OLD Media Moves

Kantrow on the Bartiromo Fed scoop

May 8, 2006

TheDeal.com Executive Editor Yvette Kantrow, like many others, has a few words to say about how CNBC personality Maria Bartiromo “scooped” the rest of the financial press world by talking to Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Benanke at the White House Correspondents’ dinner last Saturday night and getting him to say that the media and the market had both misinterpreted his earlier comments.

Maria BartiromoKantrow writes, “Last week wore on, the story became less about Bernanke’s market-moving utterances and more about his decision to, inadvertently or not (and that’s still a mystery), deliver them through Bartiromo. It’s hard to imagine the same ruckus breaking out if, say, Bernanke, instead of talking to someone whose nicknames include Econo Babe, whispered into the ear of a wonkish, relatively obscure Fed watcher at one of the wire services. Though the markets probably would have reacted the same way, it’s doubtful the event would have remained such a topic of conversation.

“But such is the power of celebrity. Interestingly enough, even Bartiromo herself seemed shocked by the reaction to her revelation. She delivered the news to viewers Monday during a lead-in to a live interview with Chicago Fed President Michael Moskow on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The pit quickly erupted in noise as traders screamed out orders, making it difficult for Bartiromo to hear Moskow. ‘Excuse me, there’s something going on behind us,’ she told Moskow, seemingly oblivious to her remarks about Bernanke being the cause of the commotion. Another indication that she didn’t quite realize the power of her ‘scoop’ was that she didn’t go on air with the news until 3:15 p.m.”

Read more here. Kantrow notes that it was a big week for both Bartiromo and CNBC, and not just for her scoop.

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