Here's his money quote from today's All Things Digital conference down in Carlsbad: "Hollywood is a community that’s so inbred, it’s a wonder the children have any teeth." He also said that the media companies were pretty dumb by even allowing a writers strike at a time when so much of the television audience is being lured away by other content providers and platforms. He said that the WGA walkout and now the threat of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild have "flattened everyone" and that neither side accomplished anything. Here are early accounts from All Things D and Silicon Alley Insider. The All Things Digital conference, which is the work of the WSJ's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher (she moderated the Diller session), has brought in so many heavyweights that if a bomb went off at the Four Seasons Resort it would wipe out practically the entire tech business. Even Steve Jobs is there. From Fortune's Adam Lashinsky:
When I walked in the door Tuesday evening at the lush Four Seasons Aviara hotel, I immediately spotted IAC CEO Barry Diller chatting in the hallway with Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony. That was after flying down on the same plane as Yahoo President Sue Decker and David Eun, Google’s vice-president for content partnerships. (Decker sat in the first row of the plane; Eun sat in the last; I was in between.) On my way to the room I bumped into a trio of Facebook execs: CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and PR poo-bah Elliot Schrage. On my way to the elevator I traded hellos with Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s senior vice-president for strategic partnerships.
Not impressed yet with the firepower here? Okay, consider the plain folks in the cheap seats around me for the main event of the evening, a joint interview with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. A row behind me investment banker Frank Quattrone and VCs Jim Breyer of Accel Partners and Redpoint’s Geoff Yang sat together like three boys in the back of the class. AOL founder Steve case sat a few rows in front of them, just in front of Slide’s Max Levchin. Intuit founder Scott Cook was just behind me.