Media Moves

Billionaire Buffett's relationship with another biz journalist

March 2, 2007

CNBC’s Liz Claman, just like Fortune’s Carol Loomis, has access to billionaire Warren Buffett that provides her nice stories for her business news media outlet, but also raises some ethical questions.

Liz ClamanCNBC just posted a story on its web site based on Claman’s interview with Buffett on Thursday after the release of his annual report.

The story began, “Warren Buffett told CNBC’s Liz Claman Thursday, after the release of his eagerly anticipated annual shareholder letter, that he’s deeply concerned about U.S. trade problems and predicts more weakness for the dollar.

“’Mr. Buffett told me last night that the longer this goes on, the more severe the moment of truth will be, he also says you don’t know when that moment of truth is coming,’ Claman said.”

Read more here.

I point this out because Claman had a book published in November called, “The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received: Priceless Wisdom from Warren Buffett, Jim Cramer, Suze Orman, Steve Forbes, and Dozens of Other Top Financial Experts.” You can find it on Amazon here.

Claman is obviously benefitting financially from her relationship with Buffett, as well as professionally because of her access to one of the world’s richest people. The story posted on the CNBC web site does not mention Claman’s book. Also, Claman interviewed Buffett in a three-part series that ran in December, right after her book came out. See the interview here.

This is obviously not the first ethical issue that has been raised about CNBC’s anchors and their relationships with their sources this year. (See Bartiromo, Maria and the Citigroup jet trip) But in the light of the ethical discussion about Loomis writing for Fortune’s web site a series of stories about Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway annual report, which she edited, it seems only fair to mention Claman and her financial relationship with Buffett as well.

Is Claman’s relationship with Buffett any different that the one with Loomis? Why or why not?

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