Former MSNBC host Chris Matthews returned to the network Tuesday night as a guest on the show that replaced him after he was impeached last year over sexual misconduct allegations.
Matthews hosted Hardball for 20 years until last March, when he suddenly resigned after GQ journalist Laura Bassett publicly shamed him for complimenting her in the makeup chair as she got ready to go to his show.
He said to her, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” then said to the makeup artist, “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”
Bassett didn’t mention him in her first piece for GQ, but she described the behavior as “rude and inappropriate.”
Matthews then made the decision to retire live on-air. He corroborated Bassett’s story, apologized to her and said a new generation was replacing his with “honest” standards in the workplace.
Bassett says it wasn’t her comments that forced him to resign; He was also criticized for comparing Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Democratic primaries in Nevada to the Nazis invading France.
On Tuesday night, he appeared as a guest on Joy Reid’s The ReidOut – the show it replaced – to promote his new book, This Country: My Life in Politics and History.
Chris Matthews, 75, appeared Tuesday night on Joy Reid’s The ReidOut – the show that replaced him on MSNBC. He said it was “wrong” of him to compliment female journalist Laura Bassett on her appearance, and that it cost him his 20-year show.
“I know the reason I left, someone mentioned that I complimented, actually I’m going to use the right words here.
GQ journalist Laura Bassett wrote an article last year describing Matthews’ “crude and inappropriate” behavior without naming him
“I was commenting on someone’s appearance in the makeup room and I shouldn’t have.
“No one has to defend me, I did something wrong – I took it, to use a modern expression, I lost my show about it.”
“That’s it,” he said.
Matthews, 75, said the loss of the show had finally given him the time to write his book.
“The good news is that I’ve never had two years in my life to really sit down and write about my 70 years, that’s to talk about an incredible life I’ve had so lucky, to get on the inside of American politics watch out.
“It was a great experience to work within democracy and to see parts of the world fighting for democracy, such as Nelson Mandela and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. I’ve seen it all in one lifetime.
“I want to share it with the people who have watched my show so faithfully all these years.”
Bassett, in her GQ article, described how she was preparing to go to Matthews’s show to talk about her sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump when he made the comments.
Bassett tweeted on Tuesday that she had received another hate message. She insists it wasn’t her comments that brought Matthews down and that he made other inappropriate comments
Matthews interviews journalist Laura Bassett on Hardball. She said that before she went to the show, he said to her, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” then said to the makeup artist, “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”
Bassett said she didn’t lump Matthews together with people like Harvey Weinstein or others who have been accused and even convicted of sexual assault as part of the #MeToo era.
She said he was never her boss and she wasn’t sure if what he said to her amounted to sexual harassment.
Bassett also appeared on Inside Edition to say she had received death threats from Matthews’ fans.
‘People [are] They told me to kill myself, people called me a whore, people called me ugly.
“They want me to shut up, they want me to leave.”
Matthews also spoke on Tuesday about the last year of politics, saying he felt “violated” by the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
He was disgusted by Trump, saying it was “worse” now that Biden was president, although Trump’s claim that Barack Obama is an illegal immigrant was “absurd, appalling and racist.”
Matthews with his wife Kathleen. He said he is grateful to have been able to work on his book for the past two years