A November Vanity Fair story explores the "rivalry" between CNBC "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo and the rookie anchor eight years her junior, Erin Burnett, whom they dub the "Street Sweetie." Both broads deny the existence of said rivalry; Burnett suggests it's a "male fantasy thing" and Bartiromo speculates that "maybe at the end of the day someone is doing this, planting this, because it puts more attention on the network." And like: mission accomplished! The two look stunning in the mag.* But like, hey, you know what else puts attention on the network? The actually-more-stunning collapse of finance as we knew it! So what do these two babelicious brunettes make of all that: anything? We don't really find out! Vanity Fair is too busy ruminating on how sexist the whole business of broadcast financial news is. Oh yeah, and the story is called "Who Is Wall Street's Queen B?"Burnett is depicted as the naive, bright-eyed boarding school popular girl who never had to pay her dues because Maria, the elder elegant Brooklyn-born street hustling Italian trailblazer, did it all for her. Maria doesn't really try to understand the "kids today" or their slutty outfits, as we learn through this admittedly awesome anecdote:
[Maria] turns to climb the stairs to CNBC's mezzanine studio when a Fox correspondent rushes up to her. She is wearing towering heels, tons of makeup, and a scarlet dress so tight you can see her underwear line and unbuttoned to expose her black lace bra. "Hi, Maria!" she shrieks. Maria's eyes pop open, but then she smiles and kisses her. It's only later that she says she was "taken aback." The Fox reporter is a friend, and insisting that her name not be published, she says, "I did tell her, ‘Don't ever show up here with your skirt up your butt and your shirt down low like that.' I said, ‘It's a distraction, it's ridiculous, and it's not what you want.' I don't know who's telling her to do this, [but] there are a lot of women doing that."
Ha ha, "skirt up your butt." Okay, well: The story leads on September 15, the Monday Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the day that touched off the two weeks that shook capitalism and every last assumption the country held about the viability (not to mention virtue) of the current system. We learn that Maria finds all of it "truly wild" between takes relaying the frantic news flow with her Brooklyn accent and "enormous smoky blue eyes." Oh yeah, and remember all that gossip news about how Maria fucked ousted Citigroup executive Todd Thomson on that private jet home from Beijing? Yeah, it was a totally unfounded nugget of scurrilous nothingness probably planted by the guy who ousted Thomson to begin with, but now people think it was actually good for her career. She's a "survivor," etc. etc. Meanwhile we learn Burnett played field hockey and finds it hilarious that so many Americans spent their stimulus checks on internet porn. Hey, I find that hilarious too! And sad, and so telling. That's like an anecdote straight out of some Mike Judge satire of Late Capitalism, huh? Whatever, the story takes it as an example of Burnett's irrepressible, uncensored weirdness, and moves on: hey, there are other hot CNBC anchors too! They just don't dress as skanky as the Fox Business anchors. Even Maria's old assistant is a hot business reporter for one of the networks now! Goodness, why are they all so hot? It didn't used to be this way, did it? Who knows? Maybe it did, who cares? More importantly, is there a more embarrassing example of this new tiresome brand of "meta-sexism" whereby the media, in decrying all the horrible sexism of the media and the media coverage of said media, completely ignores the Actual Story About How, you know, we're experiencing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and these lovely ladies who have been paying attention for the past decade probably have some insight into that but we're not paying attention because they are so very very pretty and also, oppressed by sexism? Oh, probably, but at least they feigned interest when Lara Logan wanted to talk about the war.
*Bartiromo looks better though. Who gelled the hair on Burnett?