Mickey Mouse's Karl Rove, Zenia Mucha
by Matt Stoller, Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 10:20:35 PM EDT
So I've been trying to figure out what's going on at Disney. I'm still not sure why they are sticking with this right-wing propaganda piece, but it's becoming a little clearer who has been ordering everyone to lie about it. Zenia Mucha is the EVP of Corporate Communications for Disney Corporation, in charge of all media relations, financial communications, employee communications, and corporate positioning. She is clearly a big part of how Disney handles sticky corporate situations, including the fights with Miramax over Fahrenheit 911, where she sparred with the Democratic Weinstein's for six months in the press.
What possible incentive could she have for trashing Disney's brand and losing money on an ad-free propaganda piece that helps the conservative movement? Maybe this incentive.
Governor George Pataki insists he's not thinking about the 2008 presidential race, but his denials seemed a little hard to believe with the sudden reappearance by his side this week of Zenia Mucha, the tough-talking political operative who left Albany in 2001 to become the top flack for Disney's Michael Eisner. As a longtime aide to Senator Al D'Amato known for colorful rows with the press, Mucha was dispatched to shore up Pataki's faltering 1994 campaign against Mario Cuomo and was widely credited with engineering his surprise victory. Her ability to keep Pataki--and everyone else--on message is thought to have helped spur his rise from unknown Peekskill state senator to governor and onto George W. Bush's short list for vice-president in 2000. (Dick Cheney, head of the selection committee, selected himself instead.) When Eisner lured Mucha to the Mouse with an extravagant salary, many of her associates nevertheless were certain she'd return to politics; her reemergence is viewed as a sign the governor is getting serious about 2008. Tight-lipped as ever, Mucha insists she's merely taking a week off from her day job to "help out." But friends say she's planning a return to New York as head of Pataki's national campaign.
Mucha was Eisner's protege, not Iger's. She came into Disney's empire in 2001, recruited out of New York politics, where she had enormous power as advisor to a very detached Governor Pataki, who nicknamed her the 'the Director of Revenge'. Before that, she was Communications Director for a very nasty and effective conservative Senator, Al D'Amato.
Eisner was a terrible CEO of the Magic kingdom, and he left behind a real mess. Wow.