The smear campaign begins

Variety reports today that, according to unnamed sources in the movie and TV business, the real reason for the breakup with NBC is that Apple is trying to slash the price of TV show downloads to 99 cents from $1.99. In other words, we’re the bad guys, and we’ve misled everyone by suggesting that the breakup came about because NBC wants to raise prices to $4.99. See the smear job here.

We knew this would happen when we started dealing with the Hollywood guys. It’s how they roll. They screw you in private and then try to smear you with leaked stories full of lies. This story in particular was one that Zucker told us his guys were cooking up. He handed out copies of it to us the last time we met with them. He’s like, Play ball, or this thing shows up in Variety, word for word. Oh well. Katie and Steve say we can handle this kind of stuff no problem. They say we’re still winning the battle for hearts and minds of consumers.

“Just keep handing out those Benjamins,” Phil Schiller says. He’s running around all psyched up about this rebate program. Says it’s the best idea we’ve ever had. He’s more excited than Larry Craig in an airport men’s room. Says we should have thought of this years ago. Wants to start adding a hundred bucks to the list price of everything and then giving it back to customers later. I told him we’ll think about it and get back to him. (“We” means “me,” but it sounds fancier when we put it in the first person passive pluperfect or whatever.)