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. jk from MN

    Fox News must not have these policies, or Geraldo Rivera would have been suspended for calling Casey Anthony a slut on the air. I guess it's OK to be crass on Fox New.

    June 30, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. BC

    Based on MSNBC's response to this it is clear that MSNBC is the dork! If this comment had been aimed at a Republican he would have been promoted. Based on MSNBC's history maybe they should change their name to the FLN (Far Left Network). What ever happened to just reporting the news without all of the bs?

    June 30, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Bible Clown

    If He said it on FOX, they'd offer him a job. I bet they do anyway.

    June 30, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Local Yokel

    He's right. Obama is a dork.

    June 30, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Rob

    Watching liberals freak out about this is pure entertainment. That this happened on the Obama boot licking network is a bonus.

    June 30, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Big George in Big D

    What a shame – the ONLY person at MSNBC speaks the truth and he's suspended. Proven once again that you just cannot say anything against MSNBC's golden(not) boy! What happened to the 1st Amendment??? There is more vitriol from the Morning Joe whackos than anything I've seen – I honestly do not know how it stays on the air.

    June 30, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. egm11

    wow, how funny is that. i will put money on it that someone at msnbc had a near stroke. calling obama a dick is too too funny. since when is telling the truth in a colorful way wrong? there are freedom of speech issues but i guess only at msnbc does the truth, they dont like is a fireable offense. i have heard their boys on the air, like oberman and matthews, say much worse things about republican women. msnbc is just as much a joke as cnn.

    June 30, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Becky

    About time they get rid of him and his nasty comments about the President.

    June 30, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Anthony

    Despite Mr. Halperin's personal view on President Obama he is supposed to have a level of professionalism towards his manner and conduct around him. He is the "Elected" President of this country and whether you voted for him or not is irrelevant. MSNBC done the right thing!

    June 30, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Sara

    Mark was saying what he thought...ever hear of free speech? Let's get him back on air...pronto. An honest pundit, who knew?

    June 30, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Roland

    I said it before and I will say it again. If a soldier can take a bullet you can take a comment. That's beside the point. The guys inability to talk about the meat of Obama's conversation is what he should be fired for not this.

    June 30, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Buddy

    Isn't Obama's nickname "Richard"? He seems like a Richard to me...

    June 30, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Rob

    Does this commentator think Obama is a "Dick" because Obama is an articulate black man at the helm of our country or does he have actual accounts of Obama's "Dickiness"? I suspect it's more the former than the latter. When a person of color advances in a white man's world you will find impotent white men boil over in their frustrations and these types of outbursts are typical. "YOU LIE" is another such outburst. Some men are so insecure that they can't stand to see someone different in appearance, background, or culture succeed and the only outlet these insecure men have is to resort to name calling.

    June 30, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. clp

    I am literally shocked that a professional would use that kind of language about our President on national television. He should be fired. It is a disgrace, and he should have learned better in journalism school.

    June 30, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. Senior Citizen

    Totally uncalled for and this person should not be allowed to work for MSNBC or any other respectable network. He'd probably be a good candidate to work for Fox. I don't care who the President is, this was completely uncalled for and he should not be suspended, he should be fired on the spot.

    Where do these people come from who are able to go on radio and TV with such vile language. Just goes to show how intelegent he is........NOT!!

    June 30, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Glenn from Cary

    I'm confused. Did he say d**k? Or d**k? Or possibly d**k?
    If he said d**k, then he definitely should be fired. That would be inexcusable and unforgivable.
    But if he said d**k, the apology should be enough.
    And, if all he said was d**k, then I don't see what the big deal is about. You should be able to call the President a d**k without recrimination. What happened to freedom of speech in this country?

    June 30, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. A Kickin' Donkey

    If Halperin had the presence of mind to ask about the delay and then wait for Scarborough to confirm it – he had plenty of time to find a better way to express himself. As an editor at TIME, he should have a better vocabulary than that.

    A price needs to be paid. I hope that the Whitehouse refuses to grant Time's next Presidential interview request. When they can't get the big stories – with which they generate revenue – I'll bet these guys like Halperin will magically find a way not to use such terms.

    I hope the Whitehouse does the same thing to Fox for the rudeness their correspondent showed by interupting the President during his last sit down with them.

    June 30, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. what else is new

    He needs fired. He sits there in his suit being so high and mighty, but what has he ever done for his country? I am so tired of all these people who think they know exactly what the president should do. That includes Joe. His ego si so big he does not allow anyone to disagree with him.

    June 30, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. don

    thats what happens when you tell the truth

    June 30, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. getrealorgoaway

    I don't care if Halperin does or doesn't like President Obama. He can even say what he likes about the man in private, but in public forum, that kind of classless disrespect from a so-called professional should cost him his job. It wasn't a "caught off the air" gaffe. He said it during broadcast hoping the censors would catch it, so he wasn't smart enough to censor himself. Still, it's no wonder he ran his mouth. The whole on-air crew of "Morning Joke" Joe, Mika, and Willie Geist are all smarmy, sophomoric snobs who seem to want to raise the level of buffoonery at MSNBC to the level of the Faux news channel morning nonsense. Personally, I think they should all get the boot. The show does no one credit and uses volume and bombast to make up what it lacks in information and integrity.

    June 30, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Chuck Steak

    Halperin insulted the highest office in the country. Who elected Halperin to anything. If he thinks he can do better, he should run for President. It's one thing as a commentator to criticize, but that's no license to insult. What a d**k!

    June 30, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Big George in Big D

    Rob – I'm sick and tired of people blaming the least little thing as being racism. I don't give a big rat's a$$ who climbs a ladder and does well – I'm certainly not jealous of them! Just your simpleton comment "articulate black man" – bah!! An articualte black man with a mouth no action!

    June 30, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Joanne

    The president of the United States, no matter who it is, deserves respect. I think the man should be fired.

    June 30, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. The Clear Thinking Independent Voter

    From the Freedom Works Dictionary –

    d i c k – [n] ; a Democratic president who exhibits a calm, cool & collected manner; one who is intelligent, thinks well on his feet and has the audacity to demand that Republican members of Congress do their jobs to prevent a collapse of the United States credit rating.

    Sometimes confused with a person who demands and promotes accountability in others.

    June 30, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. iHateStupid

    Tens of thousands of liberals across the U.S. are currently running the streets and lighting themselves on fire in protest over the fact someone would dare say something derogatory about Lord Obama....on MSNBC of all networks aka the Mothership.

    June 30, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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