MSNBC parts with two more contributors after they joined Biden’s transition team

Two more contributors to MSNBC are leaving the network after joining Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s White House transition team, the network announced earlier this week.

Legal analyst Barbara McQuade and political analyst Richard Stengel are no longer paid contributors after the transition team announced the two of them had joined as part of Biden’s planned administration, according to The Daily Beast.

Stengel will be serving on the review team for the U.S. Agency for Global Media while McQuade reportedly will become a member of the Justice Department review team, the outlet said.

MSNBC does not permit contributors to publicly endorse candidates or run for office while they are under contract with, or being paid by, the network, according to the report.

The departures come after presidential historian Jon Meacham was taken off paid contributor status by the network earlier this week after reports disclosed he had helped Biden craft several speeches, including his presidential acceptance speech in Wilmington, Del., Saturday.

It should be noted, however, that while media outlets have called the presidential race for Biden, President Donald Trump has not conceded and his campaign has filed several legal challenges in states alleging voter fraud and voting irregularities.

Following Biden’s speech, Meacham praised it on the air, which was noted by former Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

“This is crazy. He helped Biden draft his speech on Sat night, without disclosing that fact to the audience (or anyone?), then reacted to the speech live on the air as a paid MSNBC contributor. Let me guess- he liked it?” Kelly tweeted.

Sources disclosed to The New York Times that Meacham was “playing a larger role than was previously known,” after he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Meacham, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, was “both writing drafts of speeches and offering edits on many of Mr. Biden’s big addresses, including one he gave at Gettysburg last month and his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention,” the Times reported.

Meacham had publicly endorsed Biden earlier this year but failed to disclose on-the-air to MSNBC that he was providing assistance and services to the former vice president’s campaign.

T.J. Ducklo, the Biden campaign spokesman, told the Times that the former vice president wrote the acceptance speech but that “given the significance…he consulted a number important, and diverse, voices as part of his writing process, as he often does.”

Meacham was asked to react to Biden’s acceptance speech by MSNBC host Brian Williams.

“I’m not the historian that you are, and I don’t have the Pulitzer that you do, but do you concur that is the way we are used to hearing from our presidents?” Williams, who was fired from his NBC Nightly News anchor’s job in 2015 for embellishing an incident in Iraq in 2003.

“Absolutely,” Meacham responded, heaping additional praise on Biden.

“I think tonight is a reminder of the possibilities of the country but the last four years are a reminder of the perils that always face us and as the old 18th century, 19th-century trope, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and I think that’s a price we all have to be willing to pay,” he said.

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Jon Dougherty

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