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.”
First of all, shouldn't MSNBC see that this apparently-haphazard application of their suspension policy is doing more harm to its image than good? [Side question: Does anyone think a two-day suspension is anything but the most shallow of attempts at appearing impartial?] But at least they've learned something from the Olbermann suspension: do it more carefully and you can avoid creating a media firestorm and pissing off your on-air personalities. I was a bit taken aback last week reading Howard Kurtz's deconstruction of the Olbermann fiasco, as it's apparently even more crazy over there than it already appears.
We'll see how the media reacts to Suspending Your Host Redux, but I suspect there won't be as big of a hullabaloo this time around.