Charlie Gasparino gets the full profile treatment from John Gapper in the Financial Times this weekend. But we just discovered that it’s online already.
It’s a long piece that you’ll want to read whether you think Gasparino is the greatest reporter at CNBC or an irresponsible rumour monger.
Here’s a bit of it where he almost comes to blows with Lance Armstrong:
Gasparino thrives on being awkward, even on being disliked, within CNBC. It burnishes his image as a tough outsider willing to go to battle with anyone – colleague or contact – in pursuit of the story. “People at CNBC will tell you that I’m a pain in the arse, hard to manage, that kind of thing, but they benefit from me being that way,” he says.
If anything, the onscreen Gasparino is a toned-down version of the off-air one. One morning, he upset Lance Armstrong, the cyclist, by asking him pointedly on CNBC about drug use in sports (Armstrong faced rumours of taking drugs, although he was cleared by inquiries). That evening, Gasparino bumped into Armstrong by chance at Campagnola, another favourite Manhattan haunt.
“He looked at me and he goes: ‘You’re an arsehole,'” recalls Gasparino. So I was like: ‘Mr Armstrong, I want you to know that you answered all the questions perfectly.’ He says: ‘No, no, no, fuck you!’ I said: ‘Listen, we had to ask you one tough question.’ He said: ‘I am never doing your show again. Stick it in your ear.’ Then he got me pissed because he just kept on going. I said: ‘Listen, I am going to give you a little insight into something. If you don’t sit in that chair, we’ll get some other arsehole to do it.’ He said: ‘Really?’ I said: ‘Really.’ He said: ‘You can leave now.’ I said: ‘No, this is my restaurant.'”
That line – “This is my restaurant” – is quintessential Gasparino. It contains all of his swagger and self-possession, his defiance when challenged by others, his sharp-elbowed marking out of territory. He still has the air of a tough, old-fashioned newspaper man, digging up stories in the big city, preferably over a martini.
Since Charlie was almost a Golden Gloves boxer, you can bet that would have been a good fight. Go read the whole thing.
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