Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saturday Night Live skit and side-splitting hilarity on the Morning Joe; false apologies followed

Mark Halperin
Scarborough: (turning to Mark Halperin, smiling) Halperin, what is the president’s strategy? We’re coming up on a deadline, and the President decided to please his base, push back against Republicans . . . I guess the questions is, because we all know what has to be done, is this sort of showmanship, you know, to go out there . . . both sides . . . and they act tough so their base will be appeased, then they quietly work a deal behind the scenes.

Mark Halperin: (looking at Scarborough and Brzezinski, all three of them smiling. Willie Geist and other pundits are off camera) Do we have the seven-second delay today? I want to characterize how I thought the President behaved.

Brzezinski: (grinning broadly) We have it. (to producer Alex in the control booth) We can use it, right?

Scarborough: (encouraging Halperin)  Yeah, sure, come one, take a chance. Have faith.

Brzezinski: Let's see what happens.

Scarborough: I'm behind you. You fall down. I'm gonna catch you.

Brzezinski:  And the precedent has been set on the show, so you're good. (in 2008 Scarborough in a fit of rage let go of the a profanity on the air. MSNBC installed the seven second delay afterwards).

Halperin: (grinning like a Cheshire cat) I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.

Scarborough: (Scarborough and Mika go into a false state of shock despite their planning the “joke” in advance.) 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?

Halperin, who always looks as though he is smelling something unpleasant, extended his broad smile, proud of his remark, not knowing that the delay button was not hit. Scarborough and Mika doubled over with laughter the “joke” was so funny. They did not know about the delay mishap. Even the people in the control laughed at the "joke."

Scarborough went ballistic when he asked if the whole statement got through. Alex told him that he did not catch it. Scarborough warned him to “put on your helmet. Its gonna be ugly.”  Scarborough knew there was going to be a meeting immediately after the show, and some explaining was on the menu. Scarborough shifted the blame on Alex rather than himself. Coming back from a commercial break, the pseudo apologies began. This poorly executed "joke" was planned all the way down to the seven-second delay.

Scarborough: (looking serious) I’m sorry. It was a joke, We made the joke before the show about the seven-second delay and we were going to try it out.

Halperin: (the grinned wiped off his face) Joking aside, this is not a pro forma apology, it’s an absolute apology, heartfelt to the President and the viewers. . .  became . . . I was part of the joke but that’s no excuse. I made a mistake and I’m sorry and I shouldn’t have said it. As I said, I apologize to the President and to the viewers who heard me say this.

MSNBC published a statement: “Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, the White House and all of our views. 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.”

Time magazine, where Halperin is editor-in-chief of The Page, also  issued a similar statement in writing. Halperin had been admonmished several times that his “behavior was unacceptable.” However, neither Time of MSNBC  will terminate him. So all is not lost for Halperin. He can always go to Fox, where he can freely call President Obama whatever names comes to mind, and be applauded for it.

So why is Scarborough and Mika still on the air? They were instrumental in planning the tasteless on air joke. I've said this before and I'll say it again and again and again. The media established the guidelines for disrespecting President Obama long before he was elected president. Posters on websites and bloggers took their cue that it's acceptable to call this president any name that makes them feel good and proud of themselves. Commenter's hiding behind screen names are worse than pundits, the exception being hate talk radio hosts.

As I recall,  Halperin never liked Obama. He has never made a positive statement about him.  When John McCain and Hillary Clinton were running for president against Obama, Halperin, in Times magazine, published 16 suggestions  February 25, 2008 for McCain to follow. When McCain was wiped out of the race, he switched them to Clinton. I saw some of his suggestions creep into both candidates campaigns.

Things McCain can do when running against Obama that Clinton has been unable to do well or at all:

1.  Play the national security card without hesitation.

2.  Talk about the Iraq War without apologies or perceived contradiction.

3.  Go at Obama unambiguously from the right.

4.  Encourage interest groups, bloggers, and right-leaning media to explore Obama's past.

5.  Make an issue of Obama's acknowledged drug use.

6.  Allow some supporters to risk being accused of using the race card when criticizing Obama.

7.  Exploit Michelle Obama's mistakes and address her controversial remarks with unrestricted censure.

8.  Play dirty without alienating his party.

9.  Dismiss Obama's brief national tenure from his own lofty platform of decades in the Senate -- there will be no ambiguity about who has more experience as conventionally defined.

10.  Use his sterling war record to reinforce his image of patriotism and valor -- and contrast it with his opponent's.

11.  Emphasize Barack Hussein Obama's unusual name and exotic background through a Manchurian Candidate prism.

12.  Employ third party groups like the NRA to hit Obama on issues that might turn off general election voters. Perhaps an ad such as this will run in Ohio: "So, what do you really know about Barack Obama? Did you know he supports meeting with the head of terrorist states? Do you know he wants to get rid of your right to own a handgun? Do you know he is calling for the repeal of the law preventing gay marriage? Do you know he is for a trillion-dollar tax increase? What do you really know about Barack Obama?"

13.  Face an electorate less consumed with "change change change" (the main priority for Democratic voters) and keenly interested in "ready from day one" as an equally important ideal.

14.  Link biography (experience/courage) and leadership (straight talk) to a vision animated by detail -- accentuating Obama's relative lack of specificity.

15.  Give Obama his first real race against a credible Republican. (Clinton has always asserted that Obama would wilt before a fierce Republican assault.)

16.  Confront Obama with a united, focused campaign absent of second-guessing, which hits the same themes and message every day.

So I am not surprised that Halperin opened his mouth to stick both his, Mika and Scarborough's feet in his mouth. Neither of the apologies are sincere, and all are lying out the crack of their butts. If you've ever watched Morning Joe you know the apologies are false spelled backwards. False spelled backwards is not a word.

Scarborough and Halperin bought a sledgehammer on the show to crack a nut just to get a laugh. The two idiots ended up cracking their own nuts, and Halperin was sent home minus one nut. Scarborough will stay on TV to make more bad jokes about President Obama. He will grovel and apologize to keep his job.

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