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. jim

    I watched the whole thing. Joe, Mika, & Willie (Harold Ford didn't say anything) should step up and take most of the responsibilty since they pressured him into to saying something. J.S. "Come on Mark,say it, we have a 7 second delay. We won't let it go out on the air. (J.S. said this to Mark over and over) Then, they made a joke that the guy in the control room guy ( and I'm sure he is no longer there) .didn't know what button to push for the 7 sec. delay. Joe & Mika, do you feel good, you got your friend suspended. M.S.N.B.C. should hold J.S. accountable since he was the one who started the whole thing and "egged" him on over & over to say it and when your boss ( J.S.) and you want to continue being on his show you better do what he is wanting you to do and that is exactly what happened last night. Don't believe me, I'm sure the whole thing is on You Tube. J.S. your show, your responsibility.

    June 30, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. 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 lot worse than that...

    June 30, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. dutspup

    Repulicans are such demening lapdog babies. I cant believe how these losers have acted since the first day Obama took office. It has to be because he is the first and probably the ONLY black man to take office becasue they NEVER would have said or done the things they have when Bill was in office. To republicans: I hate you, you are greedy, you are callus, heartless, brainless pimples on the asses of all humans worldwide. thank you and good night.

    June 30, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. SCDEM

    Why would anyone watch a republican wannabe, who happened to murder his female 'aide' and get away with it? Talk about a dick!!! The show might have been a good idea at some point, but it has no balance to his 'always apologizing' loud mouth.

    June 30, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Ben

    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???"

    What do you call what your Dem/Lib friends did to George W Bush EVERY DAY for 8 YEARS!!! Where was your moral outrage then. Your comments prove you haven't got a clue. Get educated.

    June 30, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. kayla

    out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

    June 30, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Bill Prage

    Why fire the guy for being right. Sometimes the truth hurts

    June 30, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Ben

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

    Typical Liberal. Playing the race card when someone dares question her beloved president. Grow up.

    June 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. closetiguana

    When you point there are 3 fingers pointing at yourself.

    June 30, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. normalguy

    I've seen this guy on the show. He's a jerk. Doesn't listen, at all, doesn't stay on topic, just blah blah blah ultra-right-wing rhetoric. Can him.

    June 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. buddha12

    God-I can't believe how stupid some of you people are. I see lots of liberal lackey blathering. The president always acts with dignity, hardly. From what I can tell, none of you have the sense to pour p$ss out of a boot with a hole in the toe and directions on the heel. WAKE UP. Read the constition, if you can read, and see how this president is usurping the power he doesn't have by the constition. Ever wonder how good he would be without a teleprompter? I agree that degrading the office of the president, and by association the person in that position is wrong, but that doesn't make it illegal, just disrespectful. it's amazing how many people on this post seem to have NO respect for anything consertative.

    June 30, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Kiss your job with MSNBC goodbye.Don't worry,those biased idiots from Fox News will be calling you in no time to go to work for them!

    June 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. garc

    Those MSNBC folks. They're "all" so "liberal/Democrats/socialist/"insert Faux news adjective here.

    June 30, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Dave

    "The Liberal Media" <- Bigger myth than Bigfoot!

    June 30, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. John

    All of you extremists are so pathetic. A professional pundit from either of the extreme sides calling someone they disagree with a foul name is inappropriate. That's why NONE of your are on TV - you're all like cowardly juvenile bullies on the playground. Please stay safely cloaked in confines of your internet anonymity where you belong.

    June 30, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. jamison

    A complete apology was warranted, and the right thing to do. What troubles me more however is this southern bigoted way of thinking even still exists in our society today.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. TD40

    Lots of people here don't seem to get it. I'm talking about the people who are posting comments like "He was suspending for speaking the truth?" or... "So MSNBC suspends you for free speech or speaking out against the liberal president?", etc.

    You don't get it. It's not about the sentiment he wanted to convey, it's about the derogatory terms he used to do it. Wake up. He could have expressed his opinion without resorting to middle-school terminology. If you think it's ok, or even "cool", for media, professionals, and supposedly unbiased reporters to start calling people d*cks on "serious" news programs, than you might as well raise your hand in favor of the whole country going to hell in a hand basket. It's "Idiocracy" come to life. What's next? It's going to be ok with you if someone calls the president a racial slur? Oh hell, let's just open the floodgates. Then again, when it happens to a candidate these "defenders of free speech" support, *then* they'll be calling for the offending pundit's head in a nanosecond. Fact.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Qev

    Notice, they can NEVER say that Mr Obama isn't telling the truth... So, they are reduced to calling the man names, because it's all they have.

    June 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Just saw the piece on cnn. Why don't they suspend the four idiots who thought it was so funny starting with that still rethug joe scarborough?
    @fairisfair – takes one to know one, right?
    Olberman is fired and these four still have a job?

    June 30, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. HAL

    Why should he be fired? They egged him on....they wanted him to say it and stated that it was going to be delayed/bleeped. I don't think it was his fault.

    June 30, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Raymond in Ok.

    I was watching it this morning before I went to work and couldn't believe it. He should be fired for it, but also the other commentators should be disciplined for not saying anything and laughing about it. I watch it alot in the mornings, I watch fox and alot of other news channels just to get the overall picture of our situations, like most people should do, and I'm not sure if I can listen to them anymore, any time soon.

    June 30, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. sqeptiq

    earlerilch, dork: a vulgar word for penis, which is a synonym for the word Ha;perin used.

    June 30, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. ohfudge!

    He called him a DUCK...what a jerk...

    June 30, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. norman

    Wow...what a bad name! How dare someone say something so obscene, especially on that bastion of Liberal Socialism, MSLSD. I'd call Obama a lot worse than that if given some airtime with the airheads on that network.

    June 30, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Joan

    I guess I am living under a rock (actually in France) – I never heard of MSNBC. WTF is MSNBC? I think Mark Halperin didn't it so he could go work for Foxnews! LOL.

    June 30, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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