I can’t tell you how many times someone from another country has remarked to me about the lack of respect some Americans show President Obama. Is it because he is black, they wonder. And I must admit the question has crossed my mind. But I have to remind myself that former president George W. Bush got his share of slights.
What is it about some Americans that makes them feel it’s all right to be rude to their chief of state?
You don’t hear the British calling their queen by her first – or last – name. Yet it is often “Obama this” and “Obama that” in America.
On television, interviewers interrupt the president as if what he is saying is of no importance. And pundits feel free to talk about him with utter disregard.
Now, some kind of production glitch has caused a disgusting insult to go out over the air, and the person who uttered it is blaming the producer.
That person is Mark Halperin (photo above), an MSNBC political analyst.
He called America’s president “a dick.”
To say that kind of disrespect leaves me stunned is an understatement.
Here’s what Salon’s Alex Pareene has to say about the insult:
It seems wrong, to me, that in a conversation involving Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin, a third party was somehow called a “dick,” but that is what happened on “Morning Joe” today, when MSNBC “senior political analyst” Halperin said, “I thought he (the president) was a dick yesterday,” to much laughter and delight all around.
I don’t watch “Morning Joe.” Nothing that Joe Scarborough has to say is of any interest to me.
But I wouldn’t go on the air and call him “a dick.”
And I wouldn’t giggle with delight if someone else called him “a dick” in my presence.
I find it strange that Fox talking head Chris Wallace was inundated with accusations of “disrespect” when he dared to ask Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann her thoughts about being called “a flake” but when some TV personality calls the president “a dick” the silence is deafening.
Halperin has apologized and MSNBC has suspended him indefinitely. But Scarborough is apparently unrepentant.
Pareene reports that:
According to Scarborough, there had been a mishap with the seven-second delay button – a new executive producer apparently didn’t know how it worked. “You are supposed to know how to do the job,” Scarborough said of his producer. “I would tell you what I think of him, but he doesn’t know what button to push.”
So it’s all right to call your country’s president “a dick” as long as it doesn’t get broadcast?
Shame on you, Morning Joe!
Disrespect for the president is no laughing matter. Black, white or any color in the rainbow, your country’s head of state deserves to be treated with deference. Disrespect for your president is a sign of low regard for your country and yourself.