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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mark Halperin Tells It Like It Is (and Gets Punished For Doing So).

I've had a pretty nice birthday so far today. One of the best presents I got was Mark Halperin’s exceptionally candid reaction to President Obama’s news conference. I was actually going to post a column today about the president’s disgraceful behavior at yesterday’s press conference, but I just can’t ignore the chain of events that unfolded after Halperin let loose on MSNBC today.
Let’s start with his exact words. At 5:07 a.m. CT on Morning Joe today, Halperin said of our president, "I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday." He added, "I think the president was posturing."
Before I go any further, let me say that I believe Halperin’s analysis was spot-on. The president behaved like a dick when he dumped on “corporate jet owners.” At least corporations pay for their jets. Our president gets two Boeing 747s to fly around in, courtesy of the American taxpayers. And, if it weren’t for many of those thriving corporations and their highly-paid executives, then our government’s coffers wouldn’t have near as much revenue to spend on our worthless commander-in-chief. It was dickish to say that he was “very amused when I start hearing comments about 'well, the President needs to show more leadership on this.'” To hear him tell it, Obama’s idea of “leadership” consists of calling other, unspecified “leaders” together and saying that “we have to get this done.” Oh, and to imply that Republicans wanted “to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship” and “stop funding certain grants for medical research” and compromise food safety in order to “keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires,” “corporate jet owners” and “oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars,” that goes far beyond dickishness.
Unfortunately, Halperin then proceeded to disappoint me by apologizing. But the story didn’t end there. The higher-ups at MSNBC can’t tolerate a cross word from someone on their payroll about our president, unless it’s some criticism of him for not governing even farther from the left. Here’s the statement from MSNBC:

Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and
unacceptable.  We apologize 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.
Sadly, Halperin then had to go and prostrate himself with this 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
Halperin’s other employer, TIME Magazine, chimed in with this:

Mark Halperin’s comments on air this morning were inappropriate and in no way
reflective of TIME’s views. We have issued a warning to him that such behavior
is unacceptable. Mark has appropriately apologized on air, via Twitter and on
The Page.
Just so we’re clear, I still like Mark Halperin. I think he’s one of the most moderate, unbiased political analysts out there. He offers his opinions but is very hard to peg politically. He’s one of the few sane, reasonable people on MSNBC, so it was probably just a matter of time (no pun intended) before they found some excuse to get rid of him. As for what he said about Obama this morning, look, it’s inappropriate for someone who’s billed as a non-partisan “senior political analyst” to say our president–any U.S. president–“was kind of a dick,” even if the president’s actions totally justify such a remark, which they definitely did in this case. That being said, prior to 2008, I never thought we would have a president as bad as we do now. This president has been an abomination. He has allowed his administration to run rife with corruption. His policies have wreaked havoc on this country’s economy, the government’s reputation, and our image abroad, but what really distinguishes him from past awful presidents—Carter, Hoover, Wilson, e.g.—is his attitude. He looks down on hoi polloi with a contempt that he doesn’t even try to hide. People who disagree with him are to be marginalized, derided and harassed by government, if possible. All others are potential supporters, but I doubt he respects more than a few of them. If they’ll vote for him and/or donate to his campaign, then that’s all he cares about.
I’m not sure if he despises or feels threatened by real leaders like Chris Christie and Paul Ryan. Perhaps it’s both. Whenever their courage and leadership is on display for the public to see, Obama must feel some sense of inadequacy. I can only imagine his immediate reaction to The Path to Prosperity or Christie's latest victory in Trenton: How dare they make me look feckless and cowardly by comparison! How DARE they call my bluff and demonstrate real leadership by tackling difficult issues and taking big political risks for the good of the country!
Had Obama chosen not to go into politics, had he remained a lawyer or law professor or whatever he was before he was in a position to cause real damage that affects millions of people, if he were just a neighbor or a colleague of mine, then I dare say we might have become friends. I’m sure I would have enjoyed arguing with him, but alas, the allure of power was just too much for him to resist. If you have a problem with my admittedly harsh words about our president, then please let me know. I can defend everything I’ve said about him in this article.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever AF One flies, it's partner also flies. So, taxpayers pay double-747 time everytime Obama goes anywhere. If that wasn't enough ... there are probably 15-20 additional military aircraft which fly in advance of a presidential movement to move all the other people: secret service, their equipment, other hangers-on, etc. No one can ever calculate the true cost of an AF One trip ... but believe me, it is mind-boggling! Particularly when compared to what a corporation pays to operate its fleet. And you better believe the corporate bean-counters are making sure they are getting bang for the buck with their corporate aircraft. We (taxpayers) get no bang for our mega-bucks!