Chris Matthews, Longtime Hardball host on CNBC and MSNBC, Resigns, Retires Effective Immediately
Usually, Chris Matthews opens Hardball with a one-liner pun followed by the show’s trademark slogan, “Let’s play Hardball!”
But not tonight.
Viewers saw the opening credits followed by a shot of the crestfallen Matthews, who announced his retirement from MSNBC, effective immediately. After a few brief comments, the cable outlet cut to their elections expert Steve Kornacki, who was visibly and audibly shocked by the news as he temporarily took over hosting duties.
The MSNBC mainstay made the stunning at the start of Monday’s night edition of Hardball, a show that has for years been a staple of the network’s politics programming. It also became a headache for MSNBC brass in recent weeks as Matthews came under fire for his often out-of-touch commentary.
The New York Times, in their breaking story, called the development
an abrupt departure from a television perch that made him a fixture of politics and media over the past quarter century.
Matthews and MSNBC took a lot of heat not only for comparing Bernie Sanders’ Nevada caucuses victory to the Nazi defeat of the French during World War II but for a ferocious, off-kilter interview with presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren that prompted several high-profile political and media pundits to accuse Matthews of sexism.
This may have been the last straw:
[C]olumnist Laura Bassett claimed in a piece for GQ that [Matthews] sexually harassed her in 2016—something she had previously written about in 2017 without revealing Matthews’ name.
According to Bassett, the married MSNBC host approached her when she was in a make-up chair prior to appearing on his show to talk about—ironically enough—the sexual-assault allegations made against then-nominee Donald Trump.
It should also be noted that one of Matthews’s biggest early media backers, former GE top dog Jack Welch, died earlier today.