Mark Halperin Calls Obama A Dick, Apologizes, Suspended Anyway

    June 30, 2011
    Josh Wolford

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: 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.


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf