It’s safe to say that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had a bad week this past week. He got blasted a lot from folks on the left side of the aisle this week and it may ultimately have taken a toll.
He started off the week having to apologize for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) electoral success in Nevada to France’s defeat to Nazi Germany in World War II. Some even called for his firing for the criticism of Sanders.
From Daily Caller:
“Senator Sanders, I’m sorry for comparing anything from that tragic error in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electoral result in which you were the well-deserved winner,” Matthews said at the start of his show Monday. “This is going to be a hard-fought heated campaign of ideas. In the days and weeks and months ahead, I will strive to do a better job myself of elevating the political discussion.”
The day before the South Carolina primary, he confused and misidentified Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) for Jaime Harrison the Democratic candidate he was interviewing who is running against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). In an embarrassingly awkward clip, he kept misidentifying Scott as Harrison while you could hear folks on a hot mic telling him it was Tim Scott.
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
Matthews was further attacked by those who thought he was preaching to disbelieve the women who had nondisclosure agreements on Mike Bloomberg during an exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Matthews: You believe he is lying?⁰⁰Warren: I believe the woman.
Matthews: You believe he is lying.
Warren: Which means he is not telling the truth.
Matthews: And why would he lie? Just to protect himself?
Warren: Yeah. And why would she lie? pic.twitter.com/k4rAWRXoMG
— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) February 26, 2020
There were more calls for his firing after that.
But according to journalist Laura Bassett it was that exchange with Warren that prompted her to come forward and complain about what she says were Matthews sexist comments directed toward her when she appeared on his show. She wrote an article in GQ that came out on Friday accusing him.
From Fox News:
She recalled Matthews looking at her in an adjacent makeup chair before an appearance in 2016 and asking: ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?'” Bassett said she laughed nervously but Matthews kept making comments to the makeup artist. “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her,” Matthews allegedly said.
She said he made another comment about her makeup during a separate appearance. “Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show,” she wrote he said to the makeup artist. “We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.” [….]
According to Fox, that wasn’t the first problem with Matthews.
In 2017, it was reported that NBC paid $40,000 to a producer on Matthews’ show who claimed he sexually harassed her.
MSNBC has not confirmed the amount paid to the woman, nor has the network said whether the payment was made to settle a harassment claim.
An MSNBC spokesperson said at the time that executives were told that Matthews made inappropriate jokes and comments about the woman in front of others, that the matter was reviewed and it was determined the comments were inappropriate and made in poor taste but were never meant as propositions.
Then there was this creepy video that was resurrected after the accusation by Bassett.
So by the end of the week, people noticed something that was missing about the South Carolina primary coverage on Saturday night – Chris Matthews, who was noticeably absent.
Bassett took note.
Chris Matthews was pulled from election night coverage https://t.co/l2v3QDWUfX
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 1, 2020
But given it’s NBC, it’s likely not a serious effort to address the question, but simply an effort to temporarily remove him from sight until the news cycle turns.