OLD Media Moves

The outsider at CNBC

July 17, 2009

John Gapper of the Financial Times writes Friday about CNBC‘s Charles Gasparino, who revels in his persona of being an outsider even among the people with whom he works.

Gapper writes, “Gasparino thrives on being awkward, even on being disliked, within CNBC. It burnishes his image as a tough outsider willing to go to battle with anyone – colleague or contact – in pursuit of the story. ‘People at CNBC will tell you that I’m a pain in the ass, hard to manage, that kind of thing, but they benefit from me being that way,’ he says.

“If anything, the onscreen Gasparino is a toned-down version of the off-air one. One morning, he upset Lance Armstrong, the cyclist, by asking him pointedly on CNBC about drug use in sports (Armstrong faced rumours of taking drugs, although he was cleared by inquiries). That evening, Gasparino bumped into Armstrong by chance at Campagnola, another favourite Manhattan haunt.

“‘He looked at me and he goes: ‘You’re an asshole,” recalls Gasparino. So I was like: ‘Mr Armstrong, I want you to know that you answered all the questions perfectly.’ He says: ‘No, no, no, fuck you!’ I said: ‘Listen, we had to ask you one tough question.’ He said: ‘I am never doing your show again. Stick it in your ear.’ Then he got me pissed because he just kept on going. I said: ‘Listen, I am going to give you a little insight into something. If you don’t sit in that chair, we’ll get some other asshole to do it.’ He said: ‘Really?’ I said: ‘Really.’ He said: ‘You can leave now.’ I said: ‘No, this is my restaurant.'”

Read more here.

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