MSNBC has suspended yet another commentator. This time it's Mark Halperin, an editor-at-large for Time magazine, who remarked during an interview on Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe program Thursday that he thought President Obama "was kind of a dick" at his news conference on Wednesday when he discussed his deal with Republicans over the budget. Halperin had first asked, "Are we on the seven second delay?" And when Scarborough and co-host Willie Geist urged him to speak his mind, plunged into the offending remark. Scarborough then shouted, "Delay that! Delay that! What are you doing? I can't believe you -- I was joking!" MSNBC was flooded with complaints, including one from the White House, causing the Comcast-owned cable news network to issue an apology, which said, "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 issued his own apology, stating, "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." However, on his The Daily Show Thursday night, Jon Stewart called the incident, "one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life." But he may have been referring not to Halperin's remark or his subsequent apology but to the stony-faced disapproval of Morning Joe' s co-host, Willie Geist. (The producers followed with a montage of other apologies by politicians and celebrities with Geist's image pasted into the footage next to them.)

01/07/2011