MSNBC Suspends Analyst After Profane Reference to Obama

Mark Halperin quickly apologized for his mistake.

Posted: 06/30/2011 12:23 PM EDT
Filed Under Barack Obama

Mark Halperin

MSNBC has suspended political analyst Mark Halperin for using a profane term on the Thursday morning broadcast of Morning Joe to describe President Obama’s performance during his Wednesday press conference. Before offering his opinion using a word that rhymes with Rick, the Morning Joe contributor slyly asked if the seven-second delay that enables networks to bleep out inappropriate language on live TV was on. It wasn’t, even though host Joe Scarborough had called for the delay.


A mortified Halperin quickly apologized and Scarborough told viewers that he wanted to say what he thought of the executive producer who failed to turn on the delay, “but he doesn’t know what button to push.”


“Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” said a statement from MSNBC. "We apologize to the president, the White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like this have no place on the air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended immediately from his role as an analyst."


Halperin, who is a Time magazine editor-at-large, also issued a statement: “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.”

(Photo: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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