Bob Iger and I are on different schedules.
This morning, at about 4:30a.m.(!!), Bob Iger called me while hanging from his gravity bar. (He said he likes to hang upside down about two hours in the morning to get the blood flowing into his head.)
This was exposition I really didn’t need as I was completely hungover this morning after another bizarre night of carousing (different story) in Hollywood with Sumner Redstone (who is still staying at my house because he is afraid to be alone).
Bob said he was calling because I was the only person in town that would tell him the truth. “Even Ike Perlmutter is being a total pussy and won’t tell me what’s what…” – (he said off the record).
It seems Bob has been completely racked with guilt due to the glowing puff piece written about him by Brooks Barnes in the New York Times. He said he is having doubts and doesn’t feel worthy for such praise.
“How do you do it, Khan?”, Bob said. “People write horrible things about you all the time – never giving you any praise – and it doesn’t bother you a bit.”
A single tear formed in one of my eyes. I don’t think he could hear the emotion in my voice.
“Hell no, it’s doesn’t bother me, Bob. Manka Bros., while still the world’s largest media company, has had challenging economics for the past 30 years. You have to keep living your life, Bob – your perfect little freakin’ life with your beautiful little freakin’ wife – and not let work get in the way. We’re all doomed to fail.”
At this point, I had to immediately slam a hair-of-the-dog shot of whiskey before I blew last night’s steak and shrimp from Mastro’s all over the bathroom floor.
I continued: “Fuck the press. Fuck them all. If they like you – fine. If you they hate you – better. You don’t want those people propping you up. They’re only propping you up to, eventually, take you down! The fact that you feel unworthy for this praise proves that you are unworthy of this praise. You need to go climb a mountain – get your head straight.”
“Funny you should say that, Khan, I’m climbing K2 next weekend.”
“Fuck you, Bob.”
I hung up and went back to bed. While I do genuinely like Bob Iger (we met in a hippie drum circle on Venice Beach in the 1970s) – I am now hoping he fails at everything he does. Or falls off K2.
Khan Manka, Jr. – Chairman & CEO – Manka Bros. Studios – The World’s Largest Media Company