CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo took off her “journalism hat” once again this week when discussing hedge fund Blackstone and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, but this time she did it on the air Thursday afternoon when discussing the attempt by Rep. Henry Waxman to have the company’s initial public offering delayed.
For some background, remember that Bartiromo introduced Schwarzman at fundraiser atÂ the New York Public Library on Monday night, and she said then that she was introducing him “not as a journalist” but as a friend and then had laudatory things to say about him.
On Thursday afternoon, however, Bartiromo was covering her “friend” as a business news story when she interviewed former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt. When asked to respond to Waxman, Pitt said, “The notion of holding up a public offering is absurd. It reminds me a lot of Shakespeare’s quote ‘a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.’ If people want to invest in one of these funds, that’s their business.”
He concluded by saying that Congress can’t sell the SEC how to regulate the market. “It’s a very dangerous and pernicious precedent,” said Pitt.
To which Bartiromo replied: “Thank you so much, Harvey Pitt.Â I’ve got to take my journalism hat off for a minute, look at this as an observer andÂ say I could not agree more.”
To watch the video of Bartiromo and Pitt, go here.Â Why does CNBC have Bartiromo covering a story that involves someone who is obviously a friend? She has lost all credibility when covering this story because she has made it obvious that Schwarzman is a personal acquaintance. She is making the channel look bad with her cozy relationship with another source.
As the business journalist who tipped me off to this said: “Will she ever put the hat back on?”