Chris Matthews is out at MSNBC after over 20 years; the 74-year-old reporter announced his sudden retirement on last night’s Hardball. But it seems like there was a behind the scenes #MeToo-related convo which went, “Quit or you’re dumped, choose.” And a choice was made.
People says that Chris Matthews retired on air, saying that the decision to end and bury Hardball came after “conversations” with the network:
“Let me start with my headline tonight: I’m retiring. This the last Hardball on MSNBC and obviously this isn’t for lack of interest in politics, as you can tell I’ve loved every minute of my 20 years as host of Hardball. Every morning, I read the papers and I’m gung ho to get to work. Not many people have had this privilege…. But after the conversation I’ve had with MSNBC, I decided tonight will be my last Hardball… younger generations out there are ready to take the reins… We see them in politics, and the media and fighting for their causes. They are improving the workplace. We’re talking here about better standards then we grew up with–fair standards.”
My guess is that the “conversations” included the allegations that Chris made sexist remarks to women for years. But recently, a HuffPo reporter named Laura Bassett wrote a piece for GQ, saying that Chris made her uncomfortable several times by flirting with her in the makeup room before she went on air.
In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”
And during his quittin’ speech, Chris apologized for his “compliments on a woman’s appearance” which he “might have once incorrectly thought were okay–were never okay.”
“I’m very proud of the work I’ve done here… I’ll continue to write and talk about politics and cheer on my producers and crew here in Washington and in New York. And my MSNBC colleagues, they will continue to produce great journalism in the years ahead… those of you who have gotten into a habit of watching Hardball every night, I hope you’re going to miss me because I’m going to miss you… So let’s not say goodbye, but ’til we meet again.”
Here’s Chris’ swan song:
— Hardball (@hardball) March 3, 2020
Laura wrote her piece after Chris got shit for the conversation he had with Elizabeth Warren about the misogyny allegations against Mike Bloomberg. One female employee of Bloomberg’s claim he told her to “kill it” after she let him know she was pregnant. Warren believes the woman, and Chris asked, “Why would he lie?”
WHY WOULD HE LIE? https://t.co/cicmchxOpl
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) February 26, 2020
On top of all of this, Chris recently had to apologize for comparing supporters of Bernie Sanders (who’s Jewish) to Nazis:
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) February 25, 2020
After Chris announced that MSNBC pushed him out, I mean, announced that he’s retiring, they went to commercial. When they came back, Chris Matthews was gone and replaced with Steve Kornacki who hosted the rest of the show. Chris supposedly didn’t tell anyone he was going to quit live on air, so Steve was shocked and had to get it together to do the rest of the show.
And here's the shot when the commercial break ended and the camera cut to a stunned Steve Kornacki, who was obviously not prepared for Chris Matthews' announcement, nor to fill in the hour of airtime when #Hardball would usually run. pic.twitter.com/idqhwvi3rl
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) March 3, 2020
A spokesperson confirmed that rotating hosts will sit in during that hour until a permanent replacement is picked.
MSNBC knew about the sexual harassment problem that is Chris Matthews for years, but obviously, after his skeletons started falling out of the closet and his recent on-air fuck ups, they decided to put him out to pasture, and by “pasture” I mean a Caribbean beach, where I’m sure he’s toasting with Matt Lauer as they sit on the pile of money that NBC paid them throughout the years.