My take-away is this:
There would be a series of planning sessions. First, at the beginning of every season, we did a sort of retreat with the main writers, the guys who were going to be on staff the whole year. We’d discuss what we were trying to say, but we were really having a current-events/ideology/political argument. The writers didn’t all think the same. We weren’t in lockstep on the issues of the day, whether it was the drug war or public education or the media. So we had to discuss the issue as an issue first. Never mind the characters, never mind plot.
In order to get the season's shows written, the team of writers had to come to accomodation with each other, somehow, even though they didn't agree on everything. In order to do that it had to be recognized that all the people in the room had the same objectives, the same goals -- which were to write the damned best season they could write. They were not enemies. They saw differently. Which ultimately made for better writing because it could not be one dimensional, when there were so many different perspectives. Woo.
Those of us who are equally horrified by what's happened in this nation via the neocons and righttwingers, etc., and where the teabaggers are determined to take us -- and what this means for the future of us all: we still must not get personally angry with each other because we see things differently in terms of the dems as a party and this administration. We must come to accomodation, because the objective isn't either the Dems or Obama, but saving the nation. Maybe the world. Pretty grandiose, right? But then, considering the sort of fiction and entertainments so many of us are involved in, grandiose r us, right?
BTW, my other takeaway from this interview was that both guys, Simon and his interviewer, were engaged in mutual wanking, all rahrahrah about their he-manism, and how they could have just whacked that guy who cut in line at a -- KaChing! -- Pogues show.