Disgraced journalist Mark Halperin is speaking out for the first time since allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women derailed his lucrative career in October 2017.
In an interview with Sirius XM podcast host Michael Smerconish, the former ABC News correspondent issued another apology "to the women that I mistreated," saying "I couldn't be more sorry for what I did."
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Haplerin, who said he'd been doing volunteer work with convicted criminals in his free time, and has had "literally hundreds" of conversation with women, added that he has continued to learn and understand why sexual harassment is "such a deeply troubling thing." He expressed hope that he "can be allowed to be reintegrated into society a little bit more," and that the political news media "would be willing to let me be part of our conversation again in some capacity."
Mark Halperin says he's hopeful he "can be allowed to be reintegrated into society a little bit more" https://t.co/s8Vr97LxLv
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) April 4, 2019
Halperin was accused by numerous female colleagues of sexual harassing them by, among other things, pressing his (clothed) erection against their bodies and grabbing their breasts. Halperin denied these specific allegations, but acknowledged that he did "pursue relationships with women I worked with," and apologized for "behavior that was inappropriate and caused others pain."
When Smerconish asked him to weigh in on the recent controversy surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been accused by multiple women of "unwanted touching" ahead of his expected entry into the 2020 Democratic primary, Halperin acknowledged that some people wouldn't be eager to hear his opinion on the subject, but offered it anyway.
"I pretty much agree with Nancy Pelosi," Halperin said, referencing the House Speaker's remarks that Biden's behavior wasn't "disqualifying" in terms of whether or not he should run for president. "I think this is a bit of a distraction, as serious as the charges are and as important as this debate is, I think Joe Biden is—despite his standing in the polls—is an extremely overrated candidate."
Halperin noted Biden's underwhelming record as a twice-failed presidential candidate, and said the lack of support from former President Barack Obama was "an extraordinary slap in the face." Biden is unlikely to fare well in the Democratic primary, Halperin said, in part because the former veep is "even less skilled than Hillary Clinton" when it comes to rebutting attacks on his record from the left.
Democratic pundits and members of the media did not react favorably to Halperin's reemergence on the political scene.
If being a dick was a crime, the dude would serve a long time in jail https://t.co/uC1fw3xQWi
— jim manley (@jamespmanley) April 4, 2019
Gotta love how Halperin is like "this guy polls low with sexual harassers, like, say, me." https://t.co/x7HKcz1V1V
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) April 4, 2019
eff mark halperin and screw people like @smerconish who try to help rehab him
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 4, 2019