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30 June 2011

perils of live television: On msnbc's "Morning Joe," Mark Halperin calls Barack Obama "kind of a dick"

Click on image to enlarge.

The lower left guy called the upper left guy "kind of a dick." The upper left guy is the President of the United States.


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Agence-Vleeptron Presse wishes to note that although this story has gone viral around the world

and you can read about and see it from thousands of sources ...

Only A-VP included the image of a dick in its coverage.

A-VP -- We go that extra kilometer for the news-starved peoples of Earth.

P.S. It's a huge story at Huffington Post, but they're so prissy they call it "d*ck" in their headline. They use the word "dick" in the story.

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Nearly all commercial television/cable/satellite news makes me feel soiled and dirty -- the choices of what they deem to be "news" (Did you know the Casey Anthony child death criminal trial is the Most Important Thing On Planet Earth?), and the brain-damaged way they present it. Most of these electronic "news" outlets are heavy on Talking Heads who have perky tits and a heart-shaped ass, and wouldn't know where the Alps were if they fell on their heads.

In the USA, there's one remarkable exception: msnbc's morning news program "Morning Joe."

("joe" is Yank slang for coffee, so it's a pun from the show's Joe Scarborough, a former Republican US congressman from Florida. The program is sponsored by Starbucks, the coffeeshop chain.)

Scarborough and his partner Mika Brzezinski (daughter of Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; "dad" is a frequent guest), their guests, and their roundtable partners, maintain an astonishingly intelligent level of discussion about the truly important matters happening that day in the USA, on Earth, and in outer space.

It's the news, but it has the character of the brainiest discussion about authentically important matters you ever stumbled into. It's often screamingly funny, and it recognizes few if any Sacred Cows. When Michele Bachmann says something profoundly stupid, "Morning Joe" really socks it to her bluntly and candidly an small Anglo-Saxon words. They do not suffer fools graciously. (They may have invited her, but I doubt if Bachmann ever had the nerve to appear on the show and be publicly eviscerated by smart people.)

Nevertheless, both Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski are ferocious advocates of civility and old-fashioned good manners in the public discourse. If some Tea Party jerk wants to scream that all Democrats are traitors, that Barack Obama was born in Antarctica to Jihadist penguins, that liberals hate America yadda yadda Fox News yadda yadda -- Mika and Joe will not permit any such foul or vulgar misbehavior on "Morning Joe." The program is tough, it's real, it's not embarrassed to wrestle the most controversial and even sordid and disgusting issues -- but they scrupulously do it with the politeness and decency of brainy gentlemen and ladies.

Until this morning, "Morning Joe" had a 100% record of Civility and Nice Manners.


The Guardian
(formerly The Manchester Guardian,
founded 1821; daily broadsheet UK)
Thursday 30 June 2011

MSNBC suspends journalist
over Barack Obama insult

US cable news channel takes action after Mark Halperin calls US president 'kind of a dick'

by Jason Deans

A political journalist who said president Barack Obama was being "kind of a dick" live on air has been suspended by US cable news channel MSNBC.

Mark Halperin, a political analyst and editor-at-large for Time magazine, made the remark on MSNBC's Morning Joe programme on Thursday during a discussion about an Obama press conference the previous day.

Halperin asked the show's presenters jokingly: "Are we on the seven-second delay today? ... I want to characterise how I thought the president behaved."

The presenters appeared to encourage him to speak his mind and after apparent confusion between the studio and the show's production team in the gallery about whether a delay button was being used, Halperin said: "I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday."

This prompted a shocked reaction from the Morning Joe co-presenter Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman: "Oh my God ... delay that! Delay that! What are you doing? I can't believe you -- I was joking!"

Halperin then expanded on his comment, saying he thought the president was "posturing" over a deal with the Republicans over spending cuts and tax rises.

Later in the show a sombre-looking Halperin apologised, after the show's presenters admitted they had goaded him into saying it but did not think he would go through with it and also apologised.

Shortly after the show Halperin was suspended by MSNBC. "Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable," the broadcaster said in a statement. "We apologise to the president, the White House and all of our viewers. 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 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."

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Ryszard Wasilewski said...

...very rude...
And this thing about Jihadist penguins is also slanderous.
Are they not all homosexual?
Didn't one swim all the way to New Zealand recently, no doubt to avoid a same sex parenting ordeal.

Vleeptron Dude said...

Thousands of Americans are convinced Obama is a Muslim who was not born in the United States (and is therefore constitutionally ineligible to be president).

I just go that extra 0.9 meters ... I know where he was born. I know who his parents were.

One breed of penguin, the fairy penguin, hangs out on the southern coast of Australia. When there was a bad oil spill in their Australian habitat, those who were bathed and cleansed of oil still risked freezing to death while the insulating oil returned to their feathers. The call went out to all the knitters of the world to knit them sweaters to keep them warm for a few weeks. Thousands of penguin-sweater-knitters responded.

Penguins travel surprisingly north; mainly they're looking for a safe, predator-free rookery.