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Mika: ‘Our Hearts Break For Mark,’ But He Should Have Been Suspended

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on ABC's "The View," Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images)Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on ABC's "The View," Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images)

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski is thankfully finding her value, and the value of young women in the news business.

On Thursday she was calling then-NBC contributor Mark Halperin “our friend,” since on most days he has a seat at the table on “Morning Joe.” She spoke in a soft, sympathetic voice and made a point to report that the female sources accusing him were anonymous.

But by Friday she was sharply changing her tune.

“Our hearts break for Mark and his family, because he is our friend,” she said Friday morning, adding that she had communicated with some of the women who said that Halperin sexually harassed them. “But we fully support NBC’s decision here.”

In the last two days, Halperin has been exposed as allegedly harassing as many as seven women at ABC between the late 90s and mid-2000s. CNN’s Oliver Darcy was first to break the story of five anonymous women who came forward with their stories — some of them pretty bizarre — about their interactions with Halperin. On Thursday night, The Daily Beast exposed two more accounts of strange sexual misconduct by Halperin, who has apologized for the pain he has caused, but denied some of the the allegations.

In one recollection, aside from an “occasional lecherous grin,” one woman said he lunged at her in his office at ABC. She made it clear she wasn’t interested and bolted. Still, he continued to make “casual passes” at her.

Halperin has been a staple figure on “Morning Joe.” And he’s not a shy member of the morning show crew.

In fact, Mika, along with her fiancé Joe Scarborough, once egged Halperin on to call President Obama “kind of a dick” on national television. He was suspended for that, but higher-ups eventually brought him back.

“We want to know more about these disturbing allegations,” Mika said. “We want to know the stories. We need to know what happened. And we’re not going to avoid the story just because he is our friend.”


Betsy Rothstein
the authorBetsy Rothstein
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Betsy has been covering and torturing Washington media for the past three years. Early on she studied journalism in England, interviewing punk rockers in Piccadilly Square who stole her notebook and ripped it up. After graduating from Union College with a B.A. in Spanish, she began her journalism career in Cambridge, Mass., working for a Cuban newspaper where she conducted man-on-the-street interviews. She asked Latinos about their love lives. “Do Latinos make better lovers or what?” She soon moved out west to Denver, where she worked for two rival Hispanic weeklies for one year each. Next stop: J-school at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a master’s degree. In the years following grad school she worked at the Boca Raton News as a business reporter followed by a brief stint as a press secretary for former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.). She spent the next decade on Capitol Hill covering hard news, features and gossip for The Hill Newspaper. In 2009 she quit and moved to Portland, Ore. and wrote about the many long-haired men there who distinctly resemble Jesus. They weren’t all kind (one was fat and confrontational) but she got her story. Prior to joining TheDC, Betsy was the editor of FishbowlDC, a Washington media gossip blog.

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