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. Larry L

    In a lot of countries crude remarks about the leader might result in prison time – or worse. I'm thankful America isn't one of those places. Still, this is a pivotal time in American politics a perfect moment for citizens to hold candidates, the media, and each other accountable irresponsible, dishonest, and hurtful attacks on political opponents. We've allowed a deep rift to form between Americans – fueled by outright lies, groundless conspiracies and fear-mongering sound bites. We need to be adults now and stop playing into the hands of every radical with an agenda.

    June 30, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. David

    This guy calls obummer a dick and gets suspended. Not only him but most of msnbc's "reporters" have used language a lot more foul and vitiolic when talking about Sarah Palin, Beck, O'Reilly, or Bachman and still remain on air. In fact, they are lauded as hero's. Typical hypocrisy from the left.

    June 30, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. DR

    This is not about a political view or party. It is about respect, decorum, and decency. Ridiculous that someone could support or condone this. Really people? Really?

    June 30, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. chuck

    He nailed it right on the head.

    June 30, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Kiel

    What ever happened to freedom of the press in this country? Also, when did the word dick become a racial slur? Does anyone remember learning about the repricussions of the Alien and Sedition Act which made it a crime to criticize John Adams? How can we claim that we adhere to out first amendment if one is criticized for speaking ones mind? I can't wait for all these ignorant bigots to pull the race card for voting against Obama again in 2012. The kool-aid must be pretty damn tasty for so many of you to still be sipping on it.

    June 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. paulm5545

    Perhaps any president who refers to our involvement in Libya as political "fuss" is indeed a dork of epic proportions.

    June 30, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Maude

    The most evil president was George W. Bush and his side kick Dick Cheney. Cheney was called a Dick all the time. What's t he problem.

    June 30, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Confused

    Obama is a duck?

    June 30, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Denny Luz

    To "say what I think" GET OFF THE RACE CARD! That comment had nothing to do with race. He even asked if it would be delayed and was told yes, then the station did not do it. Didn't hear your big mouth about race when Jessie Jackson made a similar remark on the air about Nobama when he was running for president. Nobama is, and always has been, in way over his head. Nothing less could have been expected of this man as he had never accomplished anything before in his life of any significance. If you think this country is headed in the right direction then maybe that remark was meant for you, and I don't know or care anything about your race. Unless both parties wise up and get this country back on solid ground we're all in trouble. And you can take that to the bank!

    June 30, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Mark Dearborn

    MSNBC has Keith Olberman on the air for years, slandering every conservative in sight (and some liberals who weren't "left" enough for him), and now you want us to believe that " We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air." What a load of horse hockey!

    June 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. HR

    Should not have been suspended – he was right in his description!!!!!

    June 30, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Lucy

    It's getting scary when the truth cannot be told in the media. MSNBC blows!

    June 30, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. acura2010

    Politics at its worst and the media just encourage it. All you Obama haters, Bush been in office for eight years and created a mountain of problems and he ran out that door so fast for the next person to clean it up. Bush hated John McCain so what difference did it make who was his predecessor. MSNBC hires a "dog" as long as he can bark divisive and hatred to continue to divide America. In other countries, they don't tolerate attacks on their presidents. Morning Joe ratings are so low, it won't be long for Willie Geist has to step in and take the reign. Keith Olbermann doing very well @ Current TV.

    June 30, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. mslman71

    Yeah right. It wasn't what he said, it's who he was talking about.

    June 30, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. jerry

    He should be fired, not tomorrow but NOW. What a disgrace. We are talking about the President of the United States here not some arrogant writer from time magazine. I'll never have any respect for TIME unless they fire this low class jerk.Just Do IT.

    June 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wonder what you would've called him if the President had said what he was really thinking?
    Obama has had to put up with a helluva of a lot from these front and center mental midgets.
    He's dressing down these worthless clowns as pretty as he can under the circumstances.

    Had it been me I wouldn't have made it through my first month in office without formal impeachment procedures being filed.

    Obama 2012

    June 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Stoney

    You are right Chad – no one was watching. I couldn't believe his opening remarks. He kept talking about towning a corpate jet etc. Clearly class warfare.

    June 30, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Donald

    He's my hero! Give him a raise when he jumps to Fox! They know where the cool people hang-out!

    June 30, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. allitrop

    It takes one to know one!

    June 30, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Sanity

    I've watched The Ed Show a few times lately just to see first hand what passes for political commentary on MSNBC. Worst stuff is said every show about Republicans to the delight Ed and his guests. NBC is a subsidiary of the Democratic Party.

    June 30, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Fed Up

    Enough of this name calling from everybody. We have become a uncivilized society. Nothing suprises me anymore. Why tear each other down, we all all Americans. If this country fails we all fail. Stop hiding behind freedom of speech and treat everyone with respect. Just because someone has the right to make a comment does not mean they should.
    I am signing off with Have a Happy and safe Fourth of July to everyone.

    June 30, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Debra Ortiz

    I watch this show everyone morning before work and usually enjoy their guests and commentators. This man is a cocky schmuck!

    June 30, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Bill

    Calling someone a d!ck is certainly inappropriate and worthy of suspension, but it is not using a "slur" as the headline to this post reads. The person who wrote this post is the real d!ck for writing a headline that implies that a racial insult was made.

    June 30, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. Kris

    I find it sad that we few good journalist these days. We are only left with TV personalities now who claim to be journalists, that receive huge salaries along with huge egos and no perspective. They have all chosen a side, not the story or the the issue. Who cares about reporting anymore? Sad.

    June 30, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. norman

    A DORK!? Oh my, what a putdown... How dare someone say something so obscene;especially on MSLSD. Give me a break. I'd call Obama a hell of a lot worse than that...

    June 30, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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