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.
by Jerome Armstrong, Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 05:54:46 PM EDT
With all this noise about ABC crappy mini-series that's on the techno-laggard tube this week, what's the latest? How's it gonna play out? Where am I gonna take my kids this summer instead of Disneyworld?
Feel free to comment on whether Taegan is right or wrong too...
by jedinecny, Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 08:47:58 AM EDT
Tomorrow it will be five years ago that I was in Brussels, celebrating my 23rd birthday and my first day as an intern in the European Parliament (with my local conservative member, I have learned since ;)). Only one day later my birthday would forever be the day before 9/11.
Tomorrow I will turn 28 and not only has the pope just arrived in Germany to tell me why I live in sin and should not be allowed to marry. No, now ABC and Disney have to ruin my birthday as well. Thank you, but no thank you! Disney, I don't like my birthday present. Yank the film already!
Right after 9/11 I have witnessed days, weeks and months of unprecedented solidarity with the United States only to watch it all being destroyed by the scandalous behaviour of the Bush administration. This is why I, a former exchange student from Germany to the US, want to see Democrats win in November. This is why I write here and why I started my blog Turn Tahoe Blue because it's the only way I can help change the status quo.
by malloy, Sat Sep 09, 2006 at 04:44:35 AM EDT
MAKE ABC INVISIBLE
Pick up your remote control. Use it to remove (subtract) your local ABC station from the remote control's normal set of stations. (You may have to use Menu Options.) Now your remote will skip ABC when you push Channel Up or Channel Down.
ABC IS NOW INVISIBLE ON YOUR TV
(If you really want to watch a particular show on ABC you can always enter the channel number and press Enter. Enjoy your show. But you'll be surprised at how fast you forget about ABC.)
Send this to friends, post it on Blogs or wherever you have access.
MAKE ABC INVISIBLE.
If as many of us make ABC invisible as are upset by the airing of the show then ABC's ratings and therefore profits would plummet.
by Matt Stoller, Fri Sep 08, 2006 at 12:36:10 PM EDT
One thing that's striking to me this week is how the right-wing was utterly destroyed this week. They lost HUGE on Bolton. They lost badly on Specter's dishonorable FISA bill. And the kickoff of the war on terror campaign, the ABC movie 'Path to 9/11', has been seriously derailed as a fraudulent piece of propaganda.
The right-wing has thrived on making it painful to oppose them, and profitable to be with them. Though Disney's executives are probably mostly pro-business Democrats, you can see how the company's tax rate dropped from 2001-2003 every year under Bush. By 2003 the company was paying no taxes at all - Democratic supporter or not, it's nice to be an executive where your company is paying less and less in taxes.
By contrast, this week, Disney's brand took a massive hit because the company got sloppy and its internal controls were revealed as weak to non-existent. Not only is the film openly fraudulent, but it's apparently really really bad. Like, loser, expensive afterschool special schlock bad, the kind of bad that makes me kind of glad I couldn't get an advance copy. Right-wing death cultists make shitty directors, apparently. And more significantly, Disney's executives were personally embarrassed, their happy little spa-drenched personas chided by no less than Bill Clinton.
That's new. What's also new is how Disney got no backup at all from the right-wing. No Republicans in office came to the company's defense, the RNC offered no online petition, and there was little to no internet organizing on behalf of ABC's film. Virtually no right-wing pundits defended the network, or the film in any meaningful way. The open disloyalty to right-wing allies is a really bad decision on the part of the right, since it means that if you back the right-wing, it's not clear that they will back you. In such a situation, talented people considering a movement career will simply say 'I don't need this shit, I'm going to go make money in the private sector'.
This kind of incentive system is how movements are destroyed.
So anyway, to recap, the right-wing suffered three big defeats today, on wiretapping, the ABC film, and Bolton. And their new kickoff advertising campaign from shill group Progress for America doesn't have the regular echo chamber backup. The networks aren't even cutting away to Bush's stupid speechifying.
Update: This is interesting. The right-wing punditocracy is turning on Disney. That's loyalty.