On Aug. 4, 1995, Maria Bartiromo made history as the first reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. For our younger readers, this was more of a milestone than it may now seem. For one, there were a hell of a lot more people crowding that hallowed space back then. For another, they were misogynistic pricks.
“I really had to be sharp-elbowed to become respected. A handful of people didn’t want me to be there, and they made it hard for me,” she said…. “One guy yelled at me to get out of his way, and another pushed into me…. It was a Wall Street boys club, and I turned up there, a young woman with a camera, and they had to get used to it. At the end of the day, I’m proud to have had the courage to go down there and face this sea of suits.”
Since then, there have been other groundbreaking reports, milestones and celebrations of the accomplishments of the one and only Money Honey: paens to her glories, adjunct professorships, social occasions with Jeff Epstein, first pitches thrown at Yankee Stadium. And, of course, periodic bell-ringings allowing Bartiromo to literally lord her exalted position over the dwindling and increasingly irrelevant band bartering on the exchange floor.
Unfortunately for Bartiromo and, quite frankly, the rest of us, Aug. 4, 2020, is not quite like the 25 Aug. 4s that proceeded it. And so the Big Board and Bartiromo were forced to mark the occasion of her ground-breaking physical presence with a somewhat less-than-inspiring, strangely awkward virtual appearance looking out over the mostly empty floor upon which she made her name.