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At Least MSNBC Is Being Consistent in Its Stupidity

November 20th, 2010

I guess they felt that they had to have “balance”: MSNBC has suspended Joe Scarborough for making campaign contributions without alerting MSNBC brass first. It even makes sense in a “We’ve Been Stupid, Now We Have to Stick with It” kind of way. If the public found out that Scarborough had made campaign contributions in the same election as Olbermann but did not penalize the right-leaning guy, they would have been attacked for more than just stupidity.

It also seems clear that before Olbermann, their policy was a vague, unclear thing which had no application to real-world events, but one which they hastily decided to execute when they discovered Olbermann’s actions–thus the lack of clarity in its first application. This time, they’re more clear from the get-go: Scarborough gets a two-day suspension without pay. That pattern–sudden, rash execution with a hastily reduced penalty which quickly became the rule despite its arbitrary nature–has all the earmarks of a policy no one paid attention to until someone got upset all a sudden and groped for some rationale to act it out with.

In Scarborough’s case, the policy makes even less sense than it did with Olbermann: Scarborough gave money to family and friends in local races which were not competitive, the contributions being more for personal reasons than political ones.

To be quite honest, I would have respected MSNBC a lot more if, after the Olbermann affair, they had simply announced that a review of the policy found that it was a bad idea in the first place, and simply scrapped it. Now, instead, they doubled down and stuck with it no matter how idiotic it comes across as.

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