More Crony Media? Do some guests on “Morning Joe” pay-to-play through speaking fees?


Last year it published a story about Joe and Mika in Detroiter Magazine, its glossy newsletter. The profile was … how to put it? Flattering? Fawning? Hagiographic? Nope. Those adjectives fall short. More like a North Korean news agency press release on Adderall.

Morning Joe is the news show lefty wonky types watch in the morning. A group of talking heads who would be comfortable at any Georgetown cocktail party, led by Joe Scarborough, a former Republican member of the House (who is often OK on many issues, though he plays the “good Republican” bit to the hilt) review the daybook for Washington DC each morning and pontificate on the previous day’s political happenings.

But how does one become a guest on Morning Joe? It seems that some may have paid large speaking fees to Mr. Scarborough and his sidekick Mika Brzezinski (the daughter it should be noted of Zbigniew Brzezinski the chief foreign policy advisor to President Carter) before appearing on the show.

I like Mr. Scarborough generally, but these allegations are unsurprising given MSNBC’s tendency  to play fast and loose ethically. Ari Emmanuel, Rahm Emanuel’s brother is Joe Scarborough’s super-agent and this is the network which gave Al Sharpton a show after all.

(From The Daily Caller)

There’s no doubt Joe has been doing a lot of speaking lately. He is repped by William Morris Endeavor chief (and Entourage prototype) Ari Emanuel, and exclusive to the Leading Authorities speakers bureau in Washington. The details — and fee structures — are all over the web: If Joe speaks east of the Mississippi, he gets $51,000, swanky hotel not included. For a trip to the West Coast, the fee jumps to $56,000, again hotel not included. When he speaks in New York, Joe doesn’t need a hotel, since he already works there, but he still makes $45,500. Not bad for an hour of talking. His co-host Mika Brzezinski frequently joins him on stage.

That kind of money could make a host pretty sympathetic to the people who are paying him, some of whom might wind up in the news some day. You can see why the networks are concerned about conflicts.

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