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Thomas Gallatin / Mar. 3, 2020

Matthews Out at MSNBC After Offending Socialists

Allegations of his past sexist behavior were the excuse for his sudden "retirement."

In a surprise moment on Monday during his long-running MSNBC “Hardball” show, host Chris Matthews announced his sudden and immediate departure from the Leftmedia network. And we do mean immediate — he walked off the set during a commercial break.

After my conversation with MSNBC, I decided tonight will be my last “Hardball.” So let me tell you why. The younger generations out there are ready to take the reins. We see them in politics, in the media, in fighting for their causes. They are improving the workplace. We’re talking here about better standards than we grew up with — fair standards. … A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other. 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.

Matthews’s announcement obliquely referenced a recent GQ article blasting the host for his “long history of sexist comments and behavior.” The article was timed in response to Matthews’s interview with Elizabeth Warren last week, in which he pressed her as to whether she believed Michael Bloomberg was lying when he denied having engaged in sexist behavior toward a former employee. A clearly perturbed Warren shot back that she believed the woman, asking, “Why would she lie?”

However, Matthews pressing Warren was unlikely the real reason for his ouster. In fact, his comments following Bernie Sanders’s win in Nevada sealed his fate:

It looks like Bernie Sanders is hard to beat right now. I’m with [James] Carville all the way in terms of the dangers of what lurks, what lies ahead in November. … I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and the general, Renault, calls up Churchill and says, “It’s over.” And Churchill says, “How can it be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?” He said, “It’s over.” So I have that suppressed feeling. I can’t be as wild as Carville, but he is damn smart, and I think he’s damn right on this one.

Comparing Sanders’s presidential campaign to Nazi Germany’s invasion and conquering of France in World War II immediately raised the ire of Sanders supporters and the brass at MSNBC. At the hard-left network, calling Republicans and President Donald Trump Nazis is fair game but daring to equate a Jewish socialist taking the lead in the Democrat presidential primary with the Nazi blitzkrieg of France was a bridge too far. Thus, while Matthews referred to his departure as “retirement,” it’s all but certain that he was forced out. And it was done easily due to the network having amassed an archive of lewd comments and sexist behavior from Matthews over the last couple of decades. Matthews was to MSNBC what Bill O'Reilly was to Fox News, but chalking up Matthews’s departure to #MeToo misses the mark. This had little to do with his long history of workplace sexual harassment and everything to do with his having offended the Bernie Bros who bring in the ad revenue to MSNBC.

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