This time last year, Fox News held the dubious distinction of having the most high-profile sexual misconduct accusations and lawsuits against them. Now, NBC seems to be the big offenders with Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, and Matt Zimmerman all gone. Chris Matthews has now been named as having allegedly paid off a former staffer for sexual harassment in 1999.
NBC has denied the report, saying the staffer was paid less than the reported $40,000 and that it was part of her severance pay, not a payoff due to the accusation against Matthews.
Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.
The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.
As with all sexual misconduct claims, this one should be believed but verified. 18 years is a long time, but NBC claims to have done an investigation into it and found Matthews has been inappropriate but was not propositioning. As much as I dislike Matthews, the age of the account, the denial by his organization that has been forthright in releasing those hit with credible accusations, and the notion that it was inappropriate without being propositional makes me lean towards not calling for his resignation.
Besides, conservatives are better off when Matthews is representing the other side of the playing field.