Mark Evan Halperin
January 11, 1965
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University (BA)|
|Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (co-author)|
Double Down: Game Change 2012 (co-author)
The Way to Win: Clinton, Bush, Rove, and How to Take the White House in 2008 (co-author)
|Television||The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth co-star (2015-17)|
With All Due Respect co-host (2014-17)
Bloomberg Politics co-managing editor (2014-17)
Morning Joe (contributor; 2010-17)
|Board member of||New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College|
|Parent(s)||Morton Halperin and Ina (née Weinstein) Halperin Young|
Mark Evan Halperin (born January 11, 1965) is an American journalist, currently appearing on Newsmax TV. Halperin previously worked as the political director at ABC News, where he served as the editor of the Washington, D.C., newsletter The Note. In 2010, Halperin joined MSNBC, becoming the senior political analyst and a contributor. Along with John Heilemann, Halperin served as co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics. Halperin and Heilemann co-wrote Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012, were co-hosts of MSNBC and Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, and produced and co-starred with Mark McKinnon in Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which followed the presidential candidates behind the scenes of their campaigns in the 2016 United States Presidential Election.
In response to multiple allegations of workplace sexual harassment and misconduct at his prior job at ABC News, Halperin was fired by both Showtime Networks and NBC News at the end of October 2017.
Halperin was born to a Jewish family, the son of Morton Halperin, a foreign policy expert, and Ina Weinstein Halperin Young. He was born in New York City but raised in Bethesda, Maryland.
In 1982, before he began his senior year at Walt Whitman High School, he lived with a family in Japan as part of the Youth for Understanding program. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1987.
In 1988, Halperin started out as a desk assistant for ABC News and a researcher for World News Tonight. He then worked in the investigative unit of World News Tonight and as a general assignment reporter in Washington.
In 1992, he worked full-time as an off-air producer covering the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. In 1994, Halperin became a producer with ABC's special events unit in New York and later an editorial producer.
In 1997, he was named the political director for ABC News. As director, Halperin appeared frequently as a correspondent and political analyst for ABC News television and radio programs. He founded and edited The Note, which appeared daily on ABCNews.com.
Starting in 2006 Halperin was a board member of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire. He has been on their public advisory board since it was created in 2008.
In March 2007, Halperin became a political analyst for ABC News and was replaced as political director by David Chalian. In May 2007, Halperin was hired as a political analyst and editor at large for Time magazine. In June 2010, he was hired as senior political analyst at MSNBC. In 2011, Time released an iPad app called "Mark Halperin 2012" that contains material from Halperin's "The Page" as well as video, photos, breaking news, and Halperin's take on the news.
Halperin and co-author John Heilemann wrote the 2010 Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime. Subsequently the book was made into the HBO movie Game Change, which premiered on March 10, 2012. Halperin had a cameo role in the movie as a reporter. Halperin and Heilemann followed in 2012 with a book about that election titled Double Down: Game Change 2012.
On June 30, 2011, Halperin was suspended from his duties at MSNBC for "slurring" President Barack Obama on the program Morning Joe, saying the President came off as "kind of a dick" during the previous day's press conference. His suspension was lifted a month later.
In December 2011, Halperin was listed as #1 in the Salon website's 2011 Hack List, his reporting described as "shallow and predictable" as well as "both fixated solely on the horse race and also uniquely bad at analyzing the horse race."
The Washington Posts Dana Milbank called Halperin's analysis in the 2016 United States presidential campaign "soulless" and "amoral," and cited a number of instances where Halperin praised Republican nominee Donald Trump. Alex Shephard, writing in The New Republic, criticized his coverage for being overly focused on the horse race and for shallow analysis. Conversely, Benjamin Wallace-Wells of The New Yorker writes that Halperin's The Circus is "both an argument for horse-race journalism and a way to see its inner workings, and so to track Heilemann and Halperin in their long traipse across the American interior is to see the media discovering its own vulnerabilities, just as Trump was exploiting them."
On October 26, 2017, CNN reported that five women had come forward and accused Halperin of sexual harassment. One woman told the network she was assaulted after visiting Halperin in the early 2000s. "I went up to have a soda and talk and – he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs," the woman said. "I just froze. I didn't know what to do." Another woman told CNN that Halperin once pressed his penis on her shoulder during the 2004 campaign cycle. "I was obviously completely shocked," she said. "Given I was so young and new, I wasn't sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news." A third woman, a former ABC News employee, told CNN she was on the road with Halperin when he propositioned her. "I excused myself to go to the bathroom and he was standing there when I opened the door, propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something," she said. "It freaked me out. I came out of the ladies' room and he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door."
Halperin apologized for pursuing "relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," but denied pressing his genitals against a woman and grabbing another woman's breast. He added that he would temporarily leave his daily work to "properly deal with this situation."
Later that day, NBC News released a statement saying that in light of the allegations, Halperin would not return as a senior political analyst "until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood."HBO announced it would no longer go forward with a planned miniseries about the presidential election that was based in part on Halperin's then-upcoming book on the 2016 election. The premium cable channel said in a statement, "HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions."Penguin Press also canceled the latest installment of the Game Change series Halperin was co-authoring with John Heilemann, which HBO had already canceled plans to adapt.
A day after their first story, CNN ran a second story revealing that the number of women accusing Halperin of misconduct had grown to "at least a dozen." In a lengthy statement published in response to the CNN report, Halperin denied some of the new allegations, including that he masturbated in front of anyone or physically assaulted anyone. He apologized to the women he "mistreated" and said that he recognized he had a problem near the end of his tenure at ABC, received weekly counseling sessions, and ended the behavior; however, a later report from The Daily Beast included an allegation of harassment from 2011.
According to a May 3, 2019 report in The Daily Beast, Halperin worked on repairing his reputation during the first quarter of 2019 with a goal of returning as a pundit on television and radio. According to the article, Halperin enlisted the help of Michael Smerconish, Mika Brzezinski, and Joe Scarborough on a under the radar, yet calculated, professional rehabilitation campaign. Since the beginning of 2019, Halperin resumed posting on Twitter, and in mid-April launched a new political blog titled "Mark Halperin's Wide World of News". Around the same time, Halperin appeared on Sirius XM with Smerconish, where he said he has been working with the Fortune Society, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that provides essential support to the formerly incarcerated.
On August 18, 2019, publisher Regan Arts announced that Halperin had signed a new book deal. The book, entitled How to Beat Trump: America's Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take, was published in early-November 2019. Contributors to the book include David Axelrod, Donna Brazile, and James Carville.
After news broke about the upcoming book, there was widespread criticism and outrage, with Gretchen Carlson calling the deal "a slap in the face to all women." Rebecca Katz, a political strategist said on Twitter, "you can beat Trump without supporting the career rehabilitation of Mark Halperin." CNN political commentator Karen Finney called Halperin "a predator" and denounced the book publisher Regan Arts.
According to a September 9, 2019 report in The Daily Beast, Halperin allegedly exchanged vague threats on a call with MSNBC president Phil Griffin after being refused a possible collaboration with the Morning Joe team earlier in 2019.