Mark Halperin, a political analyst for MSNBC, has been suspended for his comments on Morning Joe. Halperin said I thought he was kind of a d*ck yesterday, referring to Barack Obama and his press conference on Wednesday.
Halperin's comment was broadcast live on Morning Joe, much to the shock of the Morning Joe hosts, the public viewers, but also Halperin himself.
Halperin was asked of his opinion about Obama's press conference by the Morning Joe hosts. In response, he jokingly asked if Morning Joe was on a 7 second delay.
He was about to move on from the joke when the two MSNBC hosts immediately interrupted and jumped all over him.
They assured him they can use the function. They urged him to take a chance and go for it. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough even said I'm behind you, you fall down, I'm going to catch you.
Egged on, Halperin went for it.
Then, much to the shock of everyone - perhaps most of all Halperin - the 7 second delay function wasn't enabled and Halperin's comments weren't delayed. Apparently, the producer pressed the wrong button.
There's a lot of buttons here.
Halperin subsequently apologized and said the failure to activate the 7 second delay wasn't an excuse for his offensive language.
Still, the Morning Joe and its producers were warned well in advanced that an offensive comment was coming and Halperin spoke on the condition of the 7 second delay mode. His infamous phrase never should have been broadcast.
In journalism, guests and sources often speak on conditions, whether it's anonymity or the 7 second delay. It's up to the journalists to honor and protect those conditions. The producers of Morning Joe, however, failed to do that and Halperin is now suffering the consequences.
Halperin, an editor at large for Time, could have easily expressed his sentiment regarding Obama's press conference using acceptable language. The only reason he decided to take a chance and go for it was because of the assurance of the 7 second delay.