ThinkProgress is all over a story that Chris Matthews appears to have taken large speaking fees from a variety of associations in violation of NBC’s policies.

A blogger at Seeing the Forest pulled together a lengthy report (PDF) of Matthews’ recent speeches and ThinkProgress confirmed at least three of them yesterday resulted in large payments.

Howard Kurtz reported in 2002 that NBC had banned its journalists from taking speaking fees, but bloggers yesterday could not confirm that policy.

The explanation could be as simple as Matthews donated the money to charity (he and his wife, Kathleen, are big fixtures on the charity circuit in Washington), but for now the evidence seems pretty convincing.

MSNBC’s Rick Kaplan denied the charges, but as ThinkProgress pointed out, he offered no proof, defense, or explanation.