The co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program apologized for calling out the survivors of Mark Halperin’s sexual assaults for their unwillingness to interact with him face-to-face late Friday after her comments on-air that morning sparked a harsh response from 10 of her friend’s targets.
“In our discussion about sexual harassment this morning, I said some things that hurt people,” said Mika Brezinski, who started on the program as the news reader, when the show debuted in 2007, but eventually became the show’s co-host with former Florida congressman C. Joseph “Joe” Scarborough.
Halperin was a regular on the program. When women started coming forward in the last days of October about his sexual misconduct, he was easily one of the top political reporters in the country, a spot he had held for the previous decade–having successful stints at Bloomberg, ABC News and bestselling books about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. His romantic novel, Paris in Past Tense,” was released Oct. 3.
“In the case of Mark, my goal today was to start a conversation about hearing from the men whenever we can, but I realize that it is not my place,” she said.
“It isn’t my call to make, and for that I am truly sorry,” said the daughter of Zbigniew Brezinski, President James E. Carter’s national security advisor. “As a victim of sexual assault, I understand that each individual’s case is different.”
In her commentary in the morning, Brezinski said she was reaching disgusted with Halperin’s victims ignoring her attempts to patch things up:
Some men who are willing to face the music, who are willing to face the facts, who are willing to admit to their actions 10, 20 years ago, even five years ago. Mark Halperin is more than willing to meet with his accusers and apologize with them face-to-face. I’ve actually tried to offer him to them. They don’t want to talk to him. They don’t want to talk to him. There are some — there are some hypocrisies here.
The mother of two daughters seemed to realize she had crossed the line when she said: “I know I said something incredibly, what’s the word? Explosive.”
Her husband did not seem to think it was a problem, when she suggested her words were explosive, Scarborough offered instead: “Truthful? Truthful.”
Sensing that her husband was giving her cover she also weighed in on the groping scandal that will soon send Sen. Alan S. Franken (D.-Minn.) back to private life. “I’m not sure what we’re doing here, I really don’t know–and what happened with Al Franken? Doesn’t feel right. It feels political.”
Before NBC released Brezinski’s apology, 10 victims of Halperin including Dianna Pierce Burgess, Katie Glenn, Dianna May, Ella Spektor McManus, Emily Miller and Lara Setrakian rebuked the Williams College graduate and former Hartford, Connecticut TV reporter:
“As journalists and as victims of sexual assault we vehemently disagree with Mika Brzezinski’s inappropriate comments on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today.
Ms. Brzezinski suggested that women who were assaulted by Mark Halperin owe him an opportunity to meet with him in person so that he can ‘apologize face-to-face.’ Sexual harassment and assault is illegal in the workplace and represents a violation of the policies and standards of NBC News. It is an unethical and harmful request to ask that sexual assault victims confront their accusers in person.
Ms. Brzezinski pointed out that Mark Halperin should have a chance to “validate the truth.” If Mr. Halperin feels genuine remorse and wants to apologize, or otherwise try to repair the substantial damage he has done he can do so in the public domain, through the full acknowledgement of his wrongdoing and an honest account of his departure from ABC News.
To unveil Mr. Halperin’s transgressions over three decades required the hard work and professionalism of the same press that holds politicians and world leaders to account. Each one of the cases that have surfaced in the press has been fact-checked and backed up by contemporaneous sources.
We would ask for Ms. Brzezinski for higher standards of editorial judgment, compassion and human decency.
Ms. Brezinski and her cohost, Joe Scarborough, have a long-standing personal friendship with Mark Halperin which appears to be shaping their position on his case.
MSNBC’s air time should not be used as a platform for the one-sided rehabilitation of Mr. Halperin’s reputation or career.
Through his well-documented actions Mr. Halperin has demonstrated that he is unfit for the senior roles he held in our profession and in the public discourse.
We applaud NBC’s decision to terminate its professional relationship with him as a result.”
One of Mark Halperin’s victims, reporter and author Emily Miller, Tweeted:
"It is disgusting and unethical of Mika to use the power of her show to shame me, a sexual assault victim, into meeting with the man who did that to me." More on my first on the record interview on Mark Halperin here: #MeToo https://t.co/OI3ovOWl0l
— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) December 23, 2017
In the end, Brezinski said she was going back to her day job: “This is up to the victims, some of whom I’ve been in contact with. My hope is for all of us to come together to support the brave women who speak out and help make workplaces safer as we continue this difficult conversation in the months and years ahead.”
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HMM: Actress Rosario Dawson Comes Out as Lesbian Just One Month After She ‘Dated’ Cory Booker
Was she his beard?
Actress Rosario Dawson has officially come out as lesbian, just a month after “dating” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) during his dismal presidential campaign.
“People kept saying that I [came out]… I didn’t do that,” she said during a recent interview with Bustle. “I mean, it’s not inaccurate, but I never did come out come out. I mean, I guess I am now.”
Dawson claims she has only been in relationships with men up until this point, so she didn’t feel comfortable coming out of the closet officially until now.
“I’ve never had a relationship in that space, so it’s never felt like an authentic calling to me,” she said.
She said that her time with Booker forced her to be introspective and discover the truth about her sexuality, which made her comfortable about coming out as a lesbian.
“It’s the first time I felt like I had to be responsible about my choice of love, which is a challenging thing to do,” Dawson said. “If you fall in love, you fall in love. But there’s another aspect I had to consider: what this meant in [putting] a microscope on my family and particularly on my daughter.”
Just last month, Dawson was still keeping up the facade with Booker after he announced that he suspended his presidential campaign.
“Cory, you continue to inspire me everyday,” Dawson tweeted at Booker after he announced his campaign was finished. “On this journey you and your remarkable team have represented the best in us and I know you will continue to. Thank you. I see you. I love you.”
Dawson and Booker began their relationship in early 2019 conveniently before presidential primary season was scheduled to begin, which fueled rumors that Dawson was Booker’s “beard,” a slang term for a woman who poses as a phony girlfriend or wife for a closeted homosexual. She kept awkwardly professing her love for Booker as “beard” rumors were persisting wildly over the internet and social media.
“I’m in love! I am absolutely in love, and it is so exciting,” Dawson said of Booker last year.
“Look, both of us, you know, we’ve had relationships,” Booker said of his lesbian Hollywood girlfriend, “but I’m not sure if I’ve ever fully given myself over to a relationship as much as I have with her and allowed myself to be as vulnerable.”
“I mean, gosh, that night we talked for hours and hours,” he added. “I had trouble asking for her phone number… I think I said something really stupid like, ‘Uh, how would I get in touch with you?’ And she mercifully said something like, ‘Oh, you want my phone number?’ And my insides were like, ‘Hell, yeah!'”
Twitter users were not convinced by the show that the supposed lovers were putting on.
How much money are they paying Rosario Dawson to be Corey Booker's beard? Any guesses?
— Michael (@trendy) March 15, 2019
Rosario Dawson is pretty much a professional beard. Enough said.
And this is not a putdown of Cory Booker, as I'm a gay man myself. I want him to come out. He shouldn't have to hide.
— Hugh Michael Horace Dancy-Evans (@FakingDancy) March 14, 2019
Rosario Dawson is taking one for the team. Pretending to be Cory Booker's girlfriend. In old Hollywood these women were called Beards.
— nelliestirs (@nelliestirs) October 11, 2019
Rosario Dawson and Cory Booker are one of the least convincing I’ve ever seen. I don’t get it, he could’ve at chosen a beard he has chemistry with
— Alex (@XandryNicole) October 10, 2019
Idk, getting Rosario Dawson to be his beard is pretty impressive..
— 9Circles (@9Circles9) October 16, 2019
Rosario Dawson with Cory Booker is a publicity thing nothing more. Dare I say she's his beard. When the election is over they'll mysteriously "part ways"
— 🇪🇹MEEK MANDELA🇪🇹 (@NEGUSNGOLANKOSI) October 16, 2019
The fact that Dawson has come out as a lesbian, and presumably ended her reported relationship with Booker, shortly after the end of his presidential campaign will only add additional fuel to the rumors that have plagued Booker for decades.
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