Maria Bartiromo is Supposed to Be Objective, Right?

Ezra Klein does everyone a huge favor by reprinting part of the the transcript from a debate (I’m being kind) he watched on MSNBC yesterday between CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo and New York Congressman Anthony Weiner over health care.

Here’s the interview.

And here’s the transcript:

REP. WEINER: Listen, Carlos talks about Canada. You talk about Europe. Let’s talk about the United States of America, Medicare —

MS. BARTIROMO: You have to look at where there are public plans.

REP. WEINER: No. No. The United States of America, 40 percent of all tax dollars go through a public plan. Ask your parent or grandparent, ask your neighbor whether they’re satisfied with Medicare. Now, there’s a funding problem, but the quality of care is terrific. You get complete choice and go anywhere you want. Don’t look at —

MS. BARTIROMO: How come you don’t use it? You don’t have it. How come you don’t have it?

REP. WEINER: Because I’m not 65. I would love it.

MS. BARTIROMO: Yeah, come on

As Ezra pointed out, Weiner is 44 years old and, therefore, not yet eligible for Medicare so Maria comes across as being incredibly uninformed.

My take is something a little different: Maria comes across as being incredibly inarticulate. She may have been trying to say that Weiner, as a member of Congress, has a better health care plan than Medicare. If that’s the case, she failed miserably and embarassingly. After all, for a television news anchor, inarticulate trumps uninformed every time.

But the far better question is what was Bartiromo doing debating Rep. Weiner at all. She’s not a health care expert and, as an anchor on a financial news channel, she’s supposed to be an objective observer who asks questions of others rather than someone with her own opinions.

This obviously sounds incredibly naive. Bartiromo works for CNBC, where Larry Kudlow, who is anything but objective, is also an anchor. In addition, CNBC and MSNBC are both owned by General Electric, and using one to promote the other as this interview did has become a tried and true marketing technique.

But do CNBC and GE really want one of its anchors to become rather than report the news in such a negative and embarassing way as Bartiromo did yesterday? Does CNBC really want it to become that clear that it has stopped reporting on and to Wall Street and now acts as if it instead represents the financial world?

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About Stan Collender 126 Articles

Affiliation: Qorvis Communications

Stan Collender is a former New Yorker who, after getting a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, moved to Washington to get it out of his system. That was more than 30 years ago.

During most of his career, Collender has worked on the federal budget and congressional budget process, including stints on the staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees; founding the Federal Budget Report, a newsletter that was published for almost two decades; and for the past 11 years writing a weekly column for and now

He is currently a managing director for Qorvis Communications, where he spends most of his time working with and for financial services clients.

Visit: Capital Gains and Games

3 Comments on Maria Bartiromo is Supposed to Be Objective, Right?

  1. Maria asked about healthcare program for 45 yr old congressman.
    My suggestion would be to get healthcare program that Japanese have since their life expectancy of 82 yrs is the highest in the world. US life expectancy is 78 yrs and there are 38 countries that do better than we do.
    Perhaps the US healthcare program created this yr will have cost and results in line with the existing Japanese program. I am 72 9/20/37.
    Please forward my note to Bartiromo.

  2. I’d rather die a young capitalist than an old socialist. Our shortened life span has more to do with our gluttonous lifestyle than it does our healthcare.

    THe news media is nothing but opinion and propaganda. Stop pretending that these exchanges are exciting.

    And by they way, Rep. Weiner – Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt, just like every other program our government operates.

  3. Maria was saying the following:

    You Mr congressman are a hypocrite

    And I think she said a very difficult thing to say in a very ARTICULATE way (with some humor and lightheartedness). So I COMPLETELY disagree with the entire premise of this article.

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