Corporate Vulture

Philip Anschutz tries to thread his way into heaven

Before I go in to see my movie—and make Anschutz a wealthier man—I ask the girl with the Bettie Page bangs if she has ever seen Anschutz. She tries to hold back a laugh. It seems that Anschutz rarely speaks with anyone except his inner circle. A notoriously private man, he hasn't given an interview in decades and has rarely been photographed. When he was asked to appear before the congressional committee investigating his Qwest stock earnings, his attorneys persuaded Congress to contact him by phone. There's no doubt the man has clout, but you've got to wonder if he's shy or simply ashamed.

My movie is about to begin. As I hand my ticket to the doorman, I see a few Stars of Hope hanging on a wall as testament to a man and his vision. Perched on the theater's balcony, I can imagine Anschutz, the corporate vulture. He swoops down and tries to jab his greedy little beak into my pocket. There's a flurry of feathers. My pocket is gone, and Anschutz flies out the door. Whatever he wants in this life, it's a sad version of heaven that Anschutz is pursuing: an acquisition destined to fail. Everyone knows it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a corporate vulture to enter the Kingdom of God.

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