Look, you can disagree with the President. You can bitch and moan about how he doesn’t lead because he doesn’t use the bully pulpit, and then when he actually asserts himself and his opinion on that pulpit, complain that he’s too harsh. I makes absolutely no sense, but you can do it if you’re mentally deficient. But to call the President of the United States “kind of a dick” when you claim to be a journalist (even though we know you’re a hack) is just over the top. And yet supposed journalist Mark Halperin did exactly that. He premeditated calling President Obama a dick on national television. Why else would he ask if there were a seven second delay? What made him think calling Obama a dick was a good idea?
What the hell happened to everyone after January 20th, 2009? Was there some kind of unwritten rule that I didn’t hear about that all bets are off when it comes to respecting the office of the Presidency? Or for that matter, that you can disrespect anyone that you invite for an interview? (Yes, I’m referring to the Chris Wallace “flake” question.) Does the mainstream media feel they no longer need to show respect to whomever they are covering or interviewing?
I understand asking a tough question. I understand challenging your guest to speak the truth and call them out on it when they don’t. I understand getting into a heated argument with your guest on policy and issues. But to question if they are a flake? To call the Commander-in-Chief a dick? Where do these motherfuckers get off?! Can you imagine Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow or even Dan Rather calling the President of the United States a dick on the air?! Can you imagine anyone on the air four years ago calling President Bush a dick? Neither can I, yet for some reason, it seems perfectly acceptable now for talking heads and pundits and opinion hosts to do just that.
Halperin has apologized for his asinine comment, but that hasn’t stopped MSNBC fromsuspending him indefinitely and for Time Magazine to issue Halperin a warning, and I completely agree with both. Enough is enough.
ADDING… I have been guilty of being far from respecful to plenty of politicians on this blog, but I’m also not on a national television program a few times a week pretending to know what I’m talking about.
ALSO… Steve Benen nails it.
Forget Halperin’s choice of words, and instead consider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end.If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick.”What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.
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