MSNBC has suspended "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough for the same violation that took Keith Olbermann off the air earlier this month.
In a statement, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said he has suspended Scarborough for making political donations to candidates in Florida without seeking prior approval:
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.
Under NBC News policy, employees must seek prior approval if making political donations.
Scarborough apologized in a public statement, saying, "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." His full statement appears below.
It was recently brought to my attention that I made political contributions over the past several years that are not consistent with MSNBC's guidelines. These contributions were to close personal friends and family members and were limited to local races.
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.
I gave a number of $500 contributions to my brother and three longtime family friends. These contributions were nothing more than simple acts of friendship. I gained nothing personally, politically, or professionally from these donations.
To be blunt, I had no interest in their campaigns other than being kind to longtime friends.
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.
After learning of this situation, I called Phil Griffin and agreed with Phil's immediate demand of a two-day suspension without pay.
I am proud to work for the NBC News family. There is nothing more important than maintaining the integrity of its highly respected brand.
I apologize to Phil Griffin, Steve Capus, and my colleagues. This will not happen again.