Mark Halperin’s sudden fall from grace began after five women disclosed he was as frightening as any Halloween spectre: accounts of unwanted physical advances while he was the political director for ABC News have caused Penguin Press to kill his upcoming (and as yet untitled) book. In a statement to CNN, Penguin asserted that, “In light of the recent news regarding Mark Halperin, [we’ve] decided to cancel our plans to publish a book he was co-authoring on the 2016 election.”
And Halperin’s tumble has now included premium cable TV; HBO, which had previously greenlit a film version of the book, just axed further ties with the author. According to Politico, an HBO spokesperson said, “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”
Finally, both NBC and MSNBC have dropped Halperin from their roster of political analysts.
Halperin gained fame after co-authoring “Game Change” in 2010, which focused on the 2008 presidential race. “Game Change” was later adapted into an HBO film starring Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin.
This is not the first time Halperin has been in hot water: in 2011 MSNBC suspended him after a “Morning Joe” appearance where he called President Obama “kind of a dick”; Halperin was also recently criticized for asking Ted Cruz to speak Spanish and describe his favorite Cuban meal during an interview. “I apologize to those that were offended, and to Senator Cruz,” he said. “I promise that I will work to make the tone and questions better next time.”
Halperin began his career as a researcher for ABC’s “World News Tonight,” and was named political director for ABC News in 1997. His girlfriend, writer Karen Avrich, gave birth to their son, James, in January.
Photo: David McNew/Reuters