In a pretty strange interview with Vanity Fair, CNBC’s Erin Burnett answers some bizarrely-phrased questions from Eric Spitznagel — including ones using an extended Silence of the Lambs metaphor — about covering the business world. Here’s one of the more straightforward Q&As:
So you don’t feel like you’ve ever apologized for or defended the people you’re supposed to be investigating?
Listen, I’m just trying to explain how something works. There have been people who are quick to say that it’s apologizing or defending, when it isn’t in any way true, right? It’s just explaining how something works. I think maybe that’s an understandable reaction by some people, given the lack of understanding and the sort of closed doors around Wall Street. I see my job as demystifying Wall Street.
Then there was this one:
I was under the impression that this is our oldest and best method of identifying witches. If they float, they’re clearly involved in the dark arts, and if they sink, they’re innocent. So my question is, if we don’t soak them, how do you propose we find out who’s been dabbling in witchcraft?
(Long pause.) Hmmm. Maybe there’s a better way of phrasing that question.
Spitznagel did get one amusing answer from Burnett: “We’re not allowed to invest in stocks. If I was allowed to invest in stocks, I would be a billionaire. But Mark Hoffman (president of CNBC) insists on running a tight ship.”