Disgraced Journalist Mark Halperin’s Media Friends Push Comeback, But His Victims Oppose It

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Mark Halperin, who spent roughly a decade as one of the most visible commentators on U.S. politics, saw his career come to an abrupt halt in the fall of 2017 when more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The accusations, per CNN, led to Halperin losing several media jobs, including his role as an NBC News political commentator. Similarly, his Showtime reality show, The Circus, was canceled. Halperin’s planned book about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a sequel to his and John Heilemann’s Game Change books about the 2008 and 2012 races, was canceled, as was a planned HBO miniseries based on the proposed book. Halperin apologized for his misconduct, though he denied some of the more serious accusations.

While Halperin has been gone from the spotlight for over a year — including a disappearance from social media — he’s begun to reemerge in recent months with the launch of a new political blog, and he’s also resumed tweeting. According to a report this week by The Daily Beast, several of Halperin’s powerful media friends, including Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with CNN/Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish, are among those pushing for a Halperin comeback.

Several of Halperin’s accusers, however, have objected to the idea of him returning to his former influence.

Per The Washington Post, multiple accusers of Halperin are opposed to his planned redemption tour.

“Mark Halperin repeatedly abused his position of authority in the newsroom, negatively impacting the careers of many women journalists,” journalist and Halperin accuser Lara Setrakian said. “He has proven himself unfit for leadership in our industry and a questionable narrator of the national conversation.”

Other accusers expressed anger that Halperin appears to care more about rehabilitating his career than he does about the damage that he caused.

Halperin said in a statement to The Daily Beast that he hopes to apologize to his victims, but the three accusers quoted by The Washington Post say Halperin has not apologized to them.

Hillary Clinton and her supporters — per an op-ed published by The New York Times in late 2017 — view Halperin as one of many men who were unduly hard on Clinton’s 2016 presidential run, only to later have their careers derailed by the rise of the #MeToo movement the following year. Others include Matt Lauer and Glenn Thrush.

Others have shared other reasons to oppose a Halperin comeback.

“A crazy thing about a Halperin comeback is, to the extent he was once good at something, it had to do with him being well-sourced and well-connected,” journalist Josh Barro wrote on Twitter. “Becoming a pariah makes you ill-sourced and ill-connected. He couldn’t do his old job anymore even if someone wanted to let him.”