MSNBC and White House go crazy over Mark Halperin’s small slip, MSNBC fires him

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning best-selling author and Time editor at large Mark Halperin was asked his opinion of President Obama’s behavior at yesterday’s press conference. Before giving it he asked if there was a seven-second delay and was assured by host Joe Scarborough that there was. Co-host Mika Brzezinski urged him on:

“Go for it, we’ll see what happens.”

Scarborough reassured Halperin:

“You fall down I’m going to catch you.”

Halperin gave his opinion:

“I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.”

The hosts dissolved in giggles—shocked giggles when they learned that there had been no delay, “dick” had gone out on cable at exactly 6:02 am EDT. Halperin gave a total apology: “It was disrespectful, it was inappropriate, I shouldn’t have said it, blah blah blah.”

Shortly afterwards White House press secretary Jay Carney complained to MSNBC. MSNBC suspended Halperin indefinitely, apologizing “to the President, the White House and all of our viewers.”

Ethics Bob’s take:

  • Halperin had it right the first time.
  • It was a joke that went ever-so-slightly wrong.
  • Joe and Mika were as much to blame as Halperin.
  • MSNBC is gutless and unethical in their quick over-reaction and in their failure to defend freedom of expression
  • Jay Carney was kind of a dick today.

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3 Responses to “MSNBC and White House go crazy over Mark Halperin’s small slip, MSNBC fires him”

  1. maximsmadness Says:

    That makes me so sad. I want to go on TV and be able to say “dick” all I want.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Me too.

  3. Morning Joe Scarborough is an unethical coward for letting his friend Mark Halperin take the fall alone « Ethics Bob Says:

    [...] posted yesterday about how Joe and his co-host, Mika Brzezinski, had goaded and cajoled Mark Halperin into [...]

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