Show tried and failed to keep Mark Halperin's remark from going live
MSNBC senior analyst Mark Halperin has been "suspended indefinitely" for calling President Obama "a dick" during MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday.
The network released a statement after the airing — apologizing to the president, the White House, and viewers and calling the comments "completely inappropriate and unacceptable." Halperin also apologized.
Halperin, editor-at-large for Time, said he was under the impression that the word wouldn't go out live when he used it to describe Obama's demeanor at a Wednesday news conference.
"Are we on the seven-second delay today?" Halperin asked during "Morning Joe." "I wanted to characterize how I thought the president behaved."
Story continues after video from Politico:
Host Joe Scarborough and co-host Mike Brzezinski urged him on, with Scarborough saying, "Take a chance, have faith."
"I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday," Halperin said.
"Oh my God. Delay that!" Scarborough said. "What are you doing? I can't believe you — I was joking! Don't do that! Did we delay that?"
"I hit it, I hope it worked," a producer said.
Scarborough and Brzezinski both laughed as Brzezinski hid her face in her hands.
But the delay didn't work, because a new producer on the show didn't know how to use it yet.
Also read: Laura Ingraham Accepts Ed Schultz' Apology
Halperin, a senior analyst on MSNBC, later apologized: "Joking aside, this is not a pro forma apology, it's an absolute apology. Heartfelt to the president and to the viewers. … I made a mistake and I'm sorry and I shouldn't have said it."
The suspension came almost exactly a month after MSNBC suspended host Ed Schultz for calling conservative pundit Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" on his radio program. Schultz apologized, and Ingraham accepted.
The gaffe also occurred, interestingly, four days after the Supreme Court announced it would rule on whether the Federal Communications Commission can fine networks for language and nudity on television.
MSNBC said in its statement: "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."
Added Halperin: "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."