Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik writes about what he perceives to be the real problem with business news network CNBC in the wake of the departure of anchor Maria Bartiromo.
Hiltzik writes, “The other issue with CNBC, and the one more relevant to Maria Bartiromo’s career, is the extent that it’s been co-opted by the corporate community. ‘Co-opted’ may be the wrong term — CNBC may never have been independent or objective in the traditional journalistic sense. In recent years, however, the network certainly seems to have abandoned almost all pretense of aggressive journalism.
“The best example of this may be Bartiromo’s appearance with Alex Pareene of Salon.com, who should win the prize as the reporter least likely to be featured on a CNBC segment. Pareene was brought on to defend his argument that Jamie Dimon should be fired as JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive, given the record of corruption he’s presided over at the big bank. (We’ve covered that issue here and here.) Openly scandalized at the very suggestion, Bartiromo scoffed at evidence of Morgan’s corruption, even though the bank has acknowledged much of it in public documents and its own annual reports.
“This isn’t the behavior of a financial journalist. It’s the behavior of a television interviewer whose trick for snagging interviews with big-name CEOs and global investment gurus is the guarantee that she’ll always take them at their own level of self-esteem.
“Bartiromo is a master (mistress?) of lobbing soft-balls at self-important targets. But that’s exactly what diminishes CNBC’s value as a news source, except for breaking events that can be reduced to the crawl at the bottom of the screen — the reason most TVs tuned to CNBC during the market day have their sound turned off is that the blather from anchors often isn’t worth hearing.”
Read more here.