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Commentator calls Obama d**k, suspended

entertainment Updated: Jul 02, 2011 01:06 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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A “Di*k”, is that what he called President Barrack Obama?

Mark Halperin, a Time magazine editor-at-large, did on Thursday, and on MSNBC, live.

Halperin used the word to describe what he thought of the president at a press conference the day before to address issues ranging from deficit duels to Libya to his stand on gays and lesbians.

Halperin never got around to explaining his below-the-waist shot at the president. Immediately after a commercial break, a contrite Halperin offered up his abject apology — and not a pro forma apology. He looked the part, kicked-in-the-face hero of a bad western movie.

MSNBC has suspended Halperin indefinitely, outlawing from its shows until further notice. But that didn’t stop Obama from a day of undeserved infamy.

Every news network and channel carried the news as did the zillion of websites and blogs. Each sounded more aggrieved than the other.

The comment even figured at the daily press briefing at the White House.

“The comment was inappropriate,” said White House press secretary Jay CVarney when asked for comments, “It would be inappropriate to say that about any President of either party. And on behalf of the White House I express that sentiment to executives at the network.”

When asked on the punishment meted out to the expert, Carney said, “I have no comment on that — whatever action that network, any network, any newspaper or whatever might take, because that’s not for us to decide.”

The be fair to Halperin, he did know he was venturing into dangerous territory. He did ask the anchors if theyhave the seven-second delay button ready. The anchors said they were, but their news producer, who was new to the job, wasn’t. He hit the wrong button, letting Halperin go live with his comment.