MSNBC said Friday that it is suspending “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough for two days after he acknowledged giving eight previously unknown $500 contributions to friends and family members running for state and local offices during his tenure at the network, a violation of parent NBC’s ban on political contributions by employees without specific permission from the network president.
“I recognize that I have a responsibility to honor the guidelines and conditions of my employment, and I regret that I failed to do so in this matter,” Scarborough said in a statement. “I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions,” he said, adding that after he was made aware of some of the contributions, he called MSNBC President Phil Griffin “and agreed with Phil’s immediate demand of a two-day suspension without pay.”
POLITICO had sought comment from the network after finding evidence that Scarborough gave at least five previously unknown $500 contributions while serving as an MSNBC host — all to Republican candidates to whom he was close who were running for state legislative seats in or near Scarborough’s hometown of Pensacola, Fla. After being contacted by POLITICO about the donations, Scarborough voluntarily disclosed three other $500 contributions to a friend running for county office in Florida.
Scarborough’s suspension, during which he will not be paid, will end Wednesday, Griffin said in a statement, adding, “As Joe recognizes, it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies.”
Back when MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann for non-disclosure, I wondered why the same rule didn’t apply to Mr. Scarborough, who had also given money to candidates. It was pointed out that Mr. Scarborough had told MSNBC he had done it, whereas Mr. Olbermann had not. So now Politico found out that there had been some undisclosed Scarborough donations, so….
I think the kerfuffle over Mr. Olbermann proved that the policy was ridiculous and this basically proves it.