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Media #MeToo Men Mount Pathetic Comebacks

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Reuters
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Reuters

This reporting is featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.

Summer 2023 has been a busy time for alleged serial sexual harassers hoping to get back into the media spotlight. Confider checked in on some of the most powerful media men felled during #MeToo and learned that some of them have been trying to mount a comeback—with varying degrees of success.

Charlie Rose, for example, has been quietly working on a resurgence via “the power of questions,” as his website blares.

After unveiling a sitdown chat with billionaire investor Warren Buffett last year, Rose has intermittently released episodes of Charlie Rose Conversations, most recently an interview with Ret. Gen. David Petraeus posted a few weeks ago.

Rose seems to be nostalgic for the days before he was fired by CBS and PBS in 2017 after 8 women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and groping (after Rose apologized, the tally of accusers rose to 35): He’s taken to posting old clips of his talk show, including a 1999 interview with Jimmy Carter, tagged “In Memoriam,” despite the ex-prez still being alive.

When reached for comment, Rose told Confider that he has more interviews planned and that he wants to get back into the mix on subjects like the 2024 election, Ukraine, and artificial intelligence. “This is an interesting time in the affairs of the world, and I hope to be part of the conversation,” he said.

Page Six reported in February that former Today show host Matt Lauer has been eyeing a similar podcast-like comeback after being fired by NBC in 2017 over multiple sex-misconduct allegations (which he described as “mischaracterizations”)—but those ambitions have seemingly stalled, Confider has learned.

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Two people familiar with his thinking told us that he’s been merely spending time with his girlfriend, PR exec Shamin Abas, and the three kids he shares with ex-wife Annette Roque, with supposedly no immediate plans for a return to media.

Lauer has been spotted at various Hamptons functions this summer, including the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s annual gala. He hung up on Confider when reached for comment.

Meanwhile, former NBC News political star Mark Halperin, who quickly saw his star fall after being fired in 2017 after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment (he denied the claims), has seemingly had the most successful comeback of the lot—depending on how you define “success.”

After a few failed attempts at rehabbing his career via his pals Michael Smerconish and Joe Scarborough, Halperin fully embraced the dark side and joined up with Newsmax, a channel notorious for rehabbing creeps. Since then, his profile has only grown on the right-wing network.

This summer he’s been busy making near-daily appearances, sometimes multiple times in one day, even dutifully playing the role of in-house political analyst on propaganda shows hosted by sitting GOP lawmakers—a sign of just how far Halperin, who did not respond to a request for comment, has come as a serious journalist.

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