Boom! … and then he was gone. Longtime MSNBC host Chris Matthews stunningly dropped the mic at the start of Monday’s “Hardball” show, announcing his immediate retirement. His departure was so immediate, he disappeared at the first commercial break, with a dazed Steve Kornacki stepping in to replace him in front of the camera.
“Let me start with my headline tonight,” Matthews said. “I’m retiring. This is the last Hardball on MSNBC.”
“After conversations with MSNBC I decided tonight would be my last Hardball, so let me tell you why,” the 74-year-old progressive host said. “The younger generations out there are ready to take the reins. You see them in politics, in the media, in fighting for the causes.”
“A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other,” he continued. “Compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were okay, were never okay. Not then and certainly not today, and for making such comments in the past, I’m sorry.”
Watch that tingly farewell …
— Hardball (@hardball) March 3, 2020
Kornacki came on camera after Matthews’ departure, saying, “That was a lot to take in just now I’m sure. And I’m sure you’re still absorbing that, and I am too. Chris Matthews is a giant. He’s a legend. It’s been an honor for me to work with him, to sit in here on occasion, and I know how much you meant to him, and I know how much he meant to you. I think you’re going to miss him and I know I’m going to.”
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
Matthews reportedly was forced out by MSNBC management following a controversial couple of weeks that began with his on-air comparison of Bernie Sanders’ Nevada caucus victory to the Nazis overrunning France’s Maginot Line at the start of WWII.
He also commented at the time that top Democrats would prefer a Trump win in November to a Sanders election. He apologized to Sanders and his supporters a few days later.
But the wokesters had been stirred up and they were not going away, demanding the network fire Matthews. The heat was turned up even more after leftists charged the host with his sexist grilling of Sen. Elizabeth Warren over accusations she made about Michael Bloomberg.
From there, the hardballs kept coming, beaning the old liberal time and again. On Friday last week, Matthews embarrassingly mistook one black politician for another who was sitting on his discussion panel, thinking Democrat candidate Jaime Harrison was Republican Sen. Tim Scott. Watch that crazy moment here …
Chris Matthews thought Jamie Harrison was hanging out w/ his opponent Lindsey Graham at a Trump rally. It was Tim Scott pic.twitter.com/QhbRl4AYvk
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) February 29, 2020
Finally, also on Friday, columnist and frequent MSNBC guest Laura Bassett published an op-ed accusing Matthews of inappropriate comments and sexist behavior–in essence, that the married MSNBC host had flirted with her, making her “uncomfortable.”
Yes–it was time for the guy to go, but the way he went was memorably sudden.
Reactions from colleagues and others on social media expressed a range of emotions from disbelief to sadness and from anger to relief.
All I gotta say is… it’s about time.
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 3, 2020
In shock. But let me say: being on @hardball was on my dream board from back in my @MiamiHerald column days. Chris Matthews not only let me on as a guest, he was 1 of the 1st to let me fill in. He has always been a genuine supporter & friend, who even sang for me when I was down. https://t.co/bwj5PK2TGs
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 3, 2020
Mika and I were deeply moved by @SteveKornacki’s tribute to Chris Matthews. Actually, we are wiping tears from our eyes. We love Chris and will miss him every night in our home at 7pm. As Steve said, Chris was the most human TV guy and “I say that as the highest compliment.” pic.twitter.com/M7uGj61kAB
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 3, 2020
Chris Matthews is a great colleague and an even better friend. I’m stunned. I wish him nothing but the best, and it’s hard to imagine “Hardball” without him. https://t.co/NjZWdOsKwc
— Eugene Robinson (@Eugene_Robinson) March 3, 2020
It appears the woke commies got Chris Matthews pic.twitter.com/Kl72zrc5Bu
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) March 3, 2020
Fox News’ Steve Hilton angrily pointed out the hypocrisy displayed at MSNBC …
what a total f…ing outrage
MSNBC fire Chris Matthews #hardball for sexual harrassment
his sleazy misogynist bosses Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack:
– covered up Harvey Weinstein’s crimes
– are apologists for rape and sexual assault
– yet KEEP their jobshttps://t.co/59B9unDHBa
— steve hilton (@SteveHiltonx) March 3, 2020
I’m pretty upset about Chris Matthews leaving MSNBC. No more combing hair with shoes. No more coming in there all rumpled. No more weird stream of consciousness monologues. The world lost something today. A little happiness. A little joy. pic.twitter.com/dpt9mChHtJ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 3, 2020
Others were keen to bash Matthews on his way out and proclaim the sanctity of the “me too” crusade …
This never goes well. The friend’s “He never did it to ME” vouch-for is meaningless, since the friend wasn’t always there, AND it discredits alleged victims. THIS one also manages to dismiss harassment as mere flirting, an idea that, like Matthews, has rightly been retired. https://t.co/iVoaPo74hP
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) March 3, 2020
— Travon Free (@Travon) March 3, 2020
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