Mark Halperin Suspended for Swearing About Obama, Who Loves Swearing

President Barack Obama, holding in all of the swear words he knows (Getty Images)

President Barack Obama, holding in all of the swear words he knows (Getty Images)

Mark Halperin’s suspension from his MSNBC commentating gig for suggesting that President Barack Obama was “a dick”–after asking for a seven-second delay for his extremely premeditated slip of the tongue–calls to mind so many recent suspensions: David Shuster’s, from MSNBC, for saying Hillary Clinton had “pimped out” her daughter Chelsea during the 2008 campaign; Ed Schultz’s, from MSNBC (oh my!), for calling Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.”

MSNBC apologized to the children watching Mr. Halperin on Morning Joe (sure, all of those children), but the President, surely, gets it. He swears, too! (Just like us!) Last year, Mr. Obama responded to Matt Lauer’s urging to “kick some butt”  on the BP oil spill with the working-blue comic’s principle of escalation, by saying that he needed to “know whose ass to kick.” (On morning television! Where was his suspension from NBC News?)

That’s not all! In 2009, ABC News leaked an off-the-record portion of an interview in which Mr. Obama referred to Kanye West, who had recently interrupted Taylor Swift’s Video Music Awards acceptance speech, as a “jackass.” Oh, mercy! We’re setting up an analogy to see which profanity is more justified: Mr. Obama’s purported high-handed treatment of the press corps is to “dick” as VMA hijinks are to “jackass.” And is “off the record” better or worse than “seven-second delay”?

And, of course, there was Mr. Obama’s audiobook treatment of his memoir Dreams From My Father, whose many moments of in-character lewd language make good YouTube moments. Literature, too? Is nothing safe from the scourge of political profanity?

(We’re nonpartisan, so we’ll note that we blame the whole thing on Dick Cheney cursing out Patrick Leahy in a less than Lincoln-Douglas moment of debate.)


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  2. Dianna Lord says:

    OK, so I actually watch Morning Joe because I think the show does a fairly good job of presenting all sides of the issues, even though Joe is a conservative & is sometimes a blow-hard.  But, what he did to Mark Halperin today was ridiculous!  Joe dropped the F-bomb some months ago, thus MSNBC instituted a 7-second delay on the show that Joe assured Halperin was still in place as Joe told Halperin to “trust me” that the delay was in use…and then when Halperin DOES trust him and says what he thinks of Obama’s statements yesterday, Halperin is the one getting suspended….Uh, perhaps Joe should pound sand too for a few days for his role in all this?…I’m just saying…..

  3. Jerome Tilghman says:

    I have hosted radio and television.  I have a word of advice to anyone who sits behind a public microphone.  When in doubt, ere on the side of caution, courtesy and common sense.  Profanity, lewd comments or stereotypical innuendo debauch quality broadcasting.  Such language, I suspect, turns more people off than on.
    When hosts “go to the gutter” in language, I go to another station.     Jerome Tilghman – Committed to Redirecting Youth …C.R.Y. now or cry later.  Young people learn their behaviors from older people.  As long as the eyes of the young look up to us, we must take a greater measure and care for what they see and what they hear.  And they are always watching!