Matt Taibbi isn't letting CNBC host and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin off the hook for letting Sandy Weill off the hook.
Taibbi, the Rolling Stone writer famous for his scathing profile of Goldman Sachs slammed CNBC for the way its pundits treated former Citigroup chairman and CEO Weill last week when he told Sorkin on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that it might be time to “split up investment banking from banking.”
Weill is perhaps the founding father of the too-big-to-fail banking system and is responsible for creating the Citi behemoth by combining Citibank, Travelers and Salomon Brothers in the 1990s. Taibbi criticizes Sorkin for not explicitly calling out Weill on his stunning about-face.
Instead of hitting Weill with “some version of, ‘Dude, are you high? You invented Too Big To Fail!’” Taibbi notes that Sorkin, who is editor-at-large of the Times's DealBook site, follows up Weill’s epic pronouncement with a “triple-qualified” question that didn’t even hint at the ex-CEO’s huge role in creating an environment that encouraged banks to become gigantic and discouraged lawmakers from stopping them. Not to mention that Weill’s position circa 1990, which he walked back on live television, set the financial system up for a major crisis.
Taibbi, pulls no punches in his blog post, calling Sorkin: “The single most credulously slobbering financial reporter on the planet.”
This isn’t the first time Taibbi’s picked a fight with the DealBook editor. In a blog post from last year titled “The Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin Gives Goldman A Rubdown,” Taibbi slams one of Sorkin’s NYT columns, arguing that it “reads like it was written by the bank's marketing department.” Taibbi also points out that Dealbook signed a sponsorship agreement with Goldman in November 2010.
Others have jumped on the slam-Sorkin-and-CNBC bandwagon. Sorkin’s NYT colleague Paul Krugman wrote on his blog of an appearance promoting his book on Squawk Box “it was one zombie idea after another,” going on to say that “people getting their news from sources like that are probably getting terrible advice.”And we over here at HuffPost haven’t stayed out of the fray. As HuffPost's Mark Gongloff points out, CNBC seemed to think it predicted the outcome of the presidential election earlier this month when the network pinned a stock market rally on investors assuming that Mitt Romney had secured the White House.