The proverbial "other shoe" dropped today with MSNBC chief Phil Griffin suspending morning host Joe Scarborough for two days, as it had done with Keith Olbermann two weeks ago, for making political campaign donations several years ago without permission. Once again, Politico dug up the evidence.
Scarborough, Griffin said, gave eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004 and 2008.
The conservative Morning Joe host previously had been fingered for more recent donations but had explained that he received permission from his bosses for those.
Scarborough apologized to the network. He said in a statement that the donations were made to "my brother and three longtime family friends…. To be blunt, I had no interest in their campaigns other than being kind to longtime friends," he said. "Because the contributions involved local, non-competitive races—and were given for personal rather than political reasons—I mistakenly believed I did not need approval from MSNBC. I also apologize for that oversight."
Full statements by Griffin and Scarborough here—along with claim that rules are pretty dumb.
Olbermann had originally been suspended "indefinitely" and without pay, sparking a national petition drive to get him back on the air. He returned after two days and reportedly without losing pay.
More to come as details emerged.