MSNBC Suspends Halperin Over Offensive Comment
Updated at 3:45 pm
MSNBC has suspended contributor Mark Halperin indefinitely after disparaging remarks Halperin made Thursday morning about President Obama.
In a statement released Thursday, just hours after Halperin called Obama "a dick," the network said his comments crossed a line.
"Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers," in a statement by MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines. "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."
Halperin was asked about Obama's press conference performance, to which Halperin jokingly asked if the show was on a seven second delay. He was told they were, and host Joe Scarborough urged Halperin to reveal his thoughts.
"I thought he was kind of a dick, yesterday," Halperin responded.
Later in the show, Halperin apologized on air after he found out his words were not edited by the delay.
"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," Halperin said in a statement. "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."
The White House called MSNBC to complain about Halperin's remark, with Press Secretary Jay Carney calling it "inappropriate to say...about any president of either party." He said as much to executives at MSNBC, Carney told reporters, but did not comment on their decision to suspend Halperin.
"That's not for us to decide," he said following MSNBC's statement.