Suspended NBC News political pundit Mark Halperin has issued an apology do-over after being ditched by his publisher and HBO, in which he acknowledged at greater length his “aggressive and crude” behavior towards women while at ABC News. But, insisted Halperin, who joined MSNBC as senior political analyst in 2010 after working for Time and Bloomberg, he has had a “very different reputation than I had at ABC News because I conducted myself in a very different manner” – the result of “several years” of “weekly counseling sessions to work on understanding the personal issues and attitudes that caused me to behave in such an inappropriate manner.”
“For a long time at ABC News, I was part of the problem. I acknowledge that, and I deeply regret it. As I said earlier in the week, my behavior was wrong. It caused far and anxiety for women who were only seeking to do their jobs.”
He said that many of the women’s accounts being anonymous it makes it “difficult for him to address specifics, but says some of the charges that have been made this week against him are untrue.
“But make no mistake: I fully acknowledge and apologize for conduct that was often aggressive and crude.”
Halperin insisted he recognized I had a problem. “No one sued me, no one had filed a human resources complaint against me, no colleagues had confronted me. But I didn’t need a call from HR to know that I was a selfish, immature person, who was behaving in a manner that had to stop.”
Saying he knows he “can never do enough to make up for the harm I caused,” he added, “I will be spending time with my family and friends, as i work to make amends and contributions both large and small.” He did not clarify.
NBC News announced Thursday it had suspended Halperin following a Wednesday night report by CNN in which five women claimed Halperin has sexually harassed them while worked at ABC News, one and two decades ago. Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski discussed his suspension on her Thursday program.
-Showtime, the network for which Halperin has co-hosted the buzzy political docu-drama series The Circus, announced it was “reevaluating” its relationship with him and the future of the program, saying it is “aware” of the reports on Halperin.
-HBO dropped plans to develop a project based on Halperin and and John Heilemann’s 2016 election post-mortem, explaining, “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”
–Halperin’s publisher stuck a shiv in the book itself, saying “In light of the recent news regarding Mark Halperin, Penguin Press has decided to cancel plans to publish a book he was co-authoring on the 2016 election.” Penguin Press had, in March announced it would publish the book, on the heels of its success publishing their 2008 and 2012 campaign autopsies, “Game Change” and “Double Down.”
-UltraViolet, the women’s advocacy group that targeted Fox News’ advertisers after the NYT report on the millions spent by Bill O’Reilly and his employer to settle women’s harassment claims, took a victory lap after similarly urging Penguin and HBO to walk away from Halperin.
-CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward tweeted that Halperin’s alleged behavior “was an open secret when I was at ABC for years – brave of these women to speak up.”