Mark Halperin is itching like crabs to be part of the national conversation.
But his love for the limelight is unrequited.
People were sick of him two years ago, after five women came forward with gross (as in ew) stories of alleged workplace harassment and accusations of sexual misconduct that Halperin has mostly denied.
At the time, Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott called him “professionally stuck in oblivion.” He also dubbed him the “least compelling” of the year’s alleged sexual harassers and a “laptop” in the sea of men accused of being workplace skeeveballs. Now the political world is just perplexed about what Halperin is still doing here and — more specifically — what he’s doing spouting a bizarre conspiracy theory about Jeffrey Epstein, the perceived pedophile who allegedly killed himself in his jail cell over the weekend.
The preface is precious.
“Not a conspiracy theory but a question,” Halperin tweeted Sunday just before noon. “If you assume the incompetence &/or corruption required for Epstein to kill himself or be murdered, why not believe he might have faked his own death via body double & escaped?”
So Halperin’s just asking questions.
In the words of the great presidential hopeful Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who tweeted last week in reaction to President Trump screwing up the mass shootings in Dayton and not Toledo (Ohio): “Fck me.”
Halperin’s mentions quickly blew up. The Twitter mob deservedly let him have it.
“What a god damn pathetic embarrassment you are,” wrote Stephen L. Miller, a conservative who has written for National Review, Heat Street, Fox News and the New York Post. “Hey @JoeNBC, come get your boy.”
Miller is referring to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who can’t seem to get enough Halperin. Scarborough and co-host/wife Mika Brzezinski, have been frantically trying to resuscitate Halperin’s clout. Meanwhile, CNN and SiriusXM’s Michael Smerconish treats him with kid gloves, like an ex-murderer who deserves a second chance after admittedly acting like a big perv at ABC. “Does he deserve to die?” Halperin pal Mike Barnicle, a member of the “Morning Joe” fam, once asked dramatically in a piece by The Daily Beast‘s Lloyd Grove. Halperin admitted to boy boy behavior, just not all of it. He has profusely apologized to the point where his apologies sound ridiculous. (RELATED: Mark Halperin’s Incessant, Annoying Apologies Need To Stop)
David Kilon, news editor for Jewish Currents and a writer for The Nation, gave it to Halperin with both barrels for his Epstein conspiracy theory. “You should be in jail and the fact that you’re not contributes to the widespread perception that anything is possible for wealthy, well-connected creeps,” he wrote.
Professor Matt Gabriele, who works in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech, had a question: “Do sexual harassers find conspiracy theories easier to believe? Asking for you since you’re a sexual harasser.”
Josh Billinson, editor of IJR, cracked, “This is good, Mark. If you pivot to Infowars you might be able to pull off your comeback.”
Some of the most astute reactions came from complete unknowns.
“I’m not saying this in jest,” wrote Jackie Mary, a self-described personal and political tweeter and dog mom.” Have you considered seeing a psychiatrist? We all have strange thoughts when we get bored and have time, but this kind of offbeat thinking seems out of character given your past reporting style as a conventional wisdom icon.”
Mary continued, “I mean, Mark, I am serious about possibly advocating checking in with a psychiatry appointment. I am saying this as someone who has greatly benefited from psychiatric prescriptions.”
She’s also funny: “I’m also confused picturing you getting high possibly.”
Deplorable Ron Hill wasn’t too impressed with Halperin’s Epstein theory: “Definitely a conspiracy theory. I don’t mind a decent CT every now and then, but that one is just dumb. Why not suggest he was abducted by aliens?”
Some needed to call a spade a spade. “Is that your plan, Mark?” asked Florida Flan. “Why don’t you just lay low for the next thirty years and donate your money to organizations that help women unlike, say, you.”
Trauma Stats Shasta added, “Really ironic, you weighing in on serial sexual abusers right now.”
Every now and then someone threw him a bone. But sarcasm can be hard to grasp online.
“Welcome back,” wrote another.
“This legit made me lol,” wrote Ryan James Gyrdusky, a correspondent for One America News Network.
Drugs seemed to be a major sub category within the Halperin conspiracy theory. “I’ll have what you’re having,” wrote 1000 hamberders etc. “I don’t think I’ve ever smoked shit that strong and I live in California.”
After Halperin’s scandal arose in 2017, MSNBC canned him. Eventually he did some soul-searching by interning at an organization that helps transition murderers back into everyday life. Halperin didn’t murder anyone, but somehow it feels like he’s choking us all to death with his wisdom every time he tweets or opens up his mouth in pursuit of a career comeback. (RELATED: Ex-Journo Mark Halperin Is Really Sorry, But Hey, Bro, You Hiring?)
He’s trying to revive his brand, which is, at best, tone deaf, and at worst, tarred with accusations of sexual misconduct that include purportedly grabbing breasts, unwanted kissing attempts and brushing his hardened genitals against women at the office.
His comeback so far consists of tweeting, doing occasional radio hits and writing a morning newsletter called Mark Halperin’s Wide World of News.
One observer couldn’t resist lobbing a dirty ditty at Halperin.
HBStowit wrote, “I’m terrified that you might have typed this without your pants on.”