MSNBC contributor suspended over crass quip
June 30th, 2011
11:11 AM ET
11 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. Ted

    ...Certainly an Insult to Human Anatomy....perhaps Horse Feces or at best.. Pathetic Loser would be more appropriate..

    June 30, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. robbie h

    Apparently, MSNBC can't seem to stop putting microphones in front of morons.

    June 30, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Ted

    Certainly an Insult to Human Anatomy....perhaps Horse Droppings or at best.. Pathetic Loser would be more appropriate

    June 30, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. chicago dude

    First of all, people writing how upset they are by this comment slurring our President..are they being "sarcastic." I listened to his speech, and our LEADER sounded like a sixth grader addressing the nation. Maybe that would have been a better thing to say.

    June 30, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    Reading is funny to see some people think Halpern is conservative.

    Nope, he is a leftist. What does it say for Obama when his media fans are starting to speak the truth?

    June 30, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Texan

    Morning Joe despite being on MSNBC is just more corporate shilling. Joe S is the guy that should be suspended....

    June 30, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Fire Him

    FIRE HIM ALREADY!! What's next? Sedition?

    June 30, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. DANA in Alaska

    There has to be a limit to the limit of freedom of speech.

    June 30, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Bob

    Sounds like he was telling the truth, what's the problem and where is the freedom of speech in this country.

    June 30, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. acura2010

    I don't care whether Mark Halperin gets fired! Just don't watch the sorry program. Joe and Mika both are two sorry journalists.

    June 30, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Don

    He should be fired immediately

    June 30, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. steve

    well the guy shouldn't get suspended, he was right the frist time !

    June 30, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. DANA in Alaska

    I wonder how many things Fire Him has said that should of gotten him fired?I'll sue would be his response i'm sure.

    June 30, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. teacherinGeorgia

    MSNBC did exactly the right thing to suspend him. These remarks are totally inappropriate on-air. If you are at home discussing current events with your friends it's one thing; but, professional journalists should know better. It's not only disrespectful to the President, it's disrespectful to the office of the Presidency. If Mark wanted to critique the President's performance there is an appropriate way to do this without personal slurs. And, what kind of example does this set for students and young people when we are trying to get them to understand what civil political discourse means? I applaud MSNBC's actions and hope it sends a message to other professional journalists about what is and is not acceptable in public discourse.

    June 30, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Doug

    Halperin was a polished performer, unlike the mumble mouths from the Polit Bureau. The show will sorely miss his contributions. Doug.

    June 30, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. steve

    Mark Halperin was my Hero, until he apologized for speaking the truth.

    June 30, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. Fluffy

    The use of the term is highly inappropriate. It is more appropriately applied to John Boehner.

    June 30, 2011 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Namedave

    when did it become even remotely ok the to be disrespectful to the president of the USA? Thank goodness though this is America not some gestapo state. Here is the bigger issue, there has become an erosion of personal accountability for speech and action. The sooner we hold people to there words and actions, the less likely there be these calculated outbursts. He knew exactly what he was doing. His apology was that of someone who got caught.

    June 30, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. 4betterdays

    All of msnbc is opinion, there is no news. he gave his, and he was right. give him a raise.
    By the way, schutz was suspended for a week for calling someone a slut, this guy is suspended indefinitley, whats wrong with this picture

    June 30, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. 4betterdays

    To all of you who say the office of the president shouldnt be insulted. ha, what comes around goes around. Bush was dogged everyday, whether you like him or not, the held the office. Hipocrites!

    June 30, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. Joe

    Bring back real newscasts instead of this crossfire opinionated pundit crap..Or..get rid of 24 hour's only essential and informative when there are events such as 9-11, Osama's death, and other National or Newsworthy events..

    June 30, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Queen B

    I saw that this morning and I heard him ask about the delay. Halpern and Joe S both seem to be conservatives who rarely have something positive to say about the president. If something is positive they put a spin on it. President Obama is standing up to the conservatives and he is calling him names. GOP don't care about the USA as a country. They just care about their ideological agenda and fattening their pockets.

    June 30, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Carroll

    Mark should have been fired!!! And Mika....why do you continue to allow Joe to interrupt you when you have a comment to add? Please, please put him in his place; you are the only woman on the show most of the time....don't allow Joe and the others dismiss your view on issues....I respect you and respect your comments......KNOW YOUR VALUE!!!!!

    June 30, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Tom P.

    I saw the remark on Morning Joe today. Yes, Halperin used blunt language, and it surprised me a bit when I heard it. But I think everybody is getting too wound up about it. Everyone around the table on the show this morning were big boys and girls, and nobody fainted.

    The more interesting, and debatable, point is the substance of what Mr. Halperin was trying (clumsily) to convey– his view that the President chose the occasion of his news conference to speak harshly of the Congress's work ethic when he should have been speaking more diplomatically. That was Mark Halperin's point, and that is where I disagree with him. The President was trying to get the Republicans back to the table to negotiate on this critical topic. This is necessary because the past few days have seen the Republicans moving from the negotiating room to the press, to criticize the President's call for a balance between spending cuts and added revenue.

    June 30, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Visa

    I'm so glad to be almost 50 years old next month because I have seen and heard it all. You people kill me. Oh Halpern was right to call Obama a d"ck? Why? Everytime the man shows his balls, Republicans get upset. How dare he demand Congress get their sorry butts back to do some work. Maybe you might not respect the man, but please try to respect the office where a bunch of blubbering idiots hope to be next election. Really think you've got a chance by defaming him, assasinating his character, belitting his policies, refusing to work with him? And Comparing insults to Bush? Come on, that man deserved every curse word he got. Look at what he did to the country that you so called love so much. He ruined it, maybe permanently. You people can't see past your own racism, not a chance. Whats next? The N word? Or will that be on 7 second delay also Joe?

    June 30, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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