The Democratic National Committee accused MSNBC of exhibiting a “double standard” by allowing host Joe Scarborough to deliver the keynote address at a Republican dinner in New Hampshire next month.
Mo Elleithee, the communications director for the DNC, wrote a letter to MSNBC President Phil Griffin on Thursday that questioned why the network would permit Scarborough to keynote the dinner when it had recently prohibited fellow host Ed Schultz from keynoting a similar dinner for Democrats in Florida recently.
Dripping with sarcasm, Elleithee’s letter poked fun at how it seemed MSNBC went along with Scarborough because New Hampshire’s Cheshire County Republican Committee did not classify the dinner as a “fundraiser.”
“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,” Elleithee wrote. “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.”
Politico’s Dylan Byers reported the New Hampshire event at which Scarborough is appearing was originally billed as a fundraiser, but the committee recently dropped that designation. Tickets had started at $US35 to $US50 apiece, but were subsequently lowered to $US25.
The event at which Schultz was prohibited from speaking had tickets in a $US50-$199 range.
“Now that this policy is clear, we will be sure to advise all Democratic state and local party organisations 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,” Elleithee wrote.
MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Here’s the full letter:
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