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. May

    This is what happens when all of America becomes so casual, it is easy to slip up. Just listen to half the radio stations and all the TV stations, there is nothing but crap spoken and spewed at us 24/7. Not making an excuse for him, but just saying, finish what you started. Get rid of all the crap shows!

    June 30, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. TY in PA

    I saw the show this morning. Before he used the "D" word, he asked if the 7 second delay was on. He was told the delay was on. Only then did he utter the "D" word. If anyone should be reprimanded, it ought to be the staff who did not use the delay button.

    June 30, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. T

    Free for free speech but there are some things you just don't say. And to talk about the President of the United States is one of only let other country know how crazy we are and let us know that some people just don;t care......

    June 30, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  4. Dee G.

    Hey, you play the game, you pay the price. I would say he's lucky not to have been fired, but Fox Fear Mongering, er, I mean, Fox Propaganda Machine....Darn it...Fox News would have picked him up in a minute!

    June 30, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. say what I think

    this just shows that nothing happening in politics has anything to do with the Presidents policies; this is and always has been about race. White Males went crazy when a Black Man was elected, just look at how the tea party is going after the man, even if they have to bankrupt this country. See how you celebrated a White Man winning an NBA championship, can't get enough of showing his ass all over tv. Post Racial America, what a joke. this country is just showing it's true color.

    June 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  6. jja

    Funny, but when people like Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow and the Saturday Night Live crowd were making very similar comments (and worse in some publications) about Bush, no one was ever screaming that they be fired. Wonder why???? So strange isn't it??

    June 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Aaron

    I get so tired of the "If this was Bush blah blah blah" comments. Bush had it so much harder than Obama does in regards to the media. Most of the media is liberally biased and protects this president at all cost; however, i find it amusing that this is starting to change and even his own base is turning against him. Face it, Obama is a horrible president. That being said Bush wasn't the greatest either, but at least he had the courage to stand up and back up what he said. Obama changes his stance on issues more than he does his clothes. It just depends on whom he is speaking with at the time.

    June 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. shannon g

    Give this idiot the axe. I'm so tired of the personal attacks on this president. Our country has fallen into a black hole, where only hate and disrespect dwells. The media should immediately start writing about positive issues for this countries sanity, at best.

    June 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Chad

    MSNBC is so one sided. They called Bush every name under the sun and there was never any repercussion on any of the host. But how dare you touch our god Obama, our savior! LOL!!! It is a prime example of liberal biased media. Oh, you poor liberals. I really feel sorry for you and the loser you worship.

    June 30, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. kathy

    What ever happened to respect?
    I know Obama gets so sick of all the undercover racism.

    June 30, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Christopher

    One cannot explain or apologize away who they truly are, so-called liberals; conservatives; independents; progressives; libertarians; etc. are all "removable labels" in which the average person or "talking head" politicos all conveniently hide behind. I respect and admire President Obama as a leader, especially when he (the President) assertively leads and tells the American people and the Congress the "truth!"

    June 30, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. May

    The guy with the 7 second delay switch should also go.

    June 30, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Suspended for telling the truth. Only on MSNBC.

    June 30, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. CHUCK

    The guy needs to pack his bags. Time to find a new profession. I am sure that Fox News will hire him on the spot. It does not matter if he did not meant for his comment to be aired or not, the fact is that he disrespected the President so he should be dealt with accordingly. His so called apology is a day late and a dollar short. Fire him.

    June 30, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. San

    Name calling...the level of unintelligible response used when someone can't utilize higher reasoning to explain dissatisfaction with a person. N O T what you'd expect from a person who is paid to elevate the standard of debate in our country. I'm stunned that a news professional (who we've watched with interest) would stoop to that level of chatter. You wanted attention boy; you got it.

    June 30, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Chad

    Don't worry, it was MSNBC. No one was watching anyway... LOL!!!

    June 30, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. Melissa

    He's getting what he deserved. Bush was one and he was never called it by the pundits. He was called plenty of other things, but not this. This guy stepped over the line.

    June 30, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. seriously???

    Didn't see it, and don't know the guy but the photo attached to this story leads me to believe he was referring to himself.

    June 30, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. paulr50

    This guy finally told the truth on MSNBC and he gets suspended!?!?! What the heck? Where is the civility? OMG, poor Keith Obermouth.

    June 30, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. cf

    A man can go on national TV - msnbc, no less - and say words like that about President Obama... And this is the "liberal media bias" the righties all always complain about?

    June 30, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. mnesbitt

    So there is no freedom of speech-just depends how high up you are.

    June 30, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. TJ

    Well Barack, sometimes the truth hurts........

    June 30, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Andrew

    What a joke!

    I am all for maintaining higher journalistic standards than we see, now, for the most part, but for MSNBC to suspend their one and only right-leaning commentator for THAT, when you look at the sorts of things MSNBC allowed Matthews, Obermann, and Scarborough to say about the last President, repeatedly, for years, this is a JOKE!

    June 30, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. kevin lounsbury

    If it is the truth, why should he be punished?

    June 30, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. terry,va

    If the weiner fits.....then stuff it.

    June 30, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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