Chris Matthews, former MSNBC anchor and host of “Hardball with Chris Matthews, appeared on Joy Reid’s MSNBC show last night marking the first time he’s returned to the network since allegations of sexual harassment against him broke.
Many speculate the allegations were a means to an end for the increasingly woke network to axe the news veteran who was one of the only remaining moderate hosts on the air.
Matthews was accused of making comments about women’s appearances that crept right up to the line between appropriate and harassment during the height of the #MeToo movement.
Laura Bassett, a GQ columnist and regular MSNBC guest, penned an essay for the Huffington Post entitled, “Me Too, I Think? When Sexual Harassment Feels All Too Normal,” where she described her encounters with Matthews, whom she did not name publicly at the time.
“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.’”
Bassett also wrote that Matthews once stood between her and the mirror, complimented her red dress, and asked her if she was going out that night. She alleges he told the makeup artist to wipe her face off after the show because “we don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”
In 2017, reports surfaced that NBC paid off one of Chris Matthews’ former employees who alleged she was sexually harassed while working on the show.
Matthews’ appearance on “The ReidOut” was to promote his new book, “This Country: My Life in Politics and History,” but he took time to address the allegations and his leave from the network:
“I know the reason I left. Somebody reported that I complimented somebody — actually, I’m going to use the right words here — I commented, remarked on somebody’s appearance in the makeup room, and I shouldn’t have done that. Nobody has to come to defend me; and by the way I’ve kept all of my friends but nobody needs to defend me. I did something wrong. So I’m going to move on from that. I accept it,I took ownership of it — using a nice modern phase — I took complete ownership. I did not deny it. I lost my show over it. That’s it — so that’s the truth.”
Former prominent MSNBC reporters Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin also faced serious allegations of harassment or sexual misconduct and were ousted from the network. Matthews is the only one of the accused who has been invited back in any capacity.
When the network announced it was severing ties with the anchor last year, Joy Reid was announced as his replacement in the 7PM EST hour with her show, “The ReidOut.”
Reid shared her excitement to have Matthews as a guest yesterday on Twitter:
Guess who’s back and hanging out with me on @thereidout tonight?? My pal and one of the people who gave me a crucial career break way way back in the day, the great @HardballChris, who’s got a fantastic new book out Today: #ThisCountry. See you … and Chris … at 7!! https://t.co/NPb8hvluJD pic.twitter.com/hox8jpuVeB
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) June 1, 2021
Reid is regularly accused of lying on her program and has her own checkered past that includes publishing homophobic posts on her blog, which she later denied. She has, however, continued her flagrantly partisan show without consequence or interruption.
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