I’ve spent a good part of the morning reading about Comcast’s proposed takeover of Disney. Why is this interesting to me? Partly, I think I’m secretly a Michael Eisner fan. He’s right up there with Bill Gates on my People Not To Cross list (it’s a short list). Consider this, from the NYTimes piece profiling Eisner’s always-win-the-big-fights personality (“Facing a Battle, Disney’s Chief is Known to Fight Back Hard”): Joe Roth, a former Disney studio chief, said… Mr. Eisner should not be counted out. “I would never bet against him, ever,” he said. “I’d never bet against his ability to survive, never.” I don’t remember Eisner coming to Disney (in 1984, I wasn’t exactly watching the business wires — my Disney concerns were much more centered on the stuffed toy lines), but I do remember some of the press from around the time that he consolidated his role as CEO and president with the death of Frank Wells (1994) and then some of the battles around the time that Jeffrey Katzenberg left Disney and when Michael Ovitz took on and then left the presidency there. Apparently, some inner blood lust is always going to draw me to these crazy corporate giants. Anyway, I have this strange, emotional desire to see Disney survive the takeover bid and remain independent. I can’t explain why — I know it’s no longer a family held company by any stretch of the imagination, particularly now that Roy is off the board — but I just have this childish “noooooo! leave Mickey alone!” reaction to the idea of Disney being swallowed up by icky old Comcast (which, ironically, is much closer to being a family held company). Of course, there’s also that troubling, vaguely nauseated feeling I get any time major media organizations decide to team up, but I’ve had that feeling about most Disney dealings since the ABC acquisition (and listening to Peter Jennings say, “Those of us who work for Disney” yesterday on his broadcast made my head briefly swirl). Just for kicks, the publicly-released letter that Brian Roberts (head of Comcast) sent to Eisner is available through the New York Times, too. I’m particularly amused that he signed it, “Very Truly Yours.”
I have yet to read “Disney Deal Suggests Content Is No Longer King,” but it’s my next stop, perhaps between my financial aid meeting and my 2:30 class.
I have a whole list of other links that have me twittering with dorky glee today, but no time to comment on them (as it’s probably best to get back to working now). Instead, I highly recommend:
On the National Guard issue: Ex-officer: Bush file’s details caused concern White House denies allegation about Guard records in USA Today, by Dave Moniz and Jim Drinkard.
On the Gay Marriage issue: Kerry Opposed Gay Marriage Ban in Letter By John Solomon, Associated Press.
On Bush’s re-electability: ‘Everything on table’
GOP plans cuts, reforms, to tackle budgetary woes in The Hill by Alexander Bolton and Sam Dealey. I’m not a huge fan of The Hill, having known a few people who worked there and understanding keenly that it’s still the ugly and possibly slightly tabloidish stepsister of Roll Call, but a) Alexander Bolton is trustworthy and b) this is a nice quote: “‘There’s no longer talk about the president having coattails,’ said a conservative lawmaker. ‘This is Congress worrying about whether the president is going to get reelected, not the president worrying about Congress getting reelected.'”
On the Kerry/Edwards rumors:Kerry-Edwards ticket unlikely, aides say in The Boston Globe by Raja Mishra and Patrick Healy. Again, a good quote: “Kerry is also said to be unconvinced that Edwards is experienced enough to step in as a wartime president should something happen to him. National security credentials are the most important assets that the Democratic presidential front-runner would use to choose a running mate, these aides said.” I’m intrigued and must now think about who that would put as a candidate for a Kerry VP.