Being the political junkie that I am, I have had the opportunity to see Mark Halperin offer his opinion and “political analysis” countless times. He certainly isn’t always wrong, in my opinion, but a lot of the time when I hear his take on things, I end up scratching my head and thinking, whaaa? Many times I’ll even do the *face palm* or the *head desk*. As far as his bias to the right, it has been obvious to me for years. After what happened on Thursday with Mr. Halperin, I decided to do a little research and was reminded of some previous “gaffes”, shall we say. There is a clear pattern with Halperin.
When President Obama was filling a Supreme Court vacancy, Mark Halperin actually went with this title for a story, which can’t be found now…
There is just so much wrong with that. First, of all the angles to take on the story of picking our next Supreme Court justice, his is the perceived “reverse discrimination” (a racists dream phrase) against poor white men. Because over the years, you know, white men have had such a hard time getting on the Supreme Court. I’m sure he thinks it is just innocent “pointing out the obvious”, but you know damn well that the audience for that statement was all the good ole boys who pit themselves against minorities as if everything is zero-sum. It is a not-so-subtle dog whistle to all the racists and classists in our country. It is a blatant appeal to the Fox News viewers, which have large numbers. There is more on the reason for that later on in this post.
Here is an example of Mark Halperin’s analyst skills and his unique perspective on things, to put it way too politely. This is Mark Halperin’s reaction to President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address.
What is funny is that if you look at polls of people who watched the speech, it becomes apparent that Mark Halperin sees things differently than ordinary folks. From CBS New’s Political Hotsheet…
Of the randomly selected 522 speech viewers questioned by CBS, 83 percent said they approved of the proposals the President made. Just 17 percent disapproved…
Six in 10 of those asked said they thought Mr. Obama conveyed a clear plan for creating jobs, and seven in 10 said his plans for the economy will help ordinary Americans. Another seven in 10 said President Obama has the same priorities for the country as they have.
The same individuals were interviewed both before and after Wednesday’s State of the Union, and after the speech, 70 percent said Mr. Obama shares their priorities for the country, up from 57 percent before the speech.
Did you notice how he called him “this troubled president” as if that is the conventional wisdom of the day. It certainly was the wisdom that Halperin and other skewed journalists were trying to push, thank goodness Media Matters for America is around to sort out the truth for us.
Here is another list of the accomplishment of President Obama through November of 2009, not even a year into his presidency. Does that look like “a troubled president” to you?
I saw this next one live, back when I used to torture myself by watching Morning Joe. It was after the President invited Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, to a speech where the President laid out his budget and took on the draconian, now much abandoned Paul Ryan plan. After listening to Paul Ryan and other Republicans touting his plan, using everything in their arsenal to twist and spin the plan as bold, the President laid waste to it. Apparently Mark Halperin took it personally and proceeded to defend those poor Republicans who were called out on their assault on the poor and seniors. First, let’s take a look at what the President said that upset Halperin and Scarborough, from The Media Research Center…
BARACK OBAMA: This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America . . . Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said there’s nothing serious or courageous about this plan . . . There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill . . . That’s not a vision of the America I know.
Here is what Halperin and Scarborough said on Morning Joe in response to that passage from the President’s speech…
MARK HALPERIN: I think if a Republican president called the Democratic proposals on something like this un-American, I think the press would be up in arms.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: They would savage him.
HALPERIN: They would be up in arms. I think that kind of rhetoric: for the president to say, that what Paul Ryan is doing is not consistent with his vision of America, I think that’s rhetoric that only added insult, injury to the insult of inviting him to sit in the front row.
SCARBOROUGH: Republicans have said a lot of really, really tough things about Barack Obama. Really tough things. So, it’s not even the words, it’s not the rhetoric. I think the president does believe that the Ryan plan is not the America that he grew up in or the America he wants. I’m just saying, for negotiating reasons, why invite him to sit in the front row and say that his budget is not serious and is un-American when Paul Ryan’s been fighting his entire life for this?
HALPERIN: I totally agree. It seems like a weird decision to make.
Now, maybe these two boneheads were sleeping during the 8 years of President (with us or against us) Bush, but I doubt it. They both clearly spend most of their time defending the Republican brand and trying to convince people of liberal media bias and false equivalencies. In this post, warning, it’s a Huffington Post article, he blames President Obama for Republican opposition to the stimulus. Amazing.
Mark Halperin believes that there is a liberal bias in the media and is doing his part to swing the pendulum back to the right. It is just one more example of how absurd his thinking is. That pendulum swung to the right immediately after the horrible events of 9/11 and it’s been stuck there ever since. The Bush cabal did a masterful job of using a national tragedy to cow the media into doing it’s bidding. Wrapping everything they did in patriotism and daring the press to go against them. I remember it clearly, but apparently Mark Halperin was sleeping through all that.
Does anyone else see a pattern – President Obama stands up to Republicans and the media narrative and Mark Halperin is offended and jumps to the defense of those poor, poor Republican’s who are so cordial and nice in their rhetoric. There are many more examples of Halperin’s misguided rhetoric, but who has the time to go through all of it. I just wonder if Time magazine is really willing to offend so many people who support President Obama by continuing to employ this man who has proven his bias and terrible analyst skills Time and Time again.
The People’s View has a great post up about “The Base” of the Democratic Party and it ain’t that place that is on fire, has a dog and lives on a lake.
The People’s View also has a new post from Tien about the split on the left. It speaks to the disaffected Obama supporters and how to bring them back into the fold. I don’t think it applies to the people trying to inflame that group. I was going to do an entire post about that, so please go read it instead.
Allan at Angry Black Lady Chronicles lays out why Republican game playing with the debt ceiling is the height of hypocrisy, I know, say it ain’t so…Republican’s being hypocritical.
I hope the President goes all 14th amendment on the Republican’s who are trying to destroy our economy for their political gains. Check this out and follow some of the links, I knew the president had a way to protect us from those un-American asshole Republican’s.
The Only Adult In The Room has this take on Mark Halperin’s comment and subsequent suspension from MSNBC and it’s a good one. And it led to the next link below.
Tom Joyner, who I respect a lot because he was awesome enough to do a piece on my documentary last summer, which crashed our website because of traffic, a good problem to have. We had to triple our bandwidth to accommodate. :) A big thanks to Roland Martin as well, it was his segment. Joyner has this great piece that uses Halperin as a jumping off point to Tavis and Cornel. Go read it!
Smartypants has a great summary of the week in debt ceiling fun and how the Democrats have a few tools in their box.
Joy Reid at The Reid Report has a great piece on the DSK developments. Rich guys get to rape and assault women, didn’t you know that?
While the smug panel of Morning Joe on MSNBC laughed along, including the faux Democrat Harold Ford Jr., Mark Halperin called the President of the United States a dick. I just wrote Time magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org to register my complaint and demand a formal apology. His lack of respect for our president has been apparent for a long time but this crossed a line. Do your part and let Time magazine and MSNBC know how you feel about such an utter lack of respect for our elected president.
Time – email@example.com
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
MSNBC – Comments
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
UPDATE: (Sorry for the late update, I was helping with set up for an Art Fair all day)
As I’m sure most of you know, Mark Halperin was suspended from MSNBC for an indefinite period, whatever that means. Here is MSNBC’s statement followed by Mark Halperin’s. (bold line cracked me up)
“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.”
“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 it.”
Personally, I was calling for an apology because I think it was warranted. I tend to think that MSNBC overreacted, to be honest. Because I’ve seen much worse on that morning show that pretends to be some sort of round table…Joe just loves the phrase “around this table” as if the people around that table represent every diverse opinion there is. But compared to this crap from Dylan Ratigan, what Halperin said paled in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, what Halperin said was despicable, but that entire show is despicable and it should really be cancelled and replaced with something more balanced – with strong voices on both sides of political issues. There is a market for it. I’m a political junkie and love waking up to political talk, but not such a blatant propaganda machine laced with subtle racism, sexism, and a fake air of being balanced. It just pissed me off. I’m becoming fond of CNN’s morning show because at least they still attempt to have an air of impartiality and adhere to some journalistic standards. But it is a news show, not just politics, so I also have to see all the other crap that I don’t care much about.
I do hope that this event will make people stop and look at the state of media in America. I’m a hard core liberal, but I value other people’s right to their opinion, even though I may want to change it.
Go Read Steve Benen’s take on Halperin, as always, he nails it to the damn wall.