It certainly seems like the sexual harassment train is rolling, with everyone from Hollywood producers to government leaders jumping on board. Now it appears the mainstream media is joining in on these allegations as well.
Mark Halperin, the NBC and MSNBC analyst who co-authored the bestselling 2008 election postmortem “Game Change,” is leaving both networks after five women accused him of sexual harassment. Halperin is reported to have propositioned employees for sex, grabbed a woman’s breast against her will, pressed an erection against three women while he was clothed and trying to kiss several women, according to CNN.
The five women worked with Halperin when he was political director of ABC News, and asked CNN to keep their identities private, said they did not report Halperin to ABC management out of fear of retribution.
Halperin has denied many of the charges. “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “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.”
By Thursday morning, Halperin, who regularly appears on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and other NBC News programs, was on leave indefinitely.
“We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood,” the cable network said in a statement.
Halperin, and “Game Change” co-writer John Heilemann, produced and starred in “The Circus,” a Showtime documentary series on the 2016 presidential campaign. They also co-anchored “With All Due Respect,” a daily political program on Bloomberg TV and MSNBC.