"This Time, For Sure!" (7/10/00)
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Woo-hoo!! Nothing, and we mean nothing, gets our blood pumping like when somebody grabs a tired old rumor off the shelf, dusts it off, and parades it around like the Next Big Thing™-- especially when the rumor in question involves Steve Jobs in a pair of big round mouse ears. Yes, folks, in case you haven't heard yet, the Rumor That Wouldn't Die is back with a vengeance; once again, wide-eyed sources speculate in hushed tones about that holiest of holy grails, the sacred Disney-Apple buyout. Faithful viewer Stew was the first of many, many people who excitedly pointed out Sunday's Drudge Report, which claims in a "**World Exclusive**" (Mmmmphhbwahhhhahaha!) that our own Uncle Steve may be wiggling both Apple and Pixar as the bait to land himself the chairman spot at Disney. We're sure that the cryogenically frozen head of Walt himself would approve.

This may, in fact, sound slightly familiar to you-- and not just the part about Disney buying Apple, but the whole "Steve on King Walt's throne" plot twist. Want to know why? Because an almost identical permutation of this recurring rumor surfaced way back in February of last year. Back then it had sprung forth from that wellspring of industry gossip we all know and love as AppleInsider, who reported (under an increasingly lengthening disclaimer about the fickle nature of rumors) that Apple and Pixar would become "independent divisions within Disney" and "Jobs would become CEO of Disney, effective June 7th, 1999." (Note to the less well-informed viewers out there: this never actually came to pass.) Now, the only real difference we see between Drudge's scenario and AppleInsider's prior rumor is what office Steve would hold at Disney post-buyout: last time it was CEO, this time it's chairman of the board. But variety's the spice of life and all that, right?

We know what you're all thinking-- this Disney thing is older than dirt. In fact, it's even older than the "current" Mac version of WordPerfect, and like that venerable product that finally had its plug pulled a couple of months ago, everyone should just let it die already. But the very fact that it keeps popping up is a testament to its adaptability, ratings potential, and sheer stamina. And no matter how unlikely an Apple-Pixar-Disney merger may actually be, the fact remains that rumors usually only stick around this long when there's at least a modicum of practical plausibility fueling the whispers. Don't forget, Disney's got a market cap of almost $80 billion; that's over four times what Apple's is right now. (Pixar's is a mere billion and a half-- nary a drop in the bucket.) So Disney probably could buy Apple and Pixar, at least financially speaking.

So rather than try to quiet this one down, let's celebrate the Disney rumor's rising from its ashes and fan the flames a little. Faithful viewer Chris Browder sent in a little follow-up to that most tenuous of Disney-Apple links: the extensive use of Newton MessagePads throughout Disney's theme parks. We brought that to your attention last month, when rumors surfaced that Apple was having new Newton boxes printed up; now Chris tells us that when his friend asked the Disney folks about those outdated but lovable luggables, "they said that the computers for their surveys are supposed to be replaced with newer models later this year." Folks, we propose that Disney is buying Apple just to get its Newtons replaced. Stranger things have happened, right? Still not enough to convince you? Fine. Then consider this: you know all this recent talk about a new Apple mouse? Think about that for a second. Apple. Mouse. Do the math.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 7/10/00 episode:

July 10, 2000: It's baaa-aack-- that wonderful Disney-Apple buyout rumor you all know and love. Meanwhile, Dell "retires" the WebPC citing slow sales, and a pulled report on Apple's new G4 illustrates the fundamental importance of timely surfing when trolling for inside info...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2405: The End Of An Error (7/10/00)   Poor Mike Dell... the man tries so hard, you know? Every morning he awakes from his happy Steve dreams, gets up and kneels in his Steve shrine, prays to the Steves That Be to grant him the Steveness to get through the day, eats a hearty breakfast of toast and Steve-ios ("The Breakfast of Steves!"), and sets out to the office where he'll spend the day trying like mad to make Dell as cool as Apple is...

  • 2406: You Snooze, You Lose (7/10/00)   Ooooh, we just love a mystery. Given that Mac OS Rumors has lately taken to updating its content on a... somewhat infrequent basis, we admit we're not as rabid about checking that site as we once were...

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