Call it the Olbermann Effect: After revealing that Keith Olbermann had donated to political campaigns (against NBC News policy), leading to his brief suspension from MSNBC, Politico has once again found out about the undisclosed political donations of another MSNBC personality. This time, it's former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough. Politico reports, "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." So, is the show going to be called "Morning Mika" for those two days?
The website explained, "POLITICO had sought comment from the network after finding evidence that Scarborough gave at least five separate previously unknown $500 contributions while serving as an MNBC 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."
When Olbermann's donations became an issue a few weeks ago, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said he spoke to Scarborough, but Scarborough "did not recall these contributions." Scarborough said in a statement, "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. I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions," but added, "Despite the fact that these races were local and not relevant to my work at MSNBC I have been told they violated MSNBC guidelines... 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. I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions.” He also characterized the donations as ones to longtime friends, versus him having some sort of political stake in them.
Scarborough has been mentioned lately as a possible running mate for Mayor Bloomberg's 2012 presidential run, which Bloomberg continues to deny.