Yes, the title is a bit of a cheap shot, at least when you consider that it’s not only women he’s doing it to. The “it” in question is subscribing people to his relatively new newsletter called Mark Halperin’s Wide World of News. He’s been pitching it all over social media and asking people to sign up for their daily dose of Halperin’s opinions on various bits of political news.
Nothing wrong with that, right? But some people who didn’t sign up suddenly began receiving the emails and not all of them were happy about it.
Former reporter Meredith Shiner revealed on Twitter that she had been unwittingly subscribed to Halperin’s newsletter. She expressed frustration with the author’s aggressive tactics.
“I did not consent to receiving this newsletter and I want the author to know and publicly acknowledge the importance of consent,” Shiner wrote on Halperin’s website.
Halperin is also releasing a new book, much to the consternation of his critics. He interviewed more than 75 Democrat strategists and politicians for How to Beat Trump, due to be published in November. Some of the participants, including former Obama advisor David Axelrod, expressed regret about their decision to respond to Halperin’s questions. Others, such as Joe Biden campaign adviser Anita Dunn, did not.
I unsubscribed from the Mark Halperin newsletter I did not sign up for and took liberty to provide my own reason as to why I no longer want to receive it. pic.twitter.com/P64qomDsg7
— Meredith Shiner (@meredithshiner) September 4, 2019
I’m clearly not important enough to be automatically subscribed, so I haven’t run into this issue. But one thing I have noticed is that Halperin was nearly radio silent on Twitter after his fall from grace, but then this summer he came back with a vengeance. I’ve been following him for years and had almost forgotten that he was out there, but over the past few months, he’s been tweeting a lot.
Nearly all of the tweets are just items from his WWoN website with links to drive people there. The others are pitches to sign up for his newsletter or promotions of his upcoming book. His level of reach and interactions is kind of dismal, however. Here’s one of his tweets from yesterday which, at the time of this writing, had garnered a grand total of four retweets and five likes.
Mark Halperin's Wide World of News for Friday, September 6, 2019https://t.co/Tu6yk2efOK
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) September 6, 2019
That’s kind of remarkable when you consider that this is a guy with well over 300K followers and he’s getting basically zero interaction. It’s as if nobody wants to be seen talking to him, so he hasn’t gotten any sort of amnesty in the social media world the way some other accused Me Too perpetrators have. But it’s not as if nobody is seeing his tweets. When I looked at his Twitter page I noticed that there were more than 400 people I follow who also follow Halperin.
And in the few cases where he is drawing comments, most of the ones I saw over the past week or so were either from Trump supporters who were berating him or people reminding him he still hasn’t apologized for his behavior. In short, Mark Halperin still appears to be a pariah in political circles. I can’t imagine how many copies of that book his publisher thinks they’re going to sell.
That Wide World of News page is a bit curious as well. (I linked it at the top of this article.) I hadn’t visited it before today, but the layout is really kind of strange. It’s reminiscent of one of the earliest blogs from the days of Blogger. It has a white background and it just scrolls endlessly downward with one day’s entries after another and no obvious way to search or link straight to any particular bits of content. This is a man who was working in media for many years. Seems like he could have gotten someone to design something a bit more user-friendly.
In any event, I suppose the message here is that Halperin is back, baby! Not that you could tell at a quick glance.