MSNBC confirmed Halperin would appear on the program, but declined to speak on the subject. The cable news had suspended Halperin in late June, after he called President Obama “kind of a [vulgarism for male organ]” on “Morning Joe.”
He did so after he’d been assured by co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that the show had a seven-second delay in effect and that he should “take a chance.”
“Are we on the seven-second delay today?” Halperin had said when asked for his thoughts on a news conference Obama had held the previous night.
“I want to characterize how I thought the president behaved,” Halperin had added.
“Well, we have it. We can use it, right, Alex?” Brzezinski asked a producer off-camera.
“Yeah, sure. Come on. Take a chance. Have faith,” Scarborough told Halperin.
“Go for it. Yeah, let’s see what happens,” Brzezinski added.
“I’m behind you. You fall down, I catch you. Trust me,” Scarborough told Halperin.
“And the precedent has been set on this show, so we’re good,” Brzezinski added.
“I thought he was kind of a [vulgarism for male organ] yesterday,” Halperin said.
“Oh, my God! Delay that! Delay that! What are you doing? I can’t believe you. I was joking! Don’t do that. Did we delay that?” a strangely surprised Scarborough said.
“I hit it. I hope it worked,” a man is heard saying off-camera.
“Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable,” MSNBC said in a statement released later that day.
“We apologize to the President, The White House, and all of our viewers,” MSNBC said, adding that Halperin would be suspended “indefinitely” from his role as an analyst.
Minutes after making the crack, Halperin, who is also editor at large at Time magazine, had also apologized on-air, and issued a written apology.
Watch Halperin’s comments here. (ADVISORY: adult language.)
And later, Halperin’s on-air apology.