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Disney shouldn’t buy Twitter, but the fact that it thought about it should terrify Big Media

If Bob Iger is worried about the future, what about everyone else?

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 2 Michael Kovac / Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

It doesn’t seem likely that Disney will buy Twitter. And it certainly doesn’t seem like a good idea.

But I just wanted to quickly flag something: Disney CEO Bob Iger and his lieutenants have indeed debated making a bid for Jack Dorsey’s company.

While it was natural to chalk up early reports that Disney might be interested to bankers trying to drum up business, people familiar with the company say the idea was a live one last week.

That doesn’t mean it’s going to live very long, since Wall Street immediately gave it a thumbs down.

But still: The fact that it was on the table suggests that Iger thinks his company, generally considered to be one of the best-run companies in the media world, needs a transformative jolt.

Remember that this is Disney we’re talking about. The company with some of the best-loved characters and stories in the world — and that was before it bought Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. The company that controls ESPN, which means it controls TV sports in the U.S. The company that can do business in China, when tech giants like Facebook and Google are stymied.

Again, it’s hard to see how Twitter solves Disney’s problems, and equally hard to see how Disney solves Twitter’s problems. So this thing should remain theoretical.

But if Disney’s worried enough about its future to ponder this kind of bet, what about the rest of Big Media?

This article originally appeared on

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