L.A. Times “Big Picture” columnist Patrick Goldstein “spent much of last week talking to studio executives, eager to hear a good explanation for months of one-sided negotiations, where the studios essentially presented a series of rollback offers and then bashed the writers for not embracing them. None of the studio chiefs would talk on the record, but if I were to sum up their views, I’d put it this way: The future is too uncertain for us to give anything away.”

Goldstein explains that Hollywood “has always been a land of fear and anxiety. It’s why the town’s most-repeated maxims involve the slippery grip on the pole of success — why just root against your enemies, for example, when you can root for your friends to fail too. Everyone in this nasty labor dispute has profound insecurity about the future, an attitude deeply rooted in industry history.”

You Tube addendum: Jason Ross, one of the Daily Show‘s 14 writers, explains things from his perspective in this video dated 11.13.07, or yesterday.