Mika Brzezinski made her commitment to discussing and examining cases of sexual harassment crystal clear on Friday, as she delivered a three-minute speech about Mark Halperin to close out the opening segment of ‘Morning Joe.’
‘Before we go to break, something I need say,’ began Brzezinski.
‘Over the past 24 hours, there have been more disturbing details of Mark Halperin’s treatment of younger, female co-workers. The behavior in these reports allegedly occurred one to two decades ago, and now we’re looking at it, we’re talking about it.’
Brzezinski went on to say that Mark and his partner of 15 years Karen Avrich ‘have been a part of Morning Joe’s extended family for years, they’re our friends, and we believe it’s important to stand with our friends through even the most difficult of times.’
She then made it clear that the personal and professional would be kept separate moving forward however as she quickly added: ‘But it’s even more important to demand the truth. Even when the facts appear to be extremely painful.’
‘Yesterday morning, we woke up to reports of unnamed sources telling CNN that Mark made unwanted sexual advances and overtures towards them, said Brzezisnki as she began a quick recap of the past 24 hours.
‘A day later, more revelations pointing to a possible pattern of unacceptable conduct.’
Brzezinski did not say whether or not she had spoken to Halperin or his 50-year-old partner, who recently gave birth to their couple’s first child.
The couple welcomed son James Paul ‘Buster’ Halperin back in January, and Halperin’s Instagram account is a shrine to the boy.
Brzezinski did reveal however that she has spoken to some of the victims.
‘I feel their pain and I understand the difficult position they were in, because I have been through enough in this business to know what I hear,’ said Brzezinski.
She then launched into a powerful explanation of why these stories needed to be heard and examined, no matter how close to home they hit.
‘We are at a pivotal moment in history where unacceptable harassing behavior towards women will no longer be swept under the rug,’ explained the MSNBC host.
‘And yes, we do remain a nation of laws where everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty and nothing has been proven or adjudicated here, but we’re also witnessing a larger movement of women speaking up about sexual harassment because the fear of being dismissed or not believed is melting away.’
She went on to state: ‘I’ll speak for both Joe and myself, our hearts break for mark and his family, because he is our friend. But we fully support NBC’s decision here.’
Brzezinski then wrapped things up by assuring viewers that there would be more to come.
‘We want to know more about these disturbing allegations, we want to know the stories, we need to know what happened,’ said Brzezinski.
‘And we’re not going to avoid the story just because he is our friend.’
In closing, Brzezenski announced: ‘We are going to cover it and we will pray for everybody involved.’
This is the second time this month that Brzezinki has proven herself to be an awesome ally to victims.
The first instance happened just a few days after Thew New York Times released their first expose about Weinstein.
‘Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call. #knowyourvalue,’ wrote Brzezinski.
She then put her money where her mouth is by following that up with a tweet stating: ‘I have a three-book deal with Weinstein Books, through Hachette. I can’t go forward with those books unless Harvey resigns.’
Hacette did not have to worry in the end as Weinstein did in fact step down.
Halperin said on Wednesday night that he is ‘deeply sorry’ and is taking a ‘step back’ from day-to-day work to deal with the situation.
His statement came after allegations that her propositioned, fondled and pushed himself against five women in the early aughts while he was ABC News’ political director.
That number quickly grew when more accusers came forward, including Emily Miller.
Halperin says he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but denied any allegations of groping or unwanted touching.
HBO announced on Thursday that they will no longer be working with Halperin on a previously announced ‘Game Change’ series about the 2016 election, which was set to serve as a follow-up to the HBO film based off his book of the same name.
‘HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,’ said the network in a statement.
‘HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.’
Showtime, which produces Halperin’s reality series ‘The Circus’ had no comment and said they were not aware of any allegations made while he was working for its network.
Showtime also pointed out that The Circus has not yet been renewed for another season.
And MSNBC said in a statement: ‘We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.’
One person who was not sad to see Halperin’s downfall meanwhile was the subject of his book ‘Game Change,’ Sarah Palin.
‘Finally. Talk about a true game change. Mark Halperin is one of the most unethical and dishonest men in America, as proven by the sick movie character he invented about me in attempts to destroy my reputation and record,’ said Palin in a statement.
‘It was pathetic watching all the liberal and even ‘friends’ in conservative news outlets cover his fake movie Game Change so enthusiastically, with such perversion.’
She went on to say: ‘This is evidence of the dark, disgusting nature that has heretofore ruled our media and political culture. But that shall change, as of now. Personally, this is part of the vindication I’ve prayed for – that hateful, lying critics would be revealed for who they really are.
‘Thank God for answered prayers.’