Morning Joe attacks sexual assault victims

Victims don't have a responsibility to make sure we "grow as a society."

Mika Brzezinski attends FX's "The Americans" season five premiere in New York. “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski has a 3-book deal. CREDIT: Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File
Mika Brzezinski attends FX's "The Americans" season five premiere in New York. “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski has a 3-book deal. CREDIT: Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski blamed the women who have accused journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment Friday for allegedly not wanting to meet Halperin face to face and let him apologize.

“We also have 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,” Brzezinski said. “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 hypocrisies here.”

Halperin has said, in the case of some allegations, that he was pursuing consensual relationships with junior staffers and he has denied others, but according to Brzezinski, it’s the women who have accused Halperin who are responsible for making sure we “grow as a society.”

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“When things happen and men actually want to validate that truth, that’s important that we actually allow that, if we want to grow as a society and learn from each other,” she said. “If we just want to strike people down for political motivation or for anger, we’re not going to get anywhere.”

The allegations against Halperin have come along with an avalanche of allegations against other powerful men in media, politics, and other industries, including television anchor Charlie Rose, failed Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), to name just a few. Brzezinski said Friday that she has been “pouring through these cases.”

“They’re all different. They all involve people… who have had terrible experiences in some cases, and some of them involve men who have sought counseling and who want to apologize, who may not ever come back to their careers in full form,” Brzezinski said. “But the question is, should they be allowed to apologize?”

It’s a question no one has been asking and one where the answer is that of course they should be allowed to apologize — perhaps even required — but victims certainly shouldn’t be forced to meet with their accusers face-to-face and discuss their experiences.

Bzezinski went on, buoyed by her co-host, who said her comments were “truthful.”

“Should they show that they know that things have changed, that perhaps maybe they want to actually come forward and talk about this? I’m not sure what we’re doing here, I really don’t know,” she said. “And what happened with Al Franken doesn’t feel right. It feels political.”

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Franken, who will be leaving the Senate in January, announced his resignation after dozens of his Democratic colleagues, led by a group of Democratic woman Senators, called for him to step aside after eight women alleged he had sexual harassed them.