Mark Halperin, veteran journalist accused of sexually harassing several women during his time as political director at ABC News, has been quietly attempting to step back into the industry after years of silence.
Last month Halperin began tweeting again after a nearly two-year hiatus. On October 27, 2017, he tweeted a statement taking responsibility and apologizing for the pain he caused his female coworkers. He did not tweet again until April 10, 2019.
My original reporting: @JohnKerry & @JoeBiden recently held a secret mtg on prez politics. The mtg is a metaphor/manifestation of concern among Dems that Biden + @BernieSanders = 50% of vote now. Listen to my talk w/ @smerconish on @SIRIUSXM @SXMPOTUS https://t.co/KEX7nGJpkb
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) April 10, 2019
Halperin also launched “Mark Halperin’s Wide World of News” in April, a political news blog featuring his commentary on timely topics. The Daily Beast pointed out that this format is quite similar to Halperin’s “The Note,” which he wrote during his time at ABC.
Halperin is not on his own, either. CNN personality and SiriusXM radio host Michael Smerconish has given a platform to the disgraced journalist, featuring him on his show three times in the past month.
Though his first appearance with Smerconish began with an apology, Halperin went on to discuss his thoughts on the 2020 race in a manner described by Vox as a “series of sexist assessments and omissions that were the hallmark of his commentary for many years.” He later had to apologize for calling Joe Biden’s inappropriate conduct toward women a “distraction” during the show.
In addition to Smerconish, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” seem to be supporting Halperin’s return to the spotlight. Before he was fired, Halperin regularly appeared on the program.
The Daily Beast reported that the co-hosts had previously planned to collaborate with Halperin on an online midterms analysis program prior to the 2018 elections that was “scrapped” by the network. Scarborough and Brzezinski did not seek prior approval for the project.
MSNBC was surprised again when, on April 5, Brzezinski gave positive airtime to Halperin’s personal apologies and political comments on Smerconish’s radio show. MSNBC executives were not told in advance that the sensitive segment on Halperin would air and The Daily Beast piece claimed they were “not happy about it.”
The Daily Beast also reported that Halperin had been sniffing around other professional opportunities, calling the top editor at The Hill and dining with Kellyanne Conway and TiVo Chief Executive Tom Rogers.
The women who accused Halperin of harassment and misconduct are speaking out against his attempted comeback. One of the women, Lara Setrakian, asserted that Halperin has “proven himself unfit for leadership in our industry and a questionable narrator of the national conversation.”
Another, attorney Dianna Goldberg, took issue with both Halperin’s attempts to break back into professional journalism and the help he is receiving from his former colleagues: “It troubles me that he is more concerned with rehabilitating his career than demonstrating any semblance of understanding the gravity of the harm he caused so many women. And the fact that his friends in broadcast are enabling this effort is appalling.”
Finally, accuser Eleanor McManus posed a question to the industry: “Halperin used his status as a powerful journalist to victimize women, so why should he have that power again?”