Chris Matthews issued an apology after a string of embarrassing on-air appearances and renewed charges of sexual harassment plagued the longtime political anchor. He also gave notice of his retirement.
“Compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men—including me—might have once incorrectly thought were okay were never okay. Not then and certainly not today and for making such comments in the past, I’m sorry,” Matthews said.
The New York Times reports that Matthews “had faced mounting criticism in recent days over a spate of embarrassing on-air moments, including a comparison of Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign to the Nazi invasion of France and an interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren in which the anchor was criticized for a condescending and disbelieving tone.”
NYT added that “journalist Laura Bassett wrote for GQ magazine online that Mr. Matthews had made inappropriate comments about her appearance” several times.
Matthews told his audience: “After conversation with MSNBC, I decided tonight will be my last Hardball, so let me tell you why. The younger generations out there are ready to take the reigns. We see them in politics and the media and fighting for their causes. They’re improving the workplace. We’re talking here about better standards than we grew up with—fairer standards. A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other.”
Matthews was originally scheduled to be part of MSNBC’s recent coverage of the South Carolina Primary but was cut due to the recent controversies.