There are times when the media's double standard concerning liberals (or, more correctly, progressives) versus conservatives is simply stunning. And there has perhaps never been a better example than yesterday's instantanious suspension of pundit Mark Halperin from the MSNBC lineup for his inartful act of calling President Obama a "dick."
Within a few hours of Halperin's remark on the Morning Joe program, Halperin was gone, suspended indefinitely. MSNBC quickly issued an apology to their audience and President Obama. Halperin quickly followed suiit, falling on his sword, even going so far as to say MSNBC did the right thing in suspending him.
My purpose in writing this isn't to defend Halperin. Nor is it to condemn MSNBC. MSNBC has made several moves recently to raise the level of discourse on their network including a recent one week suspension of Ed Schultz for calling Luara Ingram a "slut."
None-the-less a gigantic double standard exists in the treatment of conservatives, especially at MSNBC. It was only six weeks ago that HBO's political superstar Bill Maher created a small firestorm by calling conservative Vice Presidential candidate and former Governor Sarah Palin a "dumb twat." Maher went on to double down with his blatant misogyny by calling Palin a "cunt."
Far from being condemned, Maher was defended by virtually all mainstream and leftwing pundits, because he is "only a comedian, not a news commentator or journalist.". Only that's simply not true. The REAL REASON Maher was defended is the mainstream powers that they all actually agreed with him.
Far from condemning Maher for his vile and blatant misogyny, Maher was "rewarded" with a full 30 minute guest spot on Chris Matthew's Hardball just two days after his sick remarks. For a half hour Matthews fawned over Maher as they discussed and "analyzed" the political events of the week. Matthews certainly never asked a single "hardball" question and simply looked to Maher for support and agreement as he dismantled each Republican candidate for President. Neither the "T" nor "C" words were ever used or discussed.
Maher is a regular visitor and guest on all MSNBC programs because he is in lockstep agreement with their generally progressive views.
But here is the bottom line. Use a mildly profane term to define a liberal, get suspended indefinitely. Use two significantly worse (but similar) term to define a conservative, get a full and featured 30 minutes on a major MSNBC program.