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Hello, Muddah

From the August 15 / August 22, 2005 issue: How Michael Eisner learned the arts and crafts of hardball.

Aug 15, 2005, Vol. 10, No. 45 • By JUDY BACHRACH
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"It's tough, though. The world is not camp--and that's too bad."

Hmmm. I'm not sure I agree with Michael here. In fact, the more one thinks about camp, the more reminiscent it is of life in all its raw and disagreeable variety. Surely some of Eisner's oddities are directly traceable to his youth. And quite a bit of his speech, as well as his pique, bear the singe of the campfire. As far as he was concerned, Eisner told his biographer in one really peculiar turn of phrase, he was Disney's biggest cheerleader and Katzenberg merely the tip of his "pom-pom." As for Katzenberg's insistence on being paid off after his ouster: "I don't care what he thinks, I am not going to pay him any of the money."

Two hundred eighty million dollars later, an enriched Katzenberg could be said to have written the book on how to BE A GOOD LOSER . . . definitely a guy deserving of his own plaque among the pines. And he didn't even have to learn how to clean up at Camp Keewaydin.

Judy Bachrach is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.