Mark Halperin Wants You To Forget That Tiny Spot Of Frottage
Mark Halperin was annoying even before we knew how gross he was. He was, in fact, the pundit who bestowed on us the old Wonkette favorite "great news for John McCain," which people at this mommyblog have been typing for eleven years now and didn't even know it was he who'd graced us with it. When his career went up in a well-deserved #MeToo inferno, nothing was truly lost and no one missed him. Now it seems he's mounting a comeback no one requested. The Daily Beast reports that Halperin has spent the past few months "carefully raising his public profile." He called a top editor at The Hill to beg for a job but was told by someone with a disguised voice that "this is an Arby's, sir." He's taken some power lunches with folks who didn't successfully avoid him, including Kellyanne Conway, and now he's even back on Twitter.
We get why Halperin wouldn't want to use the gross face God gave him as his Twitter avatar, and this is probably his own kid (we desperately hope). But it's still too innocent an image for someone literally accused of rubbing his penis on women, against their will, at work. We'd have advised an empty trench coat.
This tweet reminds us why no one should've ever offered Halperin a Yugoslavian pfennig for his thoughts. He was a hack journalist before he became a disgraced one. He should've stayed away and accepted the slight upgrade. After all, Kevin Spacey is a disgraced actor who was once a great one. (American Beauty hasn't aged well, but Se7en and Glengarry Glen Ross are still classics.) Halperin always made stupid points for money. You're right, Mark: Democrats will lose in 2020 if they nominate a bad candidate who runs a bad campaign that makes bad choices. We never considered that. Where can we find more of this insightful commentary?
LOLSomewhere on the Internets
Yes, Halperin has a blog, and it's terrible. It even looks like he's using the Baby's First Blogger platform. We'd normally let Halperin be pathetic in private, but if "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had their way, Halperin would be on our TVs again. They've been actively attempting to resuscitate their former colleague's career. Scarborough and Brzezinski tried to collaborate with Halperin on an online-only program that would've analyzed (poorly) the 2018 midterms. MSNBC yanked the project for obvious reasons.
Brzezinski was rightly criticized for basically calling Halperin's accusers hypocrites if they didn't meet with him and accept his PR-crafted apology (ideally in a public place). Women don't need to read Brzezinski's bogus self-help book, Know Your Value, to know they are worth more than Halperin's professional redemption. Last month, Brzezinski devoted a whole "Morning Joe" segment to Halperin's appearance on Michael Smerconish's SiriusXM radio show. Halperin claimed he'd spoken to "hundreds" of women about workplace sexual misconduct and had come to a "new understanding" of why his actions had "hurt" people. A woman actually accused Halperin of masturbating in front of her in his office. Another woman described an encounter with Halperin that we'd consider sexual assault when he allegedly stood up behind her in his office and stuck his dick on her shoulder. Did he really need to bother "hundreds" of women to realize that's wrong?
Halperin also gave a rambling speech like he was accepting the Oscar for Worst Pervert In A Pundit Role.
HALPERIN: Because this is … the first time I've spoken in any format, for 17 months, I'd like to take the opportunity to again apologize to the women that I mistreated, who told their stories, and who were hurt by me. And also apologize to the people I hurt indirectly, my family, and my colleagues over the years, and my friends.
Wow, we haven't heard from Halperin in 17 whole months! How did we function without our regular source of lousy political commentary? For instance, on his blog, he warned the Trump campaign against "underestimating the degree to which the media will root a lot harder for [Joe] Biden than it did for Hillary Clinton." Great, he admits that sexist creeps like himself had it in for the uppity lady running in 2016 but forgets to express either shame or regret.
HALPERIN: I know I'd like to believe we live in a society where if someone does what they think is the right thing to do, what other people advise them to do, that people would be willing to let me be part of our conversation again in some capacity.
Look, we're OK with the brutal eviction of spoiled brats from Willy Wonka's factory because not everyone in the world received a golden ticket. They were rare and if you're fortunate enough to gain admission, it's on you not to screw up. Smerconish said not inviting Halperin on his show would be "akin to a professional death sentence," which is melodramatic twaddle.
HALPERIN: I have to support a family, and I want my son to grow up respecting me, and seeing in me a fuller person than the person who had what happened to me 17 months ago.
The person who had what happened to me ... the person who had what happened to me ...
Sorry, we're going to need a moment.
OK, we're back. WE THINK. And WE THINK Halperin's son might benefit most from seeing that there are consequences to sexually assaulting women, and those consequences last longer than gaps between Avengers movies.
How does Halperin's return to punditry even work? Why should we expect him to comment fairly on the women running for president? Does anyone care about Halperin's opinion on the allegations against Biden? The market might have no demand for the political opinions of accused sex offenders.
HALPERIN: I wasn't a perfect person when I made these mistakes. I'm not a perfect person now. I'm happy to be judged by perfect people.
Screw you. We imperfect people have no interest in your comeback.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."