So I’m not even through my first cup of coffee when I read that Mark Halperin called President Obama a dick on national TV. Well — on MSNBC, which is pretty much the same thing. Politico is calling it a “gaffe,” but let’s look at the context. Mediaite has the rough transcript:
oe Scarborough: Mark Halperin, What was the president’s strategy? We are coming up on a deadline and the president decided to please his base, push back against the Republicans.I guess the question is, we know a deal has to be done. Is this showmanship? A lot of times you go up there and both sides and they act tough so their base will be appeased, then they quietly work the deal behind the scenes.
Mark Halperin: Are we on the seven second delay?
Mika Brzezinski: Lordy.
Halperin: I wanted to characterize how the president behaved.
Scarborough: We have it. We can use it. Go for it. Let’s see what happens.
Brzezinski: We’re behind you, you fall down and we catch you.
Halperin: I thought he was a dick yesterday.
That was no slip of the tongue. Halperin knew exactly what he was going say, so much so that he even first asked his host if the censor had the traditional seven second delay to work with. It wasn’t even a “Kinsley gaffe,” defined by Mike Kinsley as “when someone in Washington speaks the truth by accident.”
Halperin thought the President had been a dick. Halperin said he thought the President had been a dick. And I watched that press conference yesterday, and the President was well and truly a dick. That’s no gaffe, and I’m sorry Halperin felt the need to apologize for speaking the truth.
But that’s been SOP in Washington for decades now.