Two years ago, MSNBC suspended Scarborough two days for violating network guidelines by donating to political candidates running for local office in Florida. Scarborough had doled out eight donations of $500 toward people he considered close personal friends and even family. MSNBC had also suspended Keith Olbermann for donating to candidates he supported. NBC's and MSNBC's policy at the time of Scarborough's suspension dictated that "anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest." Scarborough's "op-ed" praising Salmon might not have been an official endorsement, but it skirts that line much like 501(C)4 advocacy groups avoid expressly condoning election or defeat for a candidate. Where Crossroads GPS might ask viewers to tell a candidate you oppose something instead of exhorting opposition to the candidate, Scarborough hopes those running Washington "follow the lead of people like Matt Salmon." It might not be an endorsement, but the letter isn't merely a fond rumination on Scarborough's service, either.
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