Mark Halperin, the brainless political analyst for MSNBC, should be fired today.
Immediately. Right now. No seven-second delay.
MSNBC suspended Halperin indefinitely for an off-color remark he made about President Barack Obama on the “Morning Joe” program Thursday.
“I thought he was a dick yesterday,” Halperin said on Thursday’s show during a discussion about Obama’s news conference on Wednesday.
Halperin quickly apologized on the air Thursday. MSNBC suspended him indefinitely hours later, saying Halperin’s comment was completely inappropriate and unacceptable. The network apologized to Obama.
Not good enough.
If these are remarks that political analysts like Halperin make on the set of MSNBC, imagine what people like Halperin are saying about Obama behind closed doors. Halperin’s tainted comments may have reflected the deep-rooted feelings of some of his colleagues who are smart enough not to speak their truth on national television.
And Halperin, if you can believe it, is supposed to be one of television’s more liberal political pundits. This wasn’t Fox News, where radical conservatives hate on Obama daily. This was MSNBC, home to Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and progressive dynamo Rachel Maddow.
Perhaps Halperin is just the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. One Washington, D.C. insider told me that Halperin initially refused to accept responsibility for his screwball comments and tried to blame a producer for his perverted remarks.
Halperin showed America exactly what he thinks of America’s first black president. He revealed to a national audience that he has no respect for Obama or the presidency.
Maybe Halperin called the president that name because Obama stood firm Wednesday and challenged Republicans to help families who are struggling, insisting that Republicans agree to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and eliminate tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jet owners.
Halperin may have been annoyed that Obama – a black man – is pushing back against a Republican assault, and that show of steadfast determination, in Halperin’s view, was objectionable.
Whatever was going on inside Halperin’s warped mind, Obama didn’t deserve to be called a dick.
The White House certainly didn’t appreciate Halperin’s off-color remark. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the comment was an inappropriate thing to say about any president. Carney also said he had expressed that sentiment to network executives.
Halperin had prefaced his remark by asking, “Are we on the seven-second delay?” and said after that “I hope it worked.”
Halperin was referring to a brief delay in a television show that gives a producer the chance to quickly silence offending remarks before it airs on live TV. An MSNBC producer, however, pushed a wrong button, and Halperin’s remarks were not edited out.
“I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the president, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers,” Halperin said. “My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it.”
The only way Halperin will seriously regret his comments will be if MSNBC fires him. MSNBC should send a strong message to all television political analysts that it’s not appropriate to denigrate the president of the United States.
There are many Americans who probably agree with Halperin’s characterization of Obama and are privately hoping that this calamity blows over. But if MSNBC gives Halperin a pass and he returns to his network job to analyze Obama, then MSNBC is no better than Fox.
Where do you think Roland Martin would be now if he called George Bush a dick while broadcasting on CNN