“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” said MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines in a statement. “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.”
Appearing on “Morning Joe” this morning, Halperin, senior political analyst at Time and MSNBC and co-author of the 2008 election opus “Game Change,” sought to characterize the president’s demeanor at a press briefing the previous day. You can watch the video below–though the term Halperin uses to characterize the president is vulgar, as the partial transcript after the jump will also show
“Are we on the seven-second delay?” Halperin asked.
“We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens,” co-anchor Joe Scarborough replied.
“I thought he was a dick yesterday,” Halperin replied, sending the hosts into a brief moment of panic.
Halperin apologized later on in the show and issued his own mea culpa hours later via MSNBC.
“I completely agree with everything in MSNBC’s statement about my remark,” he said. “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 is the latest in a string of MSNBC suspensions this past year. Scarborough himself was suspended last November for violating the network’s campaign contribution policy, as was Keith Olbermann, who left MSNBC several months later. More recently, Ed Schultz was suspended in May for calling pundit Laura Ingraham a “slut.” And former MSNBC dayside host David Schuster also got a suspension in 2008 for complaining that Hillary Clinton had “pimped out” her daughter, Chelsea, on the presidential campaign trail.