MSNBC's Double Standard On Fundraising: Conservative Hosts Can, Democrats Can't
April 10, 2014

What is up with MSNBC and their bizarro campaign finance policies? Apparently Democratic pundits aren't allowed to appear at fundraising events, but conservatives are.

The DNC is up in arms over Joe Scarborough being allowed to appear at the Cheshire County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, while they nixed Ed Shultz's planned appearance at Broward County Democrats' fundraiser in Florida:

The Democratic National Committee's top spokesperson has sent a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin, accusing the network of a "double standard" after its decision to allow host Joe Scarborough, a Republican, to speak at what is, for all intents and purposes, a Republican fundraiser.

Late Wednesday night, MSNBC approved Scarborough's keynote address to New Hampshire Republicans just months after it prohibited host Ed Schultz, a Democrat, from delivering the keynote address at a similar event for Florida Democrats.

"For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why [Scarborough] would be allowed to speak at a Republican event, but other MSNBC personalities were not allowed to speak at Democratic events," Mo Elleithee, the DNC communications director, wrote to Griffin. "Seems like a pretty big double standard."

Scarborough's event, a dinner hosted next month by New Hampshire's Cheshire County Republican Committee, was originally billed as a fundraiser, with tickets going for $35-$50. Inthe wake of inquiries into MSNBC, the committee lowered the price of tickets to $25 and scrapped the "fundraiser" billing. Moments before that decision was announced, MSNBC sent a statement to POLITICO, declaring that Scarborough, who will speak at the event, "isn’t participating in a fundraiser."

In February, MSNBC forced Schultz to cancel his keynote address at a fundraising dinner for the Broward County Democrats. Tickets for the dinner started at $150. At the time, MSNBC said Schultz had not realized the event was a fundraiser when he agreed to deliver the keynote.

I'm against all TV talk show hosts appearing at events, so I have no problem with MSNBC's policy, but the fact they are selectively applying it is a big problem. Scarborough has said he's thinking about running for prez in 2016 and that prohibition would be a good idea.

So does Alex Parene:

As I said, I don’t think the supposed MSNBC policy makes a ton of sense for an opinion-driven cable news channel, as opposed to a traditional “objective” network news division. What makes even less sense than the policy is the way in which it is selectively enforced. If Morning Joe wants to do political work, and feel out a run for office, and MSNBC rules forbid him from doing so, the channel ought to actually force him to make that decision. I hope he chooses to run, obviously, because it would be hilarious.

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