Today is just not MSNBC’s day.
First, the network suspended its top-rated host Keith Olbermann after Politico published a report detailing his political donations to three Democrats campaigning in Tuesday’s mid-term elections. Initially, MSNBC tapped The Nation Editor Chris Hayes as Olbermann’s replacement for Friday night’s show, but shortly after Hayes was named, the Village Voice’s Foster Kamer published a story detailing Hayes’ history of contributions to Democrats.
Between 2008 and 2009 Hayes gave $1,750 to Albama Congressional candidate Joshua Segall and $250 to Illinois Congressional candidate Thomas H. Geoghegan. Representatives for MSNBC told the Times that Hayes made the donations prior to joining the network’s payroll.
Now, MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines tells The Observer that news anchor Thomas Roberts will fill-in for Olbermann on tonight’s show and that Hayes had never been selected to host.
“He is not anchoring tonight. That information was incorrect,” said Gaines.
Hayes posted his own version of events on his Twitter page.
“My not hosting tonight has *nothing* to do with several donations I made to two friends *before* I ever signed an MSNBC contract,” Hayes wrote.
Hayes is The Nation’s DC editor and a current fellow at the New America Foundation. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The American Prospect, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, The Guardian and The Chicago Reader. Hayes’ wife works in the office of the White House Counsel.
Political donations have also been an issue at MSNBC’s rival, Fox News, where CEO Rupert Murdoch gave $2 million to two GOP-affiliated groups and host Sean Hannity has been criticized for allowing a Republican candidate to campaign on his show.