MSNBC failed to disclose the close affiliation between one of its guests, former Iowa-based radio host Steve Deace, and the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), during a segment on the 2016 election, despite Deace's endorsement of Cruz and his appearances at campaign events for Cruz in Iowa.
The October 8 News Nation segment started by discussing comments by Rupert Murdoch, the executive co-chair of Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, about President Obama. Deace was asked whether he thought a tweet Murdoch recently posted -- that candidate Ben Carson would be a “real black President” as compared to Obama -- would affect the presidential race and Carson's campaign. Deace's response was to rebuke Fox News for attempting to steer the GOP nomination process. Deace said Fox News did not approve of Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who are both “killing it organizationally” around the country. When Deace was asked about Donald Trump's lead in Iowa polls, he rejected the validity of the polling and said,“If the [Iowa] Caucuses were today, Ben Carson or Ted Cruz would win.”
However, during the segment neither Deace nor the MSNBC host disclosed that Deace has close ties to Cruz: he publicly endorsed the senator in August and volunteered for his campaign on the ground in Iowa by appearing at an opening of a new campaign office. Also, according to Deace himself, he was in discussions to help Cruz as far back as August, 2013. In fact, The Des Moines Register reported in March that “Deace served as an informal, unpaid consultant” to Cruz's campaign prior to endorsing him.
Deace has made several appearances on MSNBC, despite the fact that he has mocked the network in commentary pieces for conservative newspapers and blogs. On his radio show, which ended its broadcast deal with USA Radio Network in September, and in his written commentary, Deace is considerably more divisive and partisan than when he is appearing on mainstream media outlets like MSNBC.