Just two weeks after MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann for donating money to three Democratic political candidates, the network has suspended fellow cable anchor Joe Scarborough for making similar campaign contributions.
In a statement, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe," informed him Friday morning that between 2004 and 2008, he had made eight $500 contributions to various local candidates in Florida, where he previously served as a Republican congressional representative.
As a result, the network has suspended Scarborough for two days without pay. He will return to the air Nov. 24.
[More details: MSNBC's threat to fire Keith Olbermann]
"In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago, he did not recall these contributions," said Griffin. "Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy. As Joe recognizes, it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies."
In his own statement, Scarborough apologized for violating the policy. He said that the donations, which were discovered by Politico, were made to "close personal friends and family members and were limited to local races," and that they were "given for personal rather than political reasons." (The donations went to his brother and three "longtime family friends.") He therefore believed he didn't need approval from MSNBC.
Scarborough notified Griffin as soon as he realized he had crossed the network's standards, he said.
"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 said. "This will not happen again."
[Related: Fired NPR contributor responds]
On Nov. 5, MSNBC suspended Olbermann after Politico reported that the "Countdown" host had given the maximum individual donation of $2,400 to three Arizona candidates that ran in the Nov. 2 midterm election. He returned to his show two days later.
(AP Photo/NBC, William B. Plowman)
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