WASHINGTON — Mark Halperin has inked a new book deal about political strategy in the Trump era and was blasted by women who accused the disgraced NBC commentator of sexual misconduct.
The political journalist — who was fired in 2017 after a dozen women made accusation against him — was aided by dozens of prominent Democrats who participated in the book.
“This is appalling and so upsetting,” journalist and author Emily Miller told The Post.
Miller was harassed by Halperin when they worked together at ABC News and she was his junior.
“Men like him don’t change. He spent decades using his position of power in the media to sexually assault women. He hasn’t even apologized to his victims!” Miller said.
“Every person who’s helping him regain power and a public platform is complicit in retraumatizing all the victims.”
Eleanor McManus — a former CNN producer, who encountered Halperin’s inappropriate behavior when first trying to get a media job — echoed Miller’s concerns.
“He leveraged his position as a prominent journalist to prey on women,” McManus told The Post via email.
“He has yet to take responsibility for his actions by apologizing to his victims or demonstrating genuine contrition. Giving him a book once again puts him in a position of authority and that is a slap to all the women that he has victimized.”
On Sunday, Politico Playbook reported that Halperin has written a book entitled “How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take” to be published by Regan Arts.
More than 75 Democratic strategists participated. They include big names like Donna Brazile, James Carville, David Axelrod, Kathleen Sebelius, Bob Shrum and Mark Mellman.
The book will be released this November – a year from the 2020 presidential election.
Publisher Judith Regan released a statement about taking on Halperin as an author.
“I do not in any way, shape, or form condone any harm done by one human being to another,” the statement read.
“I have also lived long enough to believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, and offering a human being a path to redemption.”
She added: “ ‘How to Beat Trump’ is an important, thoughtful book, and I hope everyone has a chance to read it.”
Halperin was among a handful of powerful media men who were downed by allegations of sexual assault and harassment in 2017.
CNN initially talked to five female accusers in October of that year. One woman memorably said she had gone into his office to have a soda and he pressed his genitals against her body.
“I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the female ex-colleague of Halperin’s at ABC News said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”
Lara Setrakian, the CEO, co-founder and executive director of News Deeply came out publicly and said she was one of the five women who initially accused Halperin.
Miller, the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun,” came out and said she had been harassed by Halperin while working at ABC as well.
“I was ANOTHER junior ABC employee he attacked,” Miller tweeted. “I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him.”
McManus, who rose to become a senior producer at CNN’s “Larry King Live,” recalled that her first big meeting as a young journalist was with Halperin — and he tried to kiss her.
Two days after CNN’s initial report the list of accusers had grown to more than a dozen.
One woman said he masturbated in front of her in his office. Another woman recalled having lunch with him. It ended with him throwing her violently against the restaurant’s window while attempting to kiss her. After she rejected him he called her and said she had no future in media or politics.
At the time Halperin issued an apology.
“I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated,” he said.
He denied masturbating in front of a co-worker and said he never physically assaulted or threatened anyone.
Due to the allegations, Halperin lost his television contract with NBC News and a book deal for a 2016 election follow-up to “Game Change” and “Double Down,” which he co-authored with John Heilemann.
HBO cancelled a movie version of “Double Down,” which would have been a sequel to the Julianne Moore-fronted “Game Change.” He also lost his hosting gig on Showtime’s “The Circus.”
But unlike Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, Halperin indicated he didn’t plan to stay in the doghouse forever.
In June 2018, Page Six reported that the journalist had taken a number of high-profile meetings, including with Rose and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway. One source downplayed the meetings as social calls.
But in 2019 Halperin began to resurface.
Michael Smerconish put Halperin on his SiriusXM show. In April, Page Six reported that Halperin was doing work with ex-Rikers Island inmates via the Queens-based Fortune Society. He also re-engaged on Twitter.
The Daily Beast reported in May that Halperin was supposed to collaborate last fall on an online-only program in the run-up to the 2018 midterms with “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, though the network pulled the plug.
But news of the book project on Sunday was not greeted happily by beltway and media insiders.
The group Press Forward, which formed to change newsroom culture on the heels of Halperin and other high-profile men being exposed, put out a statement asking those involved in the book project to look at the bigger picture.
“Americans will continue to lose trust in the news media if a journalist who covers scandals can commit the same crimes he reports on and face no serious consequences, then continue to be a narrator of the national conversation,” pointed out Press Forward co-founder and executive director Dianna Pierce Burgess.
Carolyn McGourty Supple, the chief visionary officer of Press Forward added, “It’s in moments like this, and discussions behind the scenes with critical influencers, when those in power have the choice to stand up for what is right and for those who have been harmed, or to do what is best for their bottom lines and their friends.
“The former requires courage — something expected of public servants just as it should be of political strategists and journalists,” she said.
Twitter was quick to criticize the move.
“Glad everyone here felt cool sitting down with someone who repeatedly harassed young, female journalists. Well done, all,” tweeted Jackie Kucinich, the DC bureau chief for the Daily Beast and a CNN commentator.
Judd Legum, the author of the Popular Information newsletter wrote, “We all know who Mark Halperin is now but it’s disturbing that so many prominent Democrats have decided to rehabilitate his career.”
“It’s gross,” Legum added.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s former press secretary Eric Schmeltzer said Democrats who didn’t participate should be cheered.
“If you are a Democratic consultant and REFUSED an interview request from Mark Halperin, for his new book, please say so, so we can thank you,” Schmeltzer tweeted Sunday.
“Dead serious. Would love to thank those who refused to help resuscitate his career, after the sexual assaults he committed.”
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