News & Politics

Journalist Mark Halperin: 'I Sincerely Apologize to the Women I Mistreated'

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Journalist Mark Halperin, who has been accused of sexual abuse by at least a dozen women, has released a statement. In it, he says he takes full responsibility for his actions, adding that he is “profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated.”

As the good little liberal he is, he then pretends he’s actually quite a good feminist himself:

The world is now publicly acknowledging what so many women have long known: Men harm women in the workplace. That new awareness is, of course, a positive development. 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 fear and anxiety for women who were only seeking to do their jobs.

Isn’t it funny how abusers generalize about men? “Men harm women in the workplace.” No, men don’t do that at all. Mark and other creepy guys like him do. I’d appreciate it tremendously if he didn’t project his own sins on all men. This is his problem, not mine or my father’s (to give just a couple examples).

Be that as it may, Halperin does, at least, take responsibility for his actions. He apologizes and explains that his behavior was truly and utterly unacceptable. Yay.

Still, there are two problems with his apology. Firstly, Halperin says that some of the accusations are lies. He doesn’t say which ones, which leaves us guessing and which eventually will give him wiggle room (“I tried to kiss that one woman, but I never, ever masturbated in front of that other woman!”).

Secondly, Halperin writes that he realized he had a problem several years ago, “towards the end of my time at ABC News,” and that he “was behaving in a manner that had to stop.” That’s why he had weekly counseling sessions for years around the time of his departure from ABC. “Those who have worked with me in the past decade know that my conduct in subsequent jobs at TIME, Bloomberg, NBC News, and Shometime has not been what it was at ABC,” he concludes.

Is that right?

In 2011 Katharine Glenn was a student at Tulane University. She was preparing to take the LSAT. The Daily Beast explains what happened according to Glenn, who’s now working as a First Amendment lawyer:

Shortly after Halperin came to her class as a guest speaker on American politics and media, a dinner party was thrown at the house of James Carville and Mary Matalin, the famous political-operative couple. Roughly 15 students attended. “We were seated next to each other randomly during the dinner, we were chatting, and he got very friendly and put his hand on my upper thigh,” Glenn said.

What’s most remarkable about Glenn’s account is the fact that her story so closely resembles the accounts of the women who accuse Halperin of sexual harassment during his years at ABC News:

“[He] was talking to me about helping me with my career, and that I shouldn’t go to law school and should come to DC and be a journalist or work on the Hill,” she continued. “He offered that I should come back to his hotel room [that night] so we could talk more about my career—and at no point did I think that is what he meant, and the touching under the table did not suggest that, either.”

She added that before she even had the chance to reject Halperin’s proposition, an assistant interrupted and suddenly whisked him away from the party.

“It was gross, kind of pathetic,” she continued. “He had no bearing on my career, so I wasn’t scared, just sort of grossed out… ‘Go find someone your own age,’ I thought. He was twice my age. It was all lecherous and gross.”

Oh, and that’s not all. Two other sources who were present say that he behaved in such a way to at least two other female students. In fact, they say, he behaved so badly that adjunct professor Mike Sherman actively “intervened” when he saw Halperin was harassing one young lady.

In short, although Halparin issued an apology, this scandal isn’t going away anytime soon for him.