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UFOs Spotted In London
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June 30th, 2011
By: Tim Mak
MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin was suspended on Thursday by the cable network after he called President Obama “a dick” on a popular morning show and then quickly apologized.
“I thought he was a kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin, who also is an editor-at large for Time, said on Morning Joe, referring to the President’s conduct during his press conference.
A couple of hours later, MSNBC issued a statement, saying, “Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. 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. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.
The cable outlet also put out a statment from Halperin at the same time, saying, “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. 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.”
Time issued a statement later Thursday calling Halperin’s comments “inappropriate and in no way reflective of TIME’s views.”
The magazine did not suspend Halperin but said, “We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable” and noted that he had “appropriately” apologized.
During the Morning Joe show, host Joe Scarborough asked Halperin what he thought of Obama’s press conference and Halperin asked if the seven-second delay were in effect so he could give his real opinion – apparently thinking it would be bleeped out before hitting the air. Scarborough told Halperin to go for it because they would use the delay to prevent whatever he said from being broadcast. “You fall down, I’m going to catch you,” Scarborough told Halperin.
At that point, Halperin said he thought Obama had been “kind of a dick.” Scarborough then expressed amazement that Halperin had actually said that and told him he had only been joking about using the seven-second delay.
“Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing? I can’t believe… don’t do that. Did we delay that?” Scarborough said.
“I was just joking,” Scarborough said to Halperin.
“Catch me now, I’m falling,” Halperin responded.
Just minutes later, Halperin quickly apologized on the air to the president and viewers for his choice of words. “Joking aside, this is an absolute apology. I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize to the president and the viewers who heard me say that,” Halperin said.
“We’re going to have a meeting after the show,” Scarborough said.
According to Scarborough, there had been a mishap with the seven-second delay button – a new executive producer apparently didn’t know how it worked. “You are supposed to know how to do the job,” Scarborough said of his producer. “I would tell you what I think of him, but he doesn’t know what button to push.”
Later in the show, Halperin again apologized, saying, “I can’t explain why I did it. It’s inappropriate, disrespectful. I’ve already apologized, and I will again to the President. I’m sorry, I’m sorry to the viewers…It is disrespectful, what I said was disrespectful to the president and the office but it also lowers our discourse.”
He also tweeted to his followers, “I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the President and the viewers of Morning Joe. My remark was not funny. I deeply regret it.”
Scarborough and Morning Joe Executive Producer Alex Korson said they were sorry for what happened.
“Certainly (host) Mika (Brzezinski) and I also apologize to viewers,” Scarborough said. “And we hear this all the time – parents come up and say, ‘Hey, by the way, we don’t just watch the show, our kids watch the show.’”