Matthews Berates Guest: 'Who Pays Your Salary?'

MSNBC host's salary paid by GE, Comcast conglomerate

December 11, 2012

Chris Matthews wants to know who pays Scott Hagerstrom's salary.

The MSNBC host made that much clear in an interview Tuesday, repeatedly demanding the answer to, "Who's paying  your salary?" from Hagerstrom, the Michigan state director for Americans for Prosperity, as Hagerstrom attempted to discuss policy reasons behind his support for right-to-work laws.

"There's a real question whether you're a front for the owners, for the people who really don't like unions," Matthews said, "and you tell me--you won't answer the question who's paying your salary. That's all I wanted to know: Who's paying you? Who's paying you?"

"We have over 3,000 donors," Hagerstrom replied. "Americans for Prosperity, I told you we're a nonprofit, just like the Red Cross, just like any nonprofit organization."

"We're here to talk about the policy and why this is going to move Michigan forward," Hagerstrom continued. "You know in Indiana over 42,000 new jobs since the state passed right-to-work; during the same period, Michigan was stagnant on their jobs."

The political advocacy group, which was founded with support from Charles and David Koch, has more than 3,000 donors and 87,000 activists in Michigan, as Hagerstrom noted in the interview.

Matthews' salary, meanwhile, is paid by a media conglomerate, NBCUniversal Media, that is owned jointly by General Electric and Comcast.

GE chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt told Charlie Rose Monday evening that state-run communism "works" for China. Immelt chairs the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

David Cohen, executive vice president for Comcast, meanwhile, raised more than $1.4 million for the reelection of President Barack Obama, who criticized right-to-work laws Monday.

Full interview: