Time magazine’s Mark Halperin has been suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst for MSNBC, after he called President Obama a “dick” on Morning Joe for his confrontational performance vis-a-vis Congressional Republicans at Wednesday’s press conference:
MSNBC issued a statement containing comments from both the channel and from Halperin:
Statement from MSNBC:
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.
Here is the video of the incident in question. Halperin was asked his opinion by Joe Scarborough, and then gave a wind-up by asking Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski whether his comments could be put through a seven-second broadcast delay, for the purposes of bleeping out anything offensive.
After receiving such assurances, Halperin declared, “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday” — resulting in gasping and disbelieving laughter from Scarborough and Brzezinski. (And as it turned out, the comment was not bleeped out.)
Later in the program, Halperin apologized, along with Scarborough, Brzezinski, and all of the usually off-screen (but now briefly on-camera) production staff: