Joe Scarborough gave an interview to CNNMoney after numerous sources criticized the Morning Joe host for the perception that he is too cozy with President-elect Donald Trump. The idea behind the criticism is that Scarborough’s relationship with Trump may hinder his ability to provide the independent journalistic assessment that his job requires. Scarborough’s defense against the accusation is easy to crystallize: reporters have always had close ties with politicians, he says, granting them access and insight; this only looks unseemly to some because the controversial Trump is the pol in question. (It’s a pretty bulletproof defense.)
Scarborough went further, implying that he’d be risking his own good fortune to trade his journalistic independence, which has made him a lot of money, to be a mouthpiece for Trump. Scarborough said: “I’m a news analyst and a political analyst. That’s why I get paid really well by NBC and that’s why I tell it the way I see it…” The implication is that if Scarborough were to stop doing his job as an independent analyst, he’d be sacrificing his career. TMZ estimates Scarborough’s salary at $99,000 a week.