Despite Expressing Support For Writers, Huckabee Will Cross Picket Line To Appear On Leno

Today, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is heading to Los Angeles to appear as Jay Leno’s first guest on the Tonight Show since the writer’s strike began on Nov. 5. When Huckabee enters Leno’s Burbank, CA studio, he will have to cross a picket line of striking Writers Guild of America members, as the union is protesting Leno’s return without a settlement.

Speaking to reporters earlier today, Huckabee “professed his support for the striking television writers union,” but said that he didn’t realize Leno’s writers were still on strike:

Mr. Leno’s program is returning to the air for the first time since a long hiatus for the strike. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Huckabee said he was unaware that he would be crossing picket lines and believed that he the program had reached a special agreement with the union.

Huckabee is either confused or being intentionally misleading. Unlike his rival — CBS’s David Letterman — the producers of Leno’s show have not brokered any sort of agreement with the Writer’s Guild.

Additionally, before being challenged by reporters about the picket lines, Huckabee and his team indicated that they knew Leno’s writers were still on strike. Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Huckabee’s wife, Janet, described his appearance on the Tonight Show as “an opportunity, really, for Mike, with the writer’s strike and everything, to go and give back to him [Leno].” Huckabee nodded in agreement. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/01/HuckabeeLeno.320.240.flv]

In an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, Huckabee joked about the strike’s stalled negotiations, saying that “if all else fails and this whole process doesn’t work out, maybe [Leno] needs a sidekick and I’ll be auditioning tomorrow.”

UPDATE: Alluding to Huckabee’s prior ignorance about the Iran NIE, ABC’s Jake Tapper reported tonight that his ignorance about the writer’s strike was just “the latest example of Huckabee being uninformed about a major event.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/01/huckuninformed.320.240.flv]