The world Maria Bartiromo aka Money Honey has chosen for her professional life is all about money. In such a world rules are considered elastic, if they are acknowledged to apply at all. So, Money Honey should have known that everyone in that world, from the receptionist to the Chief Executive Officer, assumes the worst. She should have avoided any appearance of indiscretion or, worse, favoritism. After all, her role is that of a semi-journalist.
Since Money Honey seems shrewd as well as competent in her reporting, the controversy bordering on scandal she's involved in shouldn't have happened.
As Johnnie L. Roberts reports it in NEWSWEEK, February 5th, Bartiromo developed one of those special relationships with Todd Thomson, former Chief Executive of the wealth-management unit at Citigroup. The tipping point in public perception or misperception was the long flight they took on the Citigroup private jet. Todd told those others who were supposed to take that flight to go commercial. On the kerosene of gossip, throw on some resentment and humiliation. As a speechwriter, I know all about not going on the corporate jet. (Honest, an executive was angry with me and actually said that there would be "no more trips on the jet.")
Bartiromo's employer CNBC is backing her up. It even claims it paid her share of the jet flight. But, what happens to her credibility in front of the camera? The money crowd respects those who know their way around. Money Honey didn't. In the money world that merits punishment, at least temporarily. My hunch is that Bartiromo eventually will be kicked upstairs to an executive position. That will give her time to prepare a comeback or to disappear. There will be a fresh new face in the money pit.