Vox reporter Liz Plank said on Thursday that Mark Halperin, the disgraced former prominent Morning Joe panelist who has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting multiple women while he was the political director at ABC News, “was the Harvey Weinstein of media.”
“I’m receiving texts today from women in media who are older, younger, new to media. And a very sort-of-junior reporter told me that one of the first things she was told when she started working on the campaign trail was she was warned about Mark Halperin,” Plank said during a CNN appearance. “So, in a way, he was the Harvey Weinstein of media.”
Plank added that she hoped “there will be more women who have the courage to come forward about their stories.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t think that he is an exception,” she continued. “That’s very worrying because you look at someone like Mark Halperin, someone like Harvey Weinstein, these are men who are at the top of their industries. And who are in control of the stories that we tell and the the narratives that we choose to talk about.”
Five women told CNN, in a story published Wednesday evening, that Halperin sexually harassed or assaulted them while he was the political director at ABC.
“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” one woman told CNN. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [but] I got out of there and was freaked out by that whole experience. Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.”
Another woman told CNN that when she excused herself to go to the bathroom, “he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something.”
“It freaked me out. I came out of the ladies’ room and he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door,” the woman told CNN.
Another woman told CNN that Halperin once “placed his erect penis against her body without consent.”
Halperin left NBC on Thursday and HBO dropped its Game Change miniseries that was affiliated with Halperin.
It also appears that Halperin’s repulsive and heinous behavior may have been an open secret, which may lead to many more questions and revelations in the coming weeks.
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) October 26, 2017
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 26, 2017