Time Magazine Editor, Mark Halperin, called Obama “a dick” on MSNBC; suspended

UPDATE: Halperin has been suspended indefinitely. MSNBC issued a statement:

Statement from MSNBC:
Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and nacceptable. 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.

Statement from Mark 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.

Mark Halperin is one of the most, if not the most, painful of the pundits. He thinks he determines conventional wisdom for the Villagers. To most of us, it seemed like Obama finally spoke forcefully about the dangerous games the GOPers are playing with our economy. Today, Halperin made it clear he thought the President was too mean to the GOPers yesterday:

While discussing President Obama’s Wednesday press briefing on “Morning Joe,” Mark Halperin made a gaffe about President Obama, calling him “a d*ck.”

Halperin, a senior political analyst for MSNBC, first asked host Joe Scarborough, “Are we on the seven second delay?” implying that he wanted to speak freely but not have his comments broadcasted.

Scarborough and co-host Mike Brzezinski assured Halperin that he could speak freely and anticipated a controversial remark. Halperin said:

“I thought he was a dick yesterday.”

Scarborough was in disbelief over Halperin’s comment and quickly directed his attention off-camera, saying, “Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing?”

If Halperin thinks Obama was a dick, Obama must be doing something right.

Now, watch the Villagers rally around Halperin. He’s one of them — and they stick together. The video is below — and this analysis from Steve Benen nails it:

There are a couple of angles to keep in mind here. The first is that Halperin’s credibility as an objective observer of political events has long been dubious, at best, but this morning’s little stunt should remove all doubt. In candor, I don’t much care that Halperin sides with the right over the left, and takes cheap shots at Democrats. I care that Halperin is presented to the public as a neutral, even-handed expert, when that’s plainly not the case.

To this extent, the “dick” comment only helps bring an end to a thin pretense.

The other point that’s worth remembering is the larger dynamic. Forget Halperin’s choice of words, and instead consider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end.

If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick.”

What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.

Watch the leading pundit expose himself:

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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