Did you ever think CNBC would be a lot more interesting if they replaced each grumpy and aging business reporter with a couple of fine biz babes? Oh wait, that would just be Fox Business then wouldn’t it? No complaints here. But apparently CNBC grapples with these very same censorship and good taste issues on a daily basis. Oh what a burdened existence they must live!

I just imagine a bunch of nuns with rulers slapping the hands of any on-air editor who dabbles too far into the ‘breast-o-vision’ version of a Victoria’s Secret annual report. For some clarification, Allen Wastler, the managing editor of CNBC.com explained in an article this afternoon how much ‘skin’ is appropriate on a ‘serious’ business news channel:

Believe it or not, the question comes up fairly often, especially when you are associated with a big honkin’ network. Had to address it just this morning in fact. We have a set of pictures of a fashion show in Miami. Lots of bikinis and swimwear. And in some of the shots, a lot of skin. We clipped a few from the presentation. I was accused by some staff members of being overly prudish.

Maybe so. The censored shots weren’t pornographic and they weren’t anything you wouldn’t see on the beach. And, hey, what’s the whole purpose of the presentation anyway? We’re doing it in part because we know our male-skewed audience will find it … interesting. It’s the same reason Sports Illustrated prints its swimsuit issue and networks run Victoria’s Secret stories.

Of course, it IS a legitimate fashion event and there is some serious money in the business. Nevertheless there are those who think there shouldn’t be any risque material on a business news site at all. I don’t share that opinion. Business news is vital to everyone, yet comes off as boring. A little spice here and there may get people to pay generally a little more attention.

A little fun is fine, but you don’t want to overdo it. Besides, with the way things have been lately, we could use the distraction.

I don’t see anything wrong with showing some babes in bikinis when talking about swimsuit sales expectations, but that’s just me. Maybe I’m too much of a red-blooded American man to ‘get’ what all the fuss is about.

After a long day of trading or running one’s own business, is there nothing more refreshing and rewarding than a good cold foreign-owned domestic beer and some Brazilian models strutting down the runways while revealing the day’s big winners and losers? I think not. So loosen that tie , Mr. Managing Editor, and let’s start getting careless with the good taste crap.

CNBC: Do You Need Bikinis With Business News, July 21, 2008 via Crossing Wall Street