That was fast.
This morning on Morning Joe Mark Halperin, apparently under the impression Morning Joe was on a 7 second delay, said he thought President Obama was a ‘dick’ in his press conference yesterday.
He quickly apologized once it became clear the remark had aired, ad did the entire Morning Joe crew.
Apparently that was not enough.
MSNBC has since suspended Halperin. Their statement:
Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologise 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.
Statement from Halperin [via]:
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.
Halperin joins a growing list of MSNBC figures who had been suspended in recent months. In May they suspended Ed Schultz for calling Laura Ingraham a slut on his non-MSNBC radio. And last fall (in a sign of bigger trouble to come) they suspended Keith Olbermann for making campaign contributions.
What’s surprising about this announcement is that its “indefinite.”
Back in January, following the Gabby Giffords shooting, the Morning Joe team was harshly critical of the aggressive rhetoric of cable TV and when out of their way to go beyond simply criticising FOX, so one imagines, in addition to the new extra-cautious Comcast environment they are anxious to not appear to be hypocritical.
Of course, Olbermann’s suspension was also “indefinite” and in reality he was off air for less than a week, so time will tell how serious the now Comcast-owned MSNBC is about this.
Halperin’s extended on-air apology is below. The orignal remark can be found here.
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