DNC rips MSNBC decision on Scarborough speech
April 10th, 2014
12:07 PM ET
6 months ago

DNC rips MSNBC decision on Scarborough speech

(CNN) - The Democratic National Committee is challenging MSNBC's decision to allow one of its hosts, Joe Scarborough, speak at a New Hampshire state GOP event.

In a letter to MSNBC president Phil Griffin on Thursday, the committee's communications director, Mo Elleithee, accused the liberal-leaning cable news channel of having a "pretty big double standard" when it comes to host participation at partisan events.

The dust-up comes amid media scrutiny about Scarborough's scheduled keynote speech at the Cheshire County, New Hampshire Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on May 2.

Why, some reporters and activists wondered, was Scarborough allowed to participate when another MSNBC host, liberal firebrand Ed Schultz, was barred from speaking at a local Democratic committee dinner in Florida in March? That dinner was labeled a fundraiser, which led The Huffington Post to inquire about MSNBC's policies regarding partisan events.

Schultz subsequently backed out of the event.

On Wednesday, an MSNBC spokeswoman said of Scarborough's event in New Hampshire, "Joe isn't participating in a fundraiser. MSNBC hosts often participate in events where there is a nominal fee for registration or tickets that basically cover the cost of the event. There has been no change in policy."

Elleithee then chimed in on Thursday morning in a letter to Griffin.

"I don't begrudge Joe participating in this event," Elleithee wrote. "But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why he would be allowed to speak to a Republican event, but other MSNNBC personalities were not allowed to speak at Democratic events. Seems like a pretty big double standard."

"It appears by MSNBC standards, a fundraising event is not a fundraising event if it does not call itself a fundraising event, even while raising funds at the event (through "nominal fees"). On the flip side, a fundraising event is a fundraising event when it raises funds and calls itself a fundraiser," he continued.

"Now that the policy is clear, we will be sure to advise all Democratic state and local party organizations of this distinction, so that they can be sure to invite MSNBC personalities only to the 'non-fundraising' events, as opposed to the 'fundraising' events."

An MSNBC spokeswoman had no immediate response on Thursday morning.

Scarborough’s co-host on "Morning Joe," Mika Brzezinski, was seated in the audience earlier this week at an Equal Pay event at the White House.

 


Filed under: Democratic National Committee • DNC • MSNBC
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "Now that the policy is clear, we will be sure to advise all Democratic state and local party organizations of this distinction, so that they can be sure to invite MSNBC personalities only to the 'non-fundraising' events, as opposed to the 'fundraising' events."
    ---------------------------------–
    Thank you for pointing that out. Isn't it kray kray how republicans find every little loophole before democrats catch on to it? I guess that's what makes them such good crooks.

    April 10, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "It appears by MSNBC standards, a fundraising event is not a fundraising event if it does not call itself a fundraising event, even while raising funds at the event (through "nominal fees"). On the flip side, a fundraising event is a fundraising event when it raises funds and calls itself a fundraiser,"

    Well duh...doublespeak is conservatives' native language...cognitive dissonance being their dialect.

    It comes down to one thing: MSNBC is more afraid of the RNC whining and demanding apologies, and MSNBC's competitors like CNN jumping all over it with glee, than it is of losing liberal viewers.

    April 10, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    LOL! "Liberal Media" my blindingly white irish behind.

    April 10, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Pssst: Colbert is takin over for Letterman.

    April 10, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. guest

    It isnt a loop hole. It is just being opaque about your intentions, and some corporate suit either being disingenuous or honestly mistaken abut the similarities of the two events.

    April 10, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. Jules

    So I guess from here on out the other hosts will be speakers at Democratic events as long as it is not called a fundraising event. That would be pretty easy to call it something else. Hypocritical of MSNBC. Conservatives are not going to watch MSNBC no matter what they do, so this seems to be disingenuous to their most faithful audience. Joe Scarborough has been trending further right lately – makes me think he is running for something. By the way, I hope someone reminds Joe that while the Dems were talking about pay inequality, his beloved GOP was talking about using sex to attack Hillary Clinton.

    April 10, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Miami Mike

    The DNC needs to keep MSNBC in line! Anyone that tries to report the "truth" or has an opposing opinion is a threat and should be treated as treason.
    Pressure from the IRS and/or monitoring by the NSA or CIA will ensure that our news media stays compliant with the Administration!

    April 10, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    guest

    It isnt a loop hole. It is just being opaque about your intentions, and some corporate suit either being disingenuous or honestly mistaken abut the similarities of the two events.
    -------------------------–
    It's not a loop hole. It's a double standard. If a "Lincoln Day Dinner" is not a fund raiser, then what is it?

    April 10, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. ST

    I like to watch MSNBC a lot but seeing Joe Scarborough around these days, makes me to change the channel more often. This guy is totally an opportunist. Watch him carefully nowadays if you didn't do so the last few weeks. This man is using the liberal platform to advance his agenda. He is trying very hard to make MSNBC to be the the Fair and Balanced Network, while they never claimed so. My dear Liberals, we need to stand firm and ask MSNBC to kick this man out. He is really a parasite which we will never benefit from it.

    April 10, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Country Above the Parties

    At least the so called liberal leaning MSNBC has Joe Scarborough. What does FauxNews has other than bobbling head TeaParty paling points. Unfortunately, we have too many unintelligent red-meat hungry people who will follow FauxNews against their own interests.

    April 10, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Donna

    Poor Joe is just a token on MSNBC... I don't know why he works on that joke channel. I guess everybody needs a job but why throw your standards out the window and work for the leftist clown channel.

    April 10, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Donna, probably because he's leveled harder charges at the GOP than anyone, and, being a former insider in the GOP House leadership, FOX would never hire anyone who does not practice the Murdoch/Ailes method of Affirmation/Propaganda reporting.

    April 10, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. The Elephant in The Room

    THERE is clearly a double standard. I RECALL Keith Olbermann essentially being fired for making LEGAL contributions to Democrats.
    Scarborough is a guy who is an I intellectual lightweight who glosses over Republican intellectual dishonesty when discussing issues. Smart Democratic guests, like Harold Ford, allow him to say anything without challenge I guess because the show bears his name. AND don't get me started on Mika Breszynski she rolls over for him like Heidi Flese. She floats false equivalence far too often but this maybe because she isn't up to the task of backing Joe up when he plays his game. I'd love to see someone with the tenacity of Bryant Humble or Bill Maher or Alex Witt to bring some accountability to the show. I would love to see an honest conservative on an afternoon show on MSNBC with a strong but respectful Democratic counterbalance. A NON BOMBASTIC BUT principled Conservative that would call the GOP out for its BS like resistance to equal pay for women but who would also speak passionately about e-verify to track non Americans in our country. Scarborough may have started out as that concept but it is falling short.

    April 10, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. truth hurts but reality bites

    The Real Tom Paine
    being a former insider in the GOP House leadership,
    --

    Ahhh.... might want to check your facts. He was only in the House 6 years and never was part of the House Republican leadership.

    April 10, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Donna
    Poor Joe is just a token on MSNBC... I don't know why he works on that joke channel. I guess everybody needs a job but why throw your standards out the window and work for the leftist clown channel.
    ----------------------------------
    I bet it bugs you that there are REAL republicans who stand up to the whacko right huh? Don't feel bad. I didn't like Joe's comments this morning when he was defending Louie Goehmert's remarks as if there was legitimacy on why the AGOTUS was in contempt.

    April 10, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Duke

    THe public don't make a distinction between "fundraiser' and "political rile-em-up" and "talk to someone"
    They jsut see, Scarborough going where he wants, Shultz being warned off anf Obermann being fired.

    THere may be a distinction, but most people only see hypocricy.

    April 10, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Lizzie

    Soon he won't have his job at MSNBC anymore. Only truly committed liberals who use nasty and derogatory remarks against those who disagree with them, are allowed on the station.

    April 10, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |