"The President was kind of a dick yesterday"

Mark Halperin, a political analyst for Time magazine, is in trouble after calling the president "a d

Time is one of the most respected names in journalism. It's the go-to guide for the world's elite and its writers and columnists enjoy access to the highest echleons of US politics. Some of its writers, however, also have a potty mouth. In the video below, Mark Halperin, a political analyst for Time gives a, err, frank appraisal of President Barack Obama, calling the 44th President of the USA "a dick".

 

Halperin has been suspended from his position as an NBC contributor. Salon did not cry over his suspension. One of their bloggers remarked: "Mark Halperin is a horrible political analyst who is wrong about everything." No big loss for NBC, then.

It's not the most offensive description of Obama that you will hear as the election draws nearer, but it is a lesson for producers everywhere. When doing live television, always keep that bleep button to hand...

 

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Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after referendum No vote

Europe's right-wing populists cheered the result. 

Italy's centrist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was forced to resign late on Sunday after he lost a referendum on constitutional change.

With most ballots counted, 60 per cent of Italians voted No to change, according to the BBC. The turn out was nearly 70 per cent. 

Voters were asked whether they backed a reform to Italy's complex political system, but right-wing populists have interpreted the referendum as a wider poll on the direction of the country.

Before the result, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweeted: "Hope the exit polls in Italy are right. This vote looks to me to be more about the Euro than constitutional change."

The leader of France's far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, tweeted "bravo" to her Eurosceptic "friend" Matteo Salvini, a politician who campaigned for the No vote. She described the referendum result as a "thirst for liberty". 

In his resignation speech, Renzi told reporters he took responsibility for the outcome and added "good luck to us all". 

Since gaining office in 2014, Renzi has been a reformist politician. He introduced same-sex civil unions, made employment laws more flexible and abolished small taxes, and was known by some as "Europe's last Blairite".

However, his proposed constitutional reforms divided opinion even among liberals, because of the way they removed certain checks and balances and handed increased power to the government.

 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.