Erin Burnett is hot. She is also a financial reporter. Unfortunately, many of the men around her seem incapable of separating the two.
Today, on Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch asked her if she wasn't going to be reporting on Donald Trump's pseudo-run for the presidency because "of the former romantic liaisons" she had with him. (Burnett has judged on The Apprentice a few times. Update: Since this apparently needs to be said: No one ever seriously suggested she dated Trump.) Willie Geist protested that he had gone too far, but former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell thought it was hilarious.
(Same Donny Deutsch who called Sarah Palin "the feminist ideal," as opposed to alleged bonerkiller Hillary Clinton. Same Ed Rendell who proclaimed that Janet Napolitano was perfect for her job because you have to have "no life" and she had "no family.")
Burnett seemed taken aback at first, then sputtered that she could sue him, then laughed it off. Then again, Burnett must be used to it. Her job has long included enduring sophomoric and sexist commentary from men who can't seem to be professional.
Last year, in a discussion about a blown call in a baseball game, CNBC anchor Mark Haines replied, "See, this is why women aren't in charge of sports."
Perhaps most famously, Chris Matthews asked her to move in closer to the camera, eventually proclaiming her a "knockout."
Rush Limbaugh is also a fan. He remarked in on Morning Joe in 2007, "I heard Erin Burnett sounding a little wifey," whatever that means, though to his (bizarre) credit the rest of his commentary was limited to praising her work.
It's not just on the air. A Washington Post profile of her was headlined, "Looking Good at CNBC (Pretty, Too)." A Vanity Fair piece pitting her against self-proclaimed Money Honey Maria Bartiromo described her "sultry blue eyes, sharp, almost perfect features, dimples, and a lazy, bedroomy smile," while nominally decrying sexism. Three of the four lead-in paragraphs in a later Vanity Fair online interview with Burnett were about her hotness.
Online, the first thing that Google suggests after her name is Maxim, a magazine she didn't pose for, despite fake photos circulating online for the past few years. And none of that even includes the bankers and businessmen on her beat, who aren't typically known for their outsized respect for women. But the media itself is doing pathetically enough without them.