Yesterday Maria Bartiromo, uhm, scored with a top Citigroup executive.
Sorry. Scratch that.
Yesterday Maria Bartiromo scored an exclusive interview with former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill. There was a bit of a double news hook for the interview. Yesterday Citigroup had revealed in its annual report that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the bank's accounting and tax reserves related to its $31 billion purchase in 2000 of Associates First CapitalThere. Sandy was chairman in those days, so Maria and co-host Dylan Ratigan asked him some questions. Which he totally declined to respond to. It was all no comment this, and I haven't read the annual report that. This was actually kind of newsmaking. The world learned that Sandy Weill, the man who built Citigroup, doesn't read the annual reports right away and doesn't watch the daily movements of the stock prices.
The other alleged news hook for the interview was some sort of charity thing involving schools. Someone won an award. Maybe it was Sandy. Snore.
But apparently nobody but us paid attention to anything as esoteric as what happened in the interview. It was all just jaw-dropping amazement that CNBC, or Citigroup, or Sandy Weill or Maria Bartiromo had the gall or the guts or something else to set up this interview in light of the recent questions about the propriety of Bartiromo's possibly compromising relationships with Citigroup executives.
TVNewser's anonymous sources give voice to the shocked masses:
An longtime CNBC viewer wrote to TVNewser: "Have they lost all ethical thought and reason in Englewood Cliffs? I sat there with a stunned look on my face the whole time the interview was going on."
"Why shouldn't she do the interview? She did nothing wrong," a CNBC insider responded...
> Update: 9:35pm: "Just the hint of scandal makes the interview stupid from a P.R. point of view. Why risk credibility with viewers by giving the interview to Bartiromo?," an e-mailer adds...