Programming

MSNBC Suspends Scarborough for Campaign Donations

'Morning Joe' co-host suspended for two-days, will return to air Nov. 24 11/19/2010 05:00:00 PM Eastern

Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET

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MSNBC is suspending Joe Scarborough, co-host of Morning Joe, for two days after it became aware he made various campaign donations to friends and family members, the network said Friday.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin released the following statement: "This morning Joe Scarborough informed me that he made eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004-08. In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago, he did not recall these contributions. Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy. He will be immediately suspended for two days without pay and will return to the air on Wednesday, November 24th. As Joe recognizes, it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies."

Scarborough said in a statement that he made the contributions for personal, not political reasons, and didn't think he needed to disclose them to MSNBC because they were limited to local races. After becoming aware of the situation, he called Griffin and agreed to his demand of a two-day suspension without pay.

"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," said Scarborough in a statement. "I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions."

Morning Joe airs weekdays from 6-9 a.m. ET on MSNBC.

Scarbourough's suspension comes two weeks after the network "indefinitely" suspended MSNBC host Keith Olbermann  for making political donations, though that term was later reduced to two days. Olbermann contributed to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates in 2010, one of whom was a guest on his show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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