Mark Halperin Suspended After Calling President Obama a "Dick" on Live Television
Let's just get right down to the point. Halperin's dick move, speaking to Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe today:
Joe Scarborough: Mark Halperin, What was the president’s strategy? We are coming up on a deadline and the president decided to please his base, push back against the Republicans.I guess the question is, we know a deal has to be done. Is this showmanship? A lot of times you go up there and both sides and they act tough so their base will be appeased, then they quietly work the deal behind the scenes.
Mark Halperin: Are we on the seven second delay?
Mika Brzezinski: Lordy.
Halperin: I wanted to characterize how the president behaved.
Scarborough: We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens.
Brzezinski: We’re behind you, you fall down and we catch you.
Halperin: I thought he was a dick yesterday.
Scarborough: Delay that. delay that. what are you doing? i can’t believe — I was joking. Don’t do that. Did we delay that?
Halperin: I said it. I hope it worked.
Scarborough: My mom is watching! We’ll know whether it worked or not.
Aside from being unprofessional, immature and totally uncreative, who calls any president a "dick" on live television? Mark Halperin is an editor at large for Time Magazine, and regularly reports on the Presidency. In case there were any illusions about his bias and objectivity before, now there are none. His characterization of "how the president behaved," also, suggests Halperin infantilizes the president, and decided Obama needed a scolding.
In response, this morning MSNBC issued a statement saying they're suspending him indefinitely, along with an apology from the network and Halperin:
Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.
Statement from Mark Halperin:
I completely agree with everything in MSNBC’s statement about my remark. I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate. Again, I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the President, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers. My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it.
As No More Mister Nice Blog points out, this is Halperin's perfect opportunity to garner support from the right, which he's been courting for the past couple of years. And Dave Weigel points out "the backlash to the backlash," which consists of a lot of conservatives using this opportunity to air out their own dick jokes (related to the economy, of course). This is already exhausting, and it hasn't even been in the news cycle five hours yet.
Here's video of the experience, via Mediaite: