Former MSNBC show host Chris Matthews announced his abrupt retirement during his show, “Hardball,” Monday night. It will be effective immediately, according to the long-time staple of progressive journalism. Matthews has hosted “Hardball” for more than two decades.
The announcement followed a pair of controversies that have arisen this week. First, he came under fire for attacking Democratic presidential nomination frontrunner Bernie Sanders by comparing his win in Nevada just over a week ago to the Nazi invasion of France. On Friday, he was accused of sexual harassment by GQ columnist Laura Bassett. Matthews was not seen during MSNBC’s coverage of the South Carolina primary on Saturday.
Chris Matthews announces — on a Monday — he’s retiring and that today’s “Hardball” will be the last.
"After my conversation with NBC, I decided tonight will be my last Hardball. I’ll tell you why. The younger generations are ready to take the reigns." pic.twitter.com/Y3HV9Qy35l
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 3, 2020
“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 reigns. 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.”
The important part followed as he mentioned, without noting specifics, the challenges that popped up last week regarding his sexual harassment claims. Still, he noted that he made “compliments on a woman’s appearance,” blunting the allegations and dismissing them as not negative in nature.
“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.”
Whether he’s another old, powerful man who fell to #MeToo sins of his past, the pressure of being an anti-Sanders “journalist,” or a combination of his various scandals, Matthews has nobody to blame but himself for his abrupt career disintegration.