Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Point/Counterpoint: Age of Love

Screaming Pope:
Jodie Fisher is the opposite of a femme fatale. Is there a comparable word to describe women who undo men like Paris, who fell for Helen and caused the Trojan War?  Apparently, before trying to get a contracting job at Hewlett-Packard in 2007, and subsequently setting off HP CEO Mark Hurd’s tragic demise, she was an actress and television personality, having appeared in such classics as “Easy Rider: The Ride Back,” “Sheer Passion” and “Blood Dolls.” “Sheer Passion” is the story of a lingerie designer who is strangled inside a fashion designer’s house. In a unique plot twist, the fashion designer becomes a suspect. Jodie plays a character named Dana.

Fisher accused Hurd of sexual harassment, and one wonders if her work in “Age of Love,” an NBC reality show in which contestants dated Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis, created the sensitivity to coercion that motivated her charge. Fisher never won any Emmy or an Oscar, but she went on to sell commercial real estate, to have a position on the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, and finally to work at Hewlett-Packard, where she was paid thousands to greet people at events. One would presume that the reason she was hired at Hewlett Packard had something to do with the fact that she bore no resemblance to Alan Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve.

The College of Singing Cardinals:
What to make of His Holiness taking papal pot-shots at a vapid gold-digger who brought about the "tragic demise" of $43 million/year CEO Mark Hurd, who recently announced that 9,000 HP employees would be laid off in the next three years (presumably to make room in the budget for his salary)?  His Holiness might want to add something about Hurd having reached an out-of-court settlement with Fisher, despite the fact that HP found no evidence of harassment and Fisher denies their having had intimate relations.  Or about the fact that Hurd is receiving a $12.2 million cash severance and $16 million in stock.

His Holiness humorously takes Fisher to task for being a bad actress and an opportunist, but Hurd might deserve equal airtime for, according to HP's internal review, repeatedly paying an unnamed "contractor," with whom he had a close personal relationship, for doing nothing.  All while planning to lay off 9,000 workers in the next three years.  And making $43 million per year.

Also, what does Alan Greenspan have to do with any of this?

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