CNBC Panders: Invites Lefty Blogger Arianna Huffington to Co-Host Show

CNBC looks to be making another left turn.  After the network announced Democratic National Committee chairman and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean as a “CNBC contributor,” the network has gone even farther.

According a status update from Arianna Huffington’s Facebook page on March 24, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post will co-host CNBC’s morning program, “Squawk Box” on March 31.

“I'll be hosting Squawk Box on CNBC next Tuesday,” Huffington’s post read. “Who would you like to see me interview, and what should I ask them?”

CNBC had been the focal point of extensive criticism from The Huffington Post Web site. On March 24, the liberal blog devoted the entire top of its page to remarks that “Squawk on the Street” co-host Mark Haines made for being concerned about some of the populist rhetoric promoting compensation limits.

Haines had also taken on a couple of sanctimonious Democratic congressmen, Reps. Brad Sherman, Calif., and Charles Rangel, N.Y., for being advocates of a 90-percent retroactive tax on bonuses.

Huffington does have some expertise in economics. She graduated England’s famed Cambridge University with an M.A. in Economics according to her Web site biography. However, efforts to contact Huffington and CNBC spokesman Brian Steel were unsuccessful as of the evening of March 24. (Update at bottom)

The network is owned by General Electric and is a sister network to both NBC and MSNBC, the much-criticized liberal home of lefty hosts Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.

Several CNBC on-air personalities had been critical of the Obama administration. CNBC Chicago Mercantile Exchange floor reporter Rick Santelli made a loud plea for the president not to bailout homeowners who had gotten in over their heads and several times “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer had knocked the economic plans of the new president.

That has inspired several left-wing Web sites to initiate campaigns to “hold CNBC accountable,” as the liberal Campaign for America's Future has.

“When The Daily Show's Jon Stewart grilled CNBC's Jim Cramer last week, he did what few others in the traditional media were willing to do: Expose CNBC's strategy of climbing in bed with the CEOs who created this financial crisis, instead of aggressively reporting on them,” an e-mail from Bill Scher, the online campaign manager for CAF said recently. “But one decent interview is not enough to ferret the truth out of those now clamoring for taxpayer bailout money."

The e-mail included a link to an online petition that included several prominent liberals including:

    Dean Baker, Co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Christopher Hayes, Washington Editor, The Nation Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Markos Moulitsas, Founder,

However, after the network took a vicious attack from Comedy Central "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, followed up by a humbled Cramer on Stewart’s show, there have been several instances of a softening of CNBC personalities toward President Barack Obama’s policies and liberal causes.

The network announced March 23 former DNC chairman Howard Dean would officially be a “CNBC contributor.” And Cramer, after referring to Obama’s rhetoric as having heard “Lenin,” changed his tune on Obama on NBC’s March 24 “Today” proclaiming “the president has become pro-shareholder.”

Update: Huffington confirmed late on March 24 that she is in fact hosting CNBC's "Squawk Box" on March 31.