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Cancel Chris Matthews

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Maybe then he can go on a book tour with Mark Halperin to whine about how nobody will hire them any more, when they committed no crime other than breaking the law repeatedly for decades by sexually harassing hundreds (conservative estimate) of women who were forced to work with them:

In 2017, I wrote a personal essay about a much older, married cable news host who inappropriately flirted with me in the makeup room a few times before we went live on his show, making me noticeably uncomfortable on air. I was afraid to name him at the time for fear of retaliation from the network; I’m not anymore. It was Chris Matthews. In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?”

When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”

Another time, he stood between me and the mirror and complimented the red dress I was wearing for the segment. “You going out tonight?” he asked.

I said I didn’t know, and he said—again to the makeup artist—“Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”

Again—Matthews was never my boss. I’m pretty sure that behavior doesn’t rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment. But it undermined my ability to do my job well. And after I published a story about it, even though I didn’t name him, dozens of people reached out to say they knew exactly who it was. Many had similar stories.

A fellow cable news pundit, who doesn’t want to be named for professional reasons, said Matthews invited her on to talk about misogyny in the Republican Party, telling her that he planned to draw a comparison to the ‘60s ad men show “Mad Men.” Right before going on air, he turned to her and asked “whether Joan’s proportions are real,” referring to the body of a curvy character on the show, before seamlessly transitioning into a supposedly feminist segment. She was shaken, like I was. (At the time of publication, MSNBC has not yet responded to GQ with comment on either incident.)

In fact, Matthews’s whole modus operandi seems to be inviting smart women onto his show, flirting with them or otherwise making them uncomfortable before or while the camera rolls, asking them a question on air and then immediately interrupting them to tell them why they’re wrong. He repeated this playbook with Warren this week. The fact that this kind of behavior has not lost him his primetime cable news show in the year 2020—even aside from his egregious “Bill Cosby pill” joke and the sexual harassment allegation against him—speaks to how far the #MeToo movement still has to go to change the standards for what kind of attitudes toward women in the workplace is acceptable and even rewarded. . .

Beyond the question of Matthews’s employment, there is the decision of keeping a man with this flagrant bias as the anchor of a major cable news evening show. His position affords him the ability to affect public opinion, both sweeping away documented behavior of male presidential candidates and casting doubt on corroborated women’s accusations against those men. Having a news anchor who calls women “She-Devil” and treats their assessments with infantilizing suspicion while conducting post-debate interviews builds in a major disadvantage for female candidates. And that’s downright irresponsible.

It’s a sign of how far we haven’t come baby that this no-talent sub-replacement level gas bag is still on the air, ranting on the “liberal” MSNBC network about how Bernie is going to have him shot in Central Park, and then hitting on every intern and producer and guest who gives him that same special tingly feeling that Melania Trump and Sarah Palin elicited from him not so long ago.

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