By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Finally, if looks could kill, King would be dead and cremated already judging by the angry stare Eisner gave him after King signed off saying, “Michael Eisner, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Co.” — one-second pause — “today.”
Slash. Slash. To win the hearts and minds of the media, Roy and Stanley have hired Mike Sitrick of crisis specialists Sitrick & Associates to represent them. Infamously known as a highly paid assassin, Sitrick calls the pair “two of the my oldest clients.” The reason is that he’s a Jedi master of attack-and-parry PR, which is why the Catholic Church hired him to spin its sex-abuse scandal. Facing off for Disney is corporate communications vice president Zenia Mucha, one of the crudest and cruelest mouthpieces to ever work for a media company (and that’s really saying something). Mucha (pronounced MOO-ka) was trained for combat by no less than the Republican Party (before the Disney gig, she repped New York Governor George Pataki and NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani). She makes the Mafia look like Milquetoasts.
Want proof? Just read last Sunday’s profile of Roy Disney in The New York Times Magazine(the article where Roy, in contrast to egotistical Eisner, is a model of self-deprecation and admits being derided as “Walt’s idiot nephew” and claims being the model for Goofy). The article tells how Mucha, after pledging that, “We don’t think we should shit on Roy in public” (the expletive was deleted by the newspaper), nevertheless e-mailed the reporter that same day some 20-odd articles chronicling the shortfalls of Roy Disney, his associates and his children.
But Mucha really stepped in muck with the media last Friday when she floated to CBS MarketWatch, Business Week and others the half-truth that Roy received the most “no” votes in recent company history — 15 percent in 1997. The journalists were furious when they found out what really happened: that Roy was among five directors up for re-election that year, and that all five ended up with roughly 15 percent “no” votes because of a shareholders’ protest over Eisner’s multimillion-dollar severance package for ousted president Michael Ovitz. Of the five directors, Roy received the most “yes” votes and the fewest “no” votes. “I was pissed,” one of the journalists who had to issue a clarification told L.A. Weekly.
“Disney is supposed to be the definitive source on something like that so they should be beyond reproach. It’s something they should have mentioned, but failed to do. You always think you could have asked more questions to get the information they withheld from you. But, technically, they did give us bad information.”
Talk about the smell of napalm in the morning. For this type of open guerrilla warfare, maybe Apocalypse Now is the most apt movie comparison.
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