CEO screams at CNBC reporter for "dirty" questions

Chris Roush

Chris Roush is the dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He was previously Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Professor in business journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former business journalist for Bloomberg News, Businessweek, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tampa Tribune and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He is the author of the leading business reporting textbook "Show me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication" and "Thinking Things Over," a biography of former Wall Street Journal editor Vermont Royster.

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  1. Whitney says:

    I read the transcript and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what she asked. I think that same question was on the minds of every single viewer who knew of the scandal. If they are shareholders and they now know of the scandal, they can watch the stock more closely and make informed decisions about their portfolio. If I’m not mistaken, that is what CNBC was made for: helping investors make informed decisions about companies.
    He was just mad because he was embarassed and she was right, he handled it well on camera, that’s where his interview should have ended.

  2. John says:

    I know it’s fashionable to knock Charney, but CNBC was completely out of line here. They must really be feeling the heat from Fox Business News and trying to boost their ratings if they’re pulling stunts like this.

    I’m at the ICR conference and from what I’m hearing, CNBC agreed not to ask about the sexual harassment lawsuit. Charney told them that if what they wanted to talk about that, he can’t do the interview because he’s not allowed to comment on a case that’s at trial. I understand that CNBC got a lot of heat from the conference organizers (ICR) for asking the questions they did because ICR got CNBC to promise not to ask about it. That puts Charney’s post-interview reaction completely into perspective. Not only did Brennan ask about it, she asked about it three times in a row, after Charney tried to keep it positive and deflect her questions about something he can’t talk about. The video is far more telling than the transcript, because you can see how deliberate and insistent she was in asking about the lawsuit.

    To make it worse, Brennan demonstrates a complete lack of class for posting this on her blog. For a journalist to take a private conversation following a televised interview and talk about it in this type of forum where the subject can’t comment is really pathetic.

    Asking tough questions is one thing, but saying you’re going to do one thing and then doing another a few minutes later is pretty unethical however you look at it.

    Brennan blogs that “I said that I’m going on air to talk about his company regardless of whether he joins me or notâ€? – what is she trying to explain here, that she basically boxed him into doing the interview? It’s very sad if that’s the state of financial journalism today.

    The only thing I can think of here is that she knows she did wrong, so blogging about it, fudging some of the details, and having people back her up is a way to clear her conscience. Pathetic.

  3. Michelle says:

    I don’t think screaming obscenities at multiple people is a ‘private’ conversation.

    Additionally, if he didn’t want to do the interview, per their supposed pre-arranged agreement to not discuss the lawsuit, why go on the show and be interviewed at all?

    Charney is a misogynistic, sexist pig and I’d be willing to be money that if it would’ve been a man interviewing him, his off-camera reaction would’ve been a lot different.

    As far as knowing dirty…he’s the damn poster boy for it–and not in a good way.

  4. Jennifer says:

    It was a good interview and appropriate topic for the blog.
    I passed on APP for the very reasons she asks. Once Charney is deemed too much of a liability he will get forced or bought out.
    Unfortunately, he is AA. Without Charney, AA will become something more like the love child of The Gap and Wet Seal.

    “I know dirty and I know clean and that was dirty!” That’s priceless! Now we know Charney does wipe his own ass.

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