Mariagate: The editorial
Industry publication Broadcasting & Cable has entered the fray in discussing the controversy about CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo taking a plane ride on the Citigroup corporate jet with an editorial.
The editorial states, “But as a business journalist, Bartiromo must separate the celebrity version of herself from the journalistic one, who cannot even leave the appearance of favoring one company or another. CNBC must also vigorously apply that standard. A decade ago, ABC News began scrutinizing whom its reporters addressed after a Chicago Tribune reporter regularly chronicled the influential organizations that Cokie Roberts took money from in return for her speeches.
“A private-plane trip with a top executive can give reporters insight and information that they would never get over lunch. Good journalists do take those trips (sometimes with artificially low airfare arrangements). Journalists say they can’t be bought for a plane trip. We wonder what the public thinks.
“If Bartiromo’s bond with Citicorp was unusual enough that it influenced the decision to fire a top executive, she and CNBC had gone too far. The incident is a timely reminder that, for many, perception is reality. Many CNBC viewers will think that way the next time Bartiromo reports on Citicorpâ€”if ever.”
Read more here.