Pundit's Book Deal Strikes a Nerve in MeToo Era

Mark Halperin, accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, signs a deal
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2019 3:38 PM CDT
Book Deal's Controversy Has Nothing to Do With the Book
Mark Halperin in a 2016 photo.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Not too long ago, the idea that Mark Halperin would sign a book deal in a hot election cycle would come as little surprise. But that was before multiple women came forward to accuse Halperin—who rose to become a powerful media figure at ABC and then MSNBC—of sexual misconduct. Halperin lost his network job and largely fell off the national radar. Then came a report from Politico that Halperin has signed with Regan Arts to publish How to Beat Trump. The backlash has been swift. “Giving him a book once again puts him in a position of authority and that is a slap in the face to all the women that he has victimized," says one of the women who came forward publicly, Eleanor McManus, per the Daily Beast.

But Judith Regan of the publishing company has a different take. "I ... believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, and offering a human being a path to redemption," she said in a statement, adding that Halperin's new offering "is an important, thoughtful book." McManus, however, is particularly disturbed that Halperin has not apologized to any of his accusers, a theme picked up by media writer Margaret Sullivan in the Washington Post. Yes, some people deserve second chances, she writes, but "forgiveness, second chances and redemption should be inconceivable without dealing honestly and publicly—and, in some cases, personally—with misconduct." Halperin spoke with dozens of Democratic strategists for his book, and one, David Axelrod, says he now regrets participating. (More Mark Halperin stories.)

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