Mark Halperin

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Mark Halperin
Mark Halperin 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Halperin at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Knife Fight
Born Mark Evan Halperin
(1965-01-11) January 11, 1965 (age 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Education B.A., Harvard University, 1987
Occupation Anchor
Years active 1988–2017
Employer Bloomberg L.P.
Time Warner
Notable work

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
Partner(s) Karen Avrich
Parent(s) Morton Halperin and Ina (née Weinstein) Halperin Young

Mark Evan Halperin (born January 11, 1965)[1] is an American journalist, most recently known for his position as senior political analyst for MSNBC and as a contributor, and former co-managing editor with John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics.[2] He previously worked as the political director at ABC News, where he worked as the editor of the Washington, D.C., newsletter The Note. He is the co-author with Heilemann of Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012. Halperin and Heilemann were co-hosts of MSNBC and Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, a political analysis show. Halperin produced and co-starred with Heilemann and Mark McKinnon in Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, following 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.[3]

Personal life

Halperin was born to a Jewish family,[4] the son of Morton Halperin, a foreign policy expert, and Ina Weinstein Halperin Young.[5][6] He was born in New York City but raised in Bethesda, Maryland.[7][8]

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.[4] He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1987.[9]

Halperin resides in New York City with his girlfriend, Karen Avrich, co-author of Sasha and Emma with her late father, historian Paul Avrich.[2][10][11][12]

Mark Halperin with co-host Mark McKinnon at the 2015 Iowa Growth & Opportunity Party, Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, Iowa, during shooting of The Circus.


Secretary John Kerry chats with MSNBC analyst Halperin before appearing on Morning Joe in New York

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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[13]

In October 2006, Halperin and John F. Harris, released their book, The Way to Win: Clinton, Bush, Rove, and How to Take the White House in 2008.[citation needed]

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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[citation needed]


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.[16][17] His suspension was lifted a little over a month later.[18]

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."[19]

The Washington Post's 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 J. Trump.[20][21] Alex Shephard, writing in The New Republic, criticized his coverage for being overly focused on the horse race and for shallow analysis.[22] 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." [23]

In November 2016,Brian Williams said Halperin had "gone out of his way" to give Trump favorable coverage.[24]

Sexual misconduct allegations

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."[25][26]

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."[27][28]

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." [29] 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 channels said in a statement, “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.”[30] 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.[31]

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."[32] 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;[33] however, a later report from The Daily Beast included an allegation of harassment from 2011.[34]

On October 30, 2017, both NBC and MSNBC terminated Halperin's contract with the network.[35][36]

On January 3, 2018, Showtime replaced Halperin with CBS News anchor Alex Wagner.[37][38][39]


  • Mark Halperin and John F. Harris, The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008, Random House, October 2006, ISBN 1-4000-6447-3
  • Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, Harper, January 2010, ISBN 0-06-173363-6
  • Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Double Down: Game Change 2012, Penguin Press, November 2013 ISBN 1594204403


  1. ^ Mark Halperin. Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Gale Biography In Context.
  2. ^ a b "Mark Halperin". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Moraes, Lisa de (30 October 2017). "NBC News Terminates Mark Halperin's Contract".
  4. ^ a b Jewish Daily Forward: "ABC News Man Shares Notes on How To Win in 2008" by E.J. Kessler October 6, 2006
  5. ^ New York Times: "Ina W. Halperin Wed To Dr. Joseph L. Young",, March 20, 1988.
  6. ^ Loftus, John (1992). The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed The Jewish People. St. Martin's. p. 314. ISBN 978-0312156480.
  7. ^ "The Pivotal, Behind-the-Scenes Story of How the "Game Change" Guys Get Sources to Talk".
  8. ^ Finn, Robin (October 2, 2002). "Public Lives; The Insider's Insider, Getting It Out on the Web". The New York Times. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  9. ^ "Mark Halperin". ABC News. July 21, 2006. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  10. ^ "Karen Avrich- Time Magazine Analyst Mark Halperin's Girlfriend - WAGPOLITICS.COM". November 26, 2013. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  11. ^ "Sasha and Emma — Paul Avrich, Karen Avrich". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  12. ^ "Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  13. ^ Grann, David (October 25, 2004). "Inside Dope: Mark Halperin and the transformation of the Washington establishment". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  14. ^ The NHIOP Congratulates Board Member Mark Halperin on his New Best-Selling Book, Saint Anselm College website; accessed January 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Moses, Lucia (May 23, 2011). "Time Spins Off Halperin's 'The Page' as App". Adweek. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  16. ^ Katla McGlynn and Jack Mirkinson (June 30, 2011). "Mark Halperin SUSPENDED For Obama 'D*ck' Comment (VIDEO)". Huffington Post.
  17. ^ Mak, Tim (June 30, 2011). "Mark Halperin suspended over Obama remark on Morning Joe". Politico.
  18. ^ Moos, Julie (August 2, 2011). "MSNBC ends Mark Halperin's suspension this week". Poynter Institute. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  19. ^ "Salon". Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Jim Hoft. "THE WIKILEAKS LIST: At Least 65 MSM Reporters Were Meeting with and/or Coordinating Offline with Top Hillary Advisors".
  21. ^ Wilstein, Matt (October 27, 2016). "Mark Halperin Tells Trump What He Wants to Hear in Embarrassing Interview". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Shephard, Alex (October 7, 2016). "Mark Halperin gets a D-". New Republic. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  23. ^ Wallace-Wells, Benjamin. "Showtime's "The Circus" Offers Dark Lessons in Horse-Race Journalism". The New Yorker. Condé Nast Inc. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Brian Williams calls out prominent journalist: 'You've gone out of your way' to give Trump favorable coverage". Business Insider. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  25. ^ Darcy, Oliver (October 26, 2017). "Five women accuse journalist and 'Game Change' co-author Mark Halperin of sexual harassment". CNN.
  26. ^ "Mark Halperin: Yes, I had inappropriate relationships with young women". New York Post. October 26, 2017.
  27. ^ Schmidt, Samantha (October 26, 2017). "NBC political analyst Mark Halperin apologizes after five women accuse him of sexual harassment, CNN reports". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  28. ^ Koblin, John; Grynbaum, Michael M. (October 26, 2017). "Mark Halperin, a Top Political Journalist, Faces Multiple Claims of Harassment" – via
  29. ^ Johnson, Alex (October 26, 2017). "NBC News Analyst Mark Halperin Accused of Sexual Harassment". NBC News. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  30. ^ Steinberg, Brian (October 26, 2017). "HBO Drops 'Game Change' Miniseries Affiliated With Mark Halperin". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  31. ^ Gold, Hadas; Darcy, Oliver (October 26, 2017). "Penguin Press cancels Mark Halperin's 'Game Change' after harassment allegations". CNN. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  32. ^ Darcy, Oliver (October 27, 2017). "Four more women accuse Mark Halperin of harassment, bringing total to at least a dozen". CNN. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  33. ^ Kobin, John (October 27, 2017). "Mark Halperin Apologizes to Women He 'Mistreated'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  34. ^ Kirell, Andrew; Suebsaeng, Asawin (October 27, 2017). "New Accuser: Serial Harasser Mark Halperin Targeted College Girls, Too". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  35. ^ "Journalist sacked over alleged harassment". BBC News. 30 October 2017.
  36. ^ Moraes, Lisa de (30 October 2017). "NBC News Terminates Mark Halperin's Contract".
  37. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-01-03). "Showtime Renews 'The Circus,' Alex Wagner Joins as Co-Host". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  38. ^ "Showtime's 'The Circus' Will Go On Without Mark Halperin". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  39. ^ Evans, Greg (3 August 2018). "Showtime's 'The Circus' Sets Fall Premiere Date In Time For Midterm Elections". Retrieved 15 October 2018.

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