CNBC personality Charlie Gasparino offers no apologies for his aggressive and brash reporting style in a new Financial Times profile. Gasparino has become known as much for being brutally honest as he is for breaking big stories, which has occasionally led to some notorious on-air confrontations. Still, Gasparino shows no regrets for his brand of journalism:
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 ***, hard to manage, that kind of thing, but they benefit from me being that way,” he says.
If you had any remaining doubts about Gasparino’s willingness to engage hostile targets, he also recounts this colorful exchange with cyclist Lance Armstrong following a particularly contentious interview:
“He looked at me and he goes: ‘You’re an ***hole,’” 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, **** 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 ***hole to do it.’ He said: ‘Really?’ I said: ‘Really.’ He said: ‘You can leave now.’ I said: ‘No, this is my restaurant.’”
While the article offers plenty of insight into the entertaining CNBC reporter, we also came across this interesting tidbit that no one should be surprised to hear. Never one to back away from a good fight, Gasparino was once an aspiring amateur boxer:
“The biggest regret of my life was not going through with it. One day I was sitting in a bar, and I was watching this guy that I used to spar with in the semi-finals of the Golden Gloves. I was sitting there with a beer and I said to myself: ‘What did I do?’”