OLD Media Moves

Friedman: It's all CNBC's fault

January 31, 2007

The public relations disaster for CNBC that has resulted from the disclosure that anchor Maria Bartiromo took a trip on the Citigroup jet that led to the ouster of one of its executives is the network’s fault, writes Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman.

Jon FriedmanFriedman wrote, “Bartiromo’s image as a hard-working, responsible journalist was shattered. And CNBC’s self-styled reputation as ‘the worldwide leader in business news’ took a Lusitania-like hit.

“CNBC hoped that the story would gradually fade away, but as USA Today’s Web site pointed out Tuesday: ‘The Maria Bartiromo story shows no signs of dying, and it may instead be spinning into that rare business-page yarn worthy of the watercooler.’

“Note the language. USA Today called it ‘The Maria Bartiromo story,’ not the Todd Thomson (who?) story.


“Over the past week, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Financial Times and Reuters were among the news outlets that weighed in with various angles. (I reckon that we can practically count the days till smart-alecky New York magazine flashes a “Mariagate” headline across its cover.)

“Executives at CNBC may feel that their network is a victim because Citigroup appears to be leading the media-relations campaign against Bartiromo.
“And of course, by extension, that would mean that big bad Citigroup is also kicking sand at CNBC.

“Let’s get this straight: CNBC is anything but a victim. The network originally let Bartiromo manipulate the standard rules of good journalism by looking the other way when she developed a cozy relationship with a powerful source.”

Read more here.

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