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Drudge Report: Disney CEO Eisner Calls Steve Jobs "Shiite Muslim"

Drudge Report: Disney CEO Eisner Calls Steve Jobs "Shiite Muslim"

by , 11:00 AM EST, December 2nd, 2003

Matt Drudge first achieved notoriety by being the journalist to make a story out of the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and then-President Bill Clinton. Since then, Mr. Drudge has a reputation for reporting on things that other, more traditional news outlets won't touch, and such is the case with an interesting tidbit concerning Steve Jobs' other job at Pixar.

According to the Drudge Report, Mr. Jobs was the object of some scorn from embattled Disney CEO Michael Eisner. That scorn took form as Mr. Esiner allegedly referring to the Pixar and Apple CEO as being a "Shiite Muslim." This was, according to second hand comments from the Drudge Report attributed to an outgoing Disney board member, a reference to Mr. Jobs having extreme views, as opposed to him actually being a Shiite Muslim. The blurb from the Drudge Report:

In hour-long interview with LA TIMES on Monday departing DISNEY board members Disney and Gold -- Gold claims 'Eisner called him and others -- including Pixar Chairman Steve Jobs -- 'Shiite Muslims.' Gold took that to mean that Eisner believed his critics were extreme in their views. A company spokeswoman said Eisner 'categorically denies' calling anyone a 'Shiite Muslim.' LA TIMES editors will not publish the 'Shiite' claim from Gold, newspaper sources tell DRUDGE. 'We didn't have solid enough grounds to put the statement in the newspaper,' Business Editor, Rick Wartzman, explained late Monday

This controversy comes in the middle of a boardroom fight between Mr. Eisner and dissenting board members who have become critical of the CEO's direction for Disney.

One of Disney's prime money makers in the film department in recent years has been the films developed by Mr. Jobs' Pixar, with those films smashing records originally set by Disney's own animated features back in the day when the company had its own ideas. It has been reported that Pixar is shopping around for a new distribution deal now that its contract with Disney is nearing completion. That contract was originally a five picture deal between Pixar, as the studio, and Disney, as distributor.

It was also reported that there was some contractual disagreement between the two companies, as Disney claimed that sequels did not count towards the five picture count, while Pixar reportedly thought they did. Toy Story 2, a huge hit and money maker for Disney, was such a sequel, and it would appear that Disney's interpretation of the contract was correct as Pixar is working on one more film to add to Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., and Finding Nemo. Pixar is said to be shopping from a position of strength because of the remarkable performance of these movies over the past several years.

The Mac Observer Spin:

What an interesting development, and what a fascinating choice of words for a megacorporation CEO to choose for describing an important business peer. Then again, it's possible he never said this at all, and that Mr. Gold is just doing a little rabble rousing. Who knows?

In any event, Mr. Jobs is certainly extreme in his views. That's hardly a secret.

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