Viacom, the broadcasting giant which owns 19 channels carried on Time-Warner Cable (our local carrier), is playing hardball in its demand that Time-Warner pay it another $39 million in programming fees. It is threatening to pull all of its programming at midnight tonight if T-W doesn't pay up. Worse -- far worse -- it is running newspaper ads featuring Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants crying because of that mean Time-Warner.
"Why is Dora crying?" one ad asks. The all-caps reply: "TIME WARNER CABLE IS TAKING HER OFF THE AIR TONIGHT!"
Nothing says show business like making children cry until you get your way.