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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Let's see if I got this straight: Bush compares the Iraq war to the Vietnam war, and everyone jumps on him because it isn't -- except it IS, in horrible ways that Bush didn't mean at all, which means that the president's metaphor is a disaster about a disaster. My head hurts.

Instead, Bush could have compared Iraq to another conflict that started just a year earlier: The War of Michael Ovitz vs "The Gay Mafia." A war for the ages.

It was the summer of 2002 when unprovoked, former Creative Artists uber-agent Ovitz attacked Dreamworks' David Geffen and his boys. A guy named Steve Young (along with MakeMagic's Denise David) even made a short film about it, "My Dinner With Ovitz." After reading this column, feel free to grab a fresh bag of popcorn and watch the actual film to the right.

The historic plot-point similarities are staggering. In the 1980's, former Disney Chairman, Michael Eisner and Saddam, er, um, Michael Ovitz, were allies. To solidify their relationship, Eisner sent many millions Ovitz's way. After all, Ovitz was on his side at the time and it paid to buddy up with someone who could nail your enemies without you getting dirty. Oh, sure, Ovitz was a cutthroat back then: at times doing away with those closest to him. His own people. And everyone let him get away with it, because at the time, he was our cutthroat. Not unlike how the Republican Congress treated President Bush II.

But there came a time when Ovitz decided to try and take everything, including those who he thought wouldn't fight back like Kuwai... I mean, gays. Damnit. Sorry. See what I mean. The similarities are mindboggling.

Ovitz went after what he called the "Gay Mafia" -- Geffen, Barry Diller, and even those who weren't gay like Ron Meyer and Eisner, because he claimed they were the cause of his woes. Worse, Ovitz said that their leader, Geffen, had threatened to beat him up and harm his kids -- kids, I assure you, who were not named Udai and Qusai or Jenna and Barbara. Of course, no matter how hard they looked, no one found any of evidence of Geffen's ability to beat up any sovereign nation, let alone Ovitz.

Ovitz blamed the New York Times for supporting the war against him and didn't even need Bill O'Reilly to ride that horse. Then again it could be the other way around, with reporter Bernie "Judith Miller" Weintraub, writing stories on orders from Geffen, Cheney, or was it Libby? Five years fogs up the recall. Ask any Bush hireling.

Did Ovitz really ignore his own culpability for his downfall, or did Bush avoid going back into the UN for proper and legal approval to invade Iraq because he knew that he didn't have the votes?

Did AT&T chieftain Michael Armstrong refuse to invest in Ovitz' management company which would have saved him from losing millions, or did Bush refuse to let Hans Blix finish his job, save trillions of dollars and thousands of lives...while five years later Bush and Fox News would continue to say Saddam threw out the weapons inspectors?

Just like any war, the answers aren't simple, but using a coherent comparison to make your point is.

The only question Bush's speechwriters would have to resolve is whether the President is Ovitz or the Gay Mafia.

You have a better war? Some might say 1992's bloody "Leno vs Letterman" police action -- but that would be silly.

Award-winning TV writer and author Steve Young wrote "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" and two jokes for Leno.

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Albion Monitor   August 24, 2007   (

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