Dickgate (The Other Dickgate)

by Jonathan Chait | June 30, 2011

In an appearance on "Morning Joe" today, Mark Halperin called President Obama "a dick," in reference to his press conference appearance. Halperin apologized, but MSNBC has suspended him.

The merits of Halperin's political commentary skills aside, this seems like a wild overreaction. Halperin acknowledged in his apology that he was 'disrespectful." Since when do political commentators owe the president respect? He works for the American people, not vice versa. This is not a monarchy, and we aren't supposed to speak of the president as if he's the national father. If Halperin thinks Obama is a dick, he should go ahead and say so.

Put another way: Would Halperin be apologizing and facing suspension if he called, say, Donald Trump a dick? If not -- and I'm pretty sure he would not -- why the different rules for a president?

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/91114/dickgate-the-other-dickgate