Apparently below-replacement-level misogynist celebrities with inexplicably long-tenured sinecures are getting worried:
Maher claimed that all Chris Matthews did was make a poor “analogy” when he compared Bernie Sanders, a Jew, to the Nazis (“I hope the victims got some closure,” the comic sarcastically cracked); that Matthews was basically branded a “Klansman” for mixing up Jaime Harrison and Tim Scott, two African-American politicians; and that people overreacted to Matthews being “mean” to Elizabeth Warren when he pressed her on why people should believe Mike Bloomberg’s female accusers over the billionaire himself.
And then things got really ugly, as the HBO host targeted Laura Bassett, who accused Matthews of sexually harassing her when she was a guest on his program.
In an essay for GQ, Bassett described how Matthews stared her down while she was in the makeup chair and remarked, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” before adding, “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.” Another time, she recalls Matthews saying to her—again in the makeup chair—“Make sure you wipe this [makeup] off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”
According to Maher, Matthews “said some things that are kind of creepy to women,” continuing, “You know, I just, guys are married for a million years, they want to flirt for two seconds. He said to somebody, Laura Bassett, four years ago, she’s in makeup, he said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?’ Yes, it is creepy. She said, ‘I was afraid to name him at the time out of fear of retaliation. I’m not afraid anymore.’ Thank you, Rosa Parks. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ! I guess my question is: Do you wonder how Democrats lose?”
One of his roundtable guests, the anti-#MeToo writer Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, proceeded to further mock Bassett, saying of her, “How fragile can one woman be?” and insinuating that she was only booked on Matthews’ show because “she probably looked good on camera.”
Caitlin Flanagan’s contribution here seems overdetermined!
I think I’ll just turn things over to the target:
People are really outraged that a rich as hell 74-yr-old man had to retire after being called out for 20 years of objectifying women in the workplace? This is not about me, and if your inclination is to attack me, consider putting that energy into therapy or anger management.— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) March 7, 2020