Days and days after Showtime, HBO and, Penguin Press ended their business relationships with Mark Halperin, a wave of creepier allegations against the disgraced journalist has apparently forced NBC News to finally and formally terminate his contract.
Until this morning, Halperin was merely under suspension as a special contributor to NBC News. This was probably due to ongoing support from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the leftwing Morning Joe co-hosts who made Halperin a regular on the show and publicly expressed their “love” for him as late as Friday.
Despite their own sanctimonious history — and NBC’s history — when it came to savaging Fox News for renewing Bill O’Reilly’s contract after he had settled sexual harassment claims (O’Reilly, who was eventually fired, denies any wrongdoing), Joe and Mika seemed to want to give their “friend” every benefit of the doubt.
Joe and Mika also feigned ignorance of Halperin’s admitted and alleged behavior (more on this below) even though they are supposedly super plugged-in to all things media and DC, even though we keep hearing about Halperin’s behavior being an “open secret” within the elite media. Of course, we are also told that Harvey Weinstein was an “open secret,” but Mika claimed surprise at the allegations against him — the man who awarded her a lucrative book deal.
As if the original allegations were not enough for NBC to terminate Halperin, allegations that he rubbed his clothed erection up against young women at ABC News, another accuser later came forward with the claim that Halperin had “masturbated behind his desk while staring at her[.]”
The accuser, who CNN reported was her early 20s at the time, asked to meet with Halperin for career advice and went into his office after 10 p.m. While the two were talking, she told CNN, Halperin began masturbating behind his wooden desk while he stared at her.
“I sat in a chair across from him,” she said to CNN. “He was behind a wooden desk so I couldn’t see him from the waist down. As we had our conversation about my career he was masturbating. There was no question about it.”
“I pretended like I didn’t know what was going on and we talked a bit more and then he abruptly wrapped up the conversation,” she continued.
Yet another accuser said, “He put both hands on my arms and threw me against the window of the restaurant hard … So my head banged against the window hard, in a way I thought people inside were going to think something terrible had happened to me.”
Halperin did not help his case by changing his story. In his original statement to leftwing CNN, Halperin said:
During this period [at ABC News over a decade ago], I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.
In a later statement, Halperin’s claim that he merely “pursue[d] relationships” devolved into the admission he “mistreated” women, that his behavior was “often aggressive and crude,” that he was apparently so out of control he sought professional help. Halperin also said that some “of the allegations that have been made against me are not true,” but did not elaborate.