Mark Halperin Calls Obama A Dick, Apologizes, Suspended Anyway

Are we really this sensitive, America?

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Mark Halperin Calls Obama A Dick, Apologizes, Suspended Anyway
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Today on Joe Scarborough’s daily program “Morning Joe,” MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin did something that only the most vile, wicked, morally bankrupt person could do. Hide your kids, hide you wife – Halperin called President Obama a “dick” on national television.

Halperin, who also works as an editor for Time magazine, was discussing Obama’s conduct in a press conference yesterday. During this discussion, he said that he “thought [Obama] was a kind of a dick yesterday.” Scarborough reacted as you would expect, with uncomfortable laughter.

A couple of hours later, MSNBC overreacted and suspended Halperin indefinitely. Check out their statement –

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.

Yes, please apologize to your viewers, who haven’t been damaged this much since they saw Janet Jackson’s right nipple during the Super Bowl. I’m sure they will never be able to recover from hearing Mark Halperin say the word “dick.”

Check out his gaffe and subsequent apology below –

Halperin has now released a statement of his own, saying that he “completely agrees with everything in MSNBC’s statement.” He goes on to say that his remark was “unacceptable and [he] deeply regrets it.”

Here’s some Twitter commentary rolling in about Halperin –

BREAKING: Mark Halperin Destroyed by Unmanned Predator Drone(image) 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Breaking: 10% of Americans furious with Mark Halperin over his remark about the President on MSNBC. The other 90% said, “Who?”(image) 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

I’ve only been reading censored coverage of the Mark Halperin thing. Why is everyone so upset he called Barack Obama a duck?(image) 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Mark Halperin’s suspension from MSNBC should last as long as the one they handed out to @markos.(image) 1 hour ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Okay. Let’s break this down. This is not a political issue. You can make the argument that MSNBC is a left-wing network, so they are sensitive to what people say about Obama. Thus, they overreacted based on some partisan outrage. Fine, make that argument. But remember that they parted ways with Keith Olbermann for contributing to Democratic candidates. MSNBC doesn’t always protect its liberal commentators.

This a problem with sensitivity. Grow up, America. Are we really so sensitive that we have to reprimand someone for calling someone a dick? Sure, it was in poor taste to call the President of the United States a dick – it is disrespectful. But he apologized and MSNBC should have moved on. But no, fake outrage wins out every time.

This Twitter user seems to feel the same way –

Mark Halperin’s suspension was way over the top and reinforces phony notions of “civility” in our discourse: http://wapo.st/lDqnYr(image) 3 hours ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

On the other side of the spectrum, Fox News has a history of sticking by their pundits who make controversial statements. Remember when Bill O’Reilly said that he was surprised that the diners in a black restaurant were civilized? He said he was surprised that there “wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming ‘M.F’er, I want more iced tea.”

Or remember when Glenn Beck basically called Obama a racist, saying he has a “deep-seeded hatred for white people.”

Fox News released this statement –

Glenn Beck expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the of the Fox News Channel or any employee here other than him. And as with all commentators in the cable news arena, he is given the freedom to express his opinions.

And putting my own personal political feelings aside, I applaud Fox’s decision to stand by O’Reilly and others. We claim to be a country who values free speech, yet we are so inflamed when anyone says anything a tad bit jarring. People that appear on any news channel that are supposed to be “analyst” or “commentators” are going to be people with opinions. Do I think what Glenn Beck said is ridiculous? Yes. But he wasn’t suspended. Mark Halperin was for calling Obama a “dick.”

Seriously, MSNBC? I can only assume that you are acting on the notion that this is what our too-easily-offended American culture would want.

Nobody should be suspended for saying anything as benign as what Mark Halperin said. I think this is something that liberals, conservatives and everyone else should agree on.


What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Mark Halperin Calls Obama A Dick, Apologizes, Suspended Anyway
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  • mary

    WAIT, LOOK AT THE VIDEO, JOE AND WEAKA EGG HIM ON, GO FOR IT, WE HAVE THE DELAY…..then without fail they throw him under the buss, pretending to be :”just joking”. Nice Job MorningJo.

    • Helen Tracy

      Joe and Meaka should be ashamed of themselves! I believe in freedom of speech – this is still America, is it not??? I think if President Bush had been called a DICK, it would have been applauded. I am afraid you have lost a very loyal viewer. HT

  • Ed Water

    Great !! the libs are eating each other…..2012….

    • Mykal Jonas

      Ed…neither Halprin or Scarborough are anywhere near liberal. Are you one of the malinformed Fox News viewers?

      • zach

        @ Mykal Jonas….well said, not only is he poorly informed he also has no common sense. We are indeed becoming dumber,some of our common sense is eroding.

  • Mykal Jonas

    “Anyways?” Seriously. How is that “journalism?” What are your credentials as a journalist? Other than this blog, I mean.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      Just an opinion buddy, one with which you are clearly free to agree or disagree.

      • G.G.

        Josh, Mykal is taking issue with the use of the word “Anyways” because it is not something you would see in a headline from a seemingly serious journalist or someone who respects proper grammar. I like your column and agree with you, but the moment I saw the headline, I wondered if I wanted to read it. That’s the take away here.

        • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

          misplaced S…sorry fellas

    • Kento Danger

      You’re being a dick. I’m not saying you are a dick. But you’re certainly being one.
      Get over it.

      • Kento Danger

        That’s in reply to Mykal btw. Rookie mistake.


    If it looks like a dick and walks like a dick act like a dick must be a dick

    • Mee

      dicks don’t walk btw

      • That Dude

        someone clearly lost the pun on this one…

  • Mee

    I’m an Obama supporter. He said he was being a dick..not that he actually was one..or should suck one…etc…Give the man his job back.

    • travis

      Its not his fault he asked if he was sensored. The real question should be is Obama bad for our economy. And I’m afraid the answer is appearing more and more that he is

      • That Dude

        yes it is. i mean it’s not like we were screwed before he came in… he must be the cause…

      • http://facebook lourdes Bigay

        G bush was so so great for economy and that was the reason you people gave him eight years.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7otS79_rBCM Roe

          Whatchu mean “you people”?!


      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7otS79_rBCM Roe

        Our system is bad for the economy. It doesn’t matter who’s president. It’s built on furthering the wealth and interests of a select few elite and has been since the establishment of the Federal Reserve.

        • Asad


      • http://www.hotelavenue.com Scott De Jack

        I think you’re dead wrong. Is this really where we’d like to be as a country? Is this what we’ve become and what we accept of our Public Figures? The one glaring omission in your poor Mark Halperin story is that he didn’t just call the President of the United States the crass word for PENIS, but he called him that on National Live Television!! Are you kidding me? My 10 yr old daughter has more impulse control than this!
        As a top journalist for Time and an MSNBC analyst, this guy is paid really well to be professional and knowledgeable. Hell, I remember being fired from a job for saying something not much more inappropriate and much less publicly…FIRED. A “suspension” is about right, and I’d demote Mr. Halperin as well. We certainly can’t chide or hope for less bitter partisan hate-speech from our politicians if we don’t even hold our ‘talking heads’ to at least a standard of civility. Especially when they do it w/ millions of Americans…kids and yes even politician’s listening!!

  • goinggone

    Just more proof that MSNBC is a joke. They are on the same news level as the Jersey Shore.

  • Bob

    MSNBC…….FIRE HIM!!!!!

    Fox News…he’s all yours………


    Morning Joe needs a new cable channel, one run by FOX. – ITWARZ

  • Bob Weiss

    Halperin didn’t say Obama was a dick.
    He said he was “kind of a dick.”
    Isn’t there a difference?

    • Elena Firebird

      I like the way you think, sir.

  • H. L. Hanger

    Suspend Halperin for speaking the truth? Now, who is the Dick?



    Mark Halperin said it because Obama is black.I WILL NEVER WATCH THE SHOW IF HE EBVER COMEBACK

    • j mcmurray

      oh that’s good…let’s make this into a race issue…like always!! When all else fails, it must be about race!

  • Jim Hollister

    Halperin is a dick
    The writer of this article is a dick

  • http://www.wmpsthepoint.com Glenn Greene

    So he called the President a dirty word. Get over it! It was funny! He was simply trying to find the proper noun to describe how the President came across in his speech yesterday and it was pretty accurate!!

  • chuck burks

    Mark Halperins Statement was harmless and actually approiate. About time Obama started being more forceful.

    • alias88


  • SMRaleigh

    It was inappropriate to call the President of the US a d@#*,on the air. This isn’t a free speech issue. He wasn’t jailed for using that word regarding his president. His employer has every right to discipline him for conduct they consider a poor reflection of their company. The same applies to you and me. He could just as easily have used jerk, or a better word that offered his opinion without being vulgar. That is in fact his profession; using words to accurately report the news. He should have both the ability and the character to do so. What I did think was terrible was that Joe baited him into using that language, and he received nothing. MSNBC is guilty of a double standard in that.

  • Pam

    How disappointing! I watch and record Morning Joe daily. Mark Halperin has always been one of my favorite analyst. I have always felt that he was generally fair with his comments relative to our President, down the middle, pragmatic, rational, and extremely intelligent. I even read GAME Change. As an African American I really do not want to believe that Mr. Halperin is in that category of many others who cast all respect to the wind because our President happens to be Black. There seems to be fewer and fewer individuals that adhere to the standards of class and professionalism as our leaders of the past. I do not believe that Walter Cronkite or Barbara Walters would have ever acted in such a disrespectful manner. Come on people let’s stand for something. We need good solid roll models for our kids

    • j mcmurray

      So you always thought Mark was fair…that is, until he said something AGAINST Obama!?? Then all of a sudden, you’re outraged?! oh great! And again, let’s play the race card!! The liberals’ answer to ALL!

    • Elena Firebird

      Um. It’s not ’cause the president’s black. It’s because people are more free with their opinions nowadays. I have no idea what gave you the idea that people were just being disrespectful because we have a black president, but that’s silly. People are being disrespectful because they understand that the president is just another guy. A guy with one helluva job. But still, he’s not godly or anything. That’s an idea we get from having royalty back in the day. You know, ordained by God and all that nonsense.

      Move ON already.

  • Dean

    …Suspended ANYWAYS?!
    You ought to be suspended for poor grammer. There is no such word as “anyways” in standard American English. I’m more offended by your poor journalism, than some idiots stupid remark.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7otS79_rBCM Roe

    OK, so if the head of the Atlantic or something called Michele Bachmann a bitch on TV (rightly so), you don’t think they should be suspended either?

    Stay consistent.

    • alias88

      yes… they would have been so scared they would have done the samw

  • fhcgsps

    This is symptomatic of what has happened to our culture. Thirty years ago, no journalist would consider referring to the leader of the free world as a “dick” on national television.

    Halperin doesn’t have to like Obama, nor does he have to agree with him, but as a professional journalist, all he’s got is “dick”? Really?

    He should not be suspended….he should be fired.

  • fhcgsps

    to all the readers defending Halperin…it’s obvious that you’re all about 30 years old or younger…no sense of decorum or professionalism…your generation needs to understand life isn’t a college campus or the the ball park…you’re not at the deck party with the dudes…life is not about being outrageous…we’re over your shock value/irony…act and talk like refined adults already…ditch the flip flops, drop the earbuds when you walk in the office…learn to dress, take a shower, get a hair cut…then…show up to work. your schtick is old and worn out.



    • Elena Firebird

      Now hold on a second. Way to act like the classic old guy with the stick up his bum. “Your generation needs to understand life isn’t a college campus or the ball park…” Um. Okay. That’s nice, dear. “You’re not at the deck party with the dudes.” Okay. That’s fine. I think we already get that part. “Life is not about being outrageous.” No, no it isn’t. “We’re over your shock value/irony…”

      Wait, what? Let me get this straight. You’re calling US out for defending a guy who dropped his professionalism. Do you know what that means? It means that we’re telling you to get over the “shock value/irony” and move on. You know what happens when you do that? The thing you get over loses its shock value.

      So, if you’d pull that stick out of your bum and join the modern era, you’d realize that we’re saying to get over this crap and move on, so that we can handle important things, instead of punishing people for having “crude” opinions.

      You clearly lack basic reasoning skills and are stuck in this need to be ‘mature’ when all that does is make you look like an asshole.

      Here’s the thing. If my generation acts differently than your generation, then society will change according to our preferences. Why is that? Because you’re going to die before we do. And you know what that means? You won’t be around to bitch anymore. If no one’s gonna be around to complain about our lack of professionalism, then why should we stick to your old-fashioned ideas? I mean, it’s not like it provides us with any benefit other than sticking in with society. Your society.

      Here I thought that adaptation was one of the things that made the human species so successful. Remember how to do that, and we’ll be golden. Society won’t listen to you. Remember. You’ll probably die soon.

    • alias88

      just like your parents generation you are holding on to all that you know and not progressing. btw i am 30, 31 in 2 months

  • http://CommunicationsGoddess.net KarenMW

    Too sensitive? No. Not for “Tricky Dick” Nixon and not now. Say it with abandon in the privacy of your own home, perhaps, but publicly? No. This is the President of the United freakin’ States and you may not love it, but you should respect it. I don’t believe that Mr. Halparin is a racist, but I used to think he was a smart man. He should know better than most what it means to be the one who called a President, the 1st Black President, a dick on international TV and cyberspace. Just as Cong. Weiner was pushed to resign for, basically, the sin of being an idiot, Mr. Halperin is o-u-t.

    • alias88

      whoa whoa whoa…Freakin? That is un-called for and inappropriate.
      we all have our opinions on whats appropriate. who are you to decide whats best for the American public to be exposed to?
      A republican? Btw please leave race out of it… geeze, he is a human being, not just a black president.
      You sir are whats wrong with the progression of America. Telling other people whats acceptable.

  • Tete

    Obama is a fraudster. That guy should’ve been fired for apologizing nor for anything else.

    • http://AzHSW.com Leila


  • Asad

    I think that Morning Joe is one of the best shows tv, but it’s a show pretty much like the View, & not news. Mark Halperin’s statement was meant to come off as hip, but MSNBC suspended him to preserve it’s integrety. Faux & Friends would have welcomed this kinda term. What Mr. Halperin said was not malicious, but unfortunate.(for the record I’m black & I don’t see this as racism, so please leave race out of it.) Thanx

  • Ronnie O

    I think what Mark H. said was inapropriate and should never be said on national tv about a sitting president. It seems like some people feel its okay to voice that type of opinion in front of millions of people, it like your saying its ok to say that about a president. form the very beginning this president has not been afforded the same respect as other presidents. the YOU LIE thing on the floor of the congress, and many terrible things said that were a FIRST to say about a president. I dont care if you dont agree with the policies or are mad at the president for his views or the running of the nation but to act like this is okay to say about a sitting president it just plain wrong, and im sure you know it in your heart that it is. Something doesnt seem right here, its like those people at faux news disrespeting him everychance they can get because they feel like he is not one of them. he isnt the same, he doesnt looke the same, he is not one of us, so it is out job to make everyone in the nation feel that way too. the stain on this country remains.

  • Joe

    Halperin’s boss is being a dick!

  • http://AzHSW.com Leila

    What the truth hurts waaaa! I am over 30 and agree 100! The man asked if there was a delay, the host gave him permission to speak his mind, the only bad I see here is from the host & MSNBC they could have simply bleeped it out and gotten over themselves.

  • Mark

    For everyone who admires this person’s honesty in calling the President “kind of a dick” I have one question for you:

    Do you think your boss is kind of a dick?

    If you do, then go into work tomorrow and say “boss I think you are kind of a dick.” In other words put up or shut up. If you think this is acceptable behavior then do it! You’ve talked the talk, now walk the walk. If you don’t – sorry, you are a hypocrite.

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