MSNBC contributor suspended over crass quip
June 30th, 2011
11:11 AM ET
3 years ago

MSNBC contributor suspended over crass quip

(CNN) - MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin was suspended indefinitely Thursday from the cable network after calling President Obama a "d**k."

"Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable," read a statement from MSNBC. "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."

Halperin, an editor at TIME magazine, said "I thought he [Obama] was a d**k yesterday," on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," referring to the president's Wednesday press conference. The comment came after he asked host Joe Scarborough if there was a delay on the program to allow words to be bleeped.

Halperin later apologized in the broadcast and in a statement.

"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," Halperin said in the statement. "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."

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the remark "inappropriate" and said he had "expressed that sentiment to executives at the network."

TIME magazine is owned by Time Warner, which is also the parent company of CNN.


Filed under: MSNBC
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Marjee123

    And in light of what he said it is more than appropriate. If they suspended a commentator for calling a right wing butt a name this guy should be fired for slurring our president on the air. FIRE THE GUY. NOW.

    June 30, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. somebody

    I'm so glad to see that political civility is back.

    June 30, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Rickster

    I guess there's no room for honesty in today's media.

    June 30, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Indiana Voter

    How dare he criticize the station's main candidate and political figure that they support! Do you think they would do the same if it had been a Republican President. Seriously doubt it.

    June 30, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. Mike

    I saw it this morning and couldn't believe it as it was happening.

    June 30, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. Kyra

    I saw Morning Joe this morning. They were joking around, Mark Halperin did not mean for that comment to be aired on TV. It's too bad MSNBC and Morning Joe will be losing the Game Change co-author.

    June 30, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. GI Joe

    DON'T SUSPEND HIM - FIRE HIM!!!! His total disregard for human beings in this country in favor of his republican friends' lies is disgusting. Can't stand him or that Pat Buchanan "Regan was God" man.

    It's no wonder our country is in trouble - people are allowed to DELIVERATELY LIE AND DISCREDIT OUR PRESIDENT with no repercussions. What's next???

    June 30, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Captain Awesome

    It's a bad sign when even the cheerleading lap dogs in the media turn against Obama. I LOVE IT!!!!! Btw, Politico.com has the clip of the 'incident' in case you might have missed it.

    June 30, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Ed Texas

    Fire the bozo! He can get a job that comedy network – Faux News, and maybe even become Chris Wallace's sidekick.

    June 30, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. S. In California - Obama 2012

    He obviously is NOT a real reporter. Why doesn't MSNBC fire him? He disrespected our president and most of your viewers are vote democratic. Where is the pink slip?

    June 30, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Halperin isn't a Republican, but he's known to suck up to them, and this is just another example of him doing so.

    Republicans have nothing but contempt for President Obama. From "You lie!" to the witch doctor posters to the birthers to those who think the President is a Muslim "sleeper cell."

    What's amazing is that during the Bush years, if anyone criticized the President, they were accused of being un-American, unpatriotic, anti-God and aiding and abetting the enemy.

    It's transparently evident that Republicans don't respect the office of the President, nor our country, not her people. All they care about is money and power – and show time and time again that they have no class, no integrity and no shame in their pursuit of regaining control of our country.

    June 30, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Halperin's integrity has always been questionable and it would be no surprised if he's gone for good.

    June 30, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. ConservaFASCISTS

    He'll write a book about it and make millions.

    June 30, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Indiana Voter wrote:
    How dare he criticize the station's main candidate and political figure that they support! Do you think they would do the same if it had been a Republican President. Seriously doubt it.
    -------
    Yes, they would. Ask Ed Sholz. And if you ever watched the program you would realize that it has a definite center-right slant. The show's namesake host is a former Republican congressman. One of those freshman in the 1990s, much like the freshman Tea Partiers today, who wanted to move mountains in a day.

    Joe acknowledges and apologizes quite freqently for his zeal during his first term. He was fighting the same fight then that these freshmen are fighting for today.

    June 30, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Mark

    Only because he complained about Obama. Mr. Ed can call someone a slut and only gets one week!

    June 30, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. PADEM

    Indiana voter: Maybe where you come from calling someone a dick is criticism but not where I come from. It's a 2nd grade attack. By the way, MSNBC suspended Ed Shultz for calling Laura Ingraham a right-wing slut on his radio. They suspended Olbermann too for giving campaign money to democrats.

    June 30, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    ThinkAgain wrote:
    Halperin isn't a Republican, but he's known to suck up to them, and this is just another example of him doing so
    ------
    He was pulling a salary and following a tightly scripted program. Another example is Pat Buchannon who is an MSNBC contributor and will make take varying views on the identical issues depending upon the show. His views on MSNBC frequently contradict his views expressed on Sundays on Dr. John's show. Halperin does the same thing when he appears on several MSNBC shows. Halperin makes his most conservative statements on "Morning Joe".

    June 30, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. GI Joe

    If we wanted to hear the extreme right views, we'd be watching Faux. Enough of the republican propaganda and lies.

    June 30, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. John K.

    Halperin was right.

    June 30, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. carrotroot

    I saw that discussion on Morning Joe, I switched the channel after he said that. Opinions are healthy, unfortunately it had devolved into an unprofessional discussion long before that point.

    June 30, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. sonny chapman

    Obama is so cool. He says what he has to say & let's his enemies trip all over themselves.

    June 30, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. GI Joe

    Mika is dissed by Joe talking over her and interrupting all the time. She needs to shout him down and earn that raise she asked for and got.

    June 30, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. GI Joe

    If Mika can't make a case for being Democrat on that show, then it is nothing but another Faux republican propaganda "show". Joe interrupts and talks over her all the time. Put on your big girl panties and EARN THAT RAISE YOU GOT.

    June 30, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. GI Joe

    unfortunately it had devolved into an unprofessional discussion long before that point.
    ------------
    I agree – Mika was out-shouted AGAIN!!

    June 30, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. james

    This is one of the reasons why I stop looking at Morning Joe completely. Joe Scarborough has no respect POTUS and I refuse to go along with his constant critism of our President. Joe Scarborough should of been fired long, long time ago. He does not belong on MSNBC period!!!

    June 30, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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