civilization and they don't seem capable of securing the rights to their own web addresses, let alone improve the mogul's image as greedy, grasping, examples of the Peter Principle.
They can't buy the goodwill that the WGA is getting for free, so they create a fantasy that the WGA is secretly buying it like they do.
They can't see that they have cast themselves as the villain, and it's killing them.
It's also killing the movie business, and that's the real tragedy.