Monday night, after over two decades at MSNBC, Chris Matthews announced his retirement.
Recently, frequent MSNBC guest Laura Bassett alleged in an op-ed that Matthews made sexist comments to her off the air.
Matthews opened his Monday broadcast of “Hardball,” making the announcement, which included an apparent reference to the op-ed.
Matthews said, “Let me start with my headline tonight. I’m retiring. This is the last ‘Hardball’ on MSNBC, and obviously, this isn’t for lack of interest in politics. As you can tell, I have loved every minute of my 20 years as host as ‘Hardball.’ Every morning I read the papers, I’m gung-ho to get to work. Not many people have had this privilege. I love working with the producers and the conversations we’ve had over how to report the news. I love having the connection with you, the good people who watch. I’ve learned who you are, bumping into you on the sidewalk or waiting in an airport and saying hello. You’re like me. I hear from your kids and grandchildren. Who says my dad loves you, my grandmother loves you. Or my husband watched it until the end.”
He continued, “After my conversation with NBC, I decided tonight will be my last ‘Hardball.’ I’ll tell you why. The younger generations are ready to take the reins. We see them in politics, in the media, in fighting for their causes. They are improving the workplace. We are talking about better standards than we grew up with, fair standards. A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other. Compliments on a woman’s appearance some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK were never OK. Certainly not today. For making such comments in the past, I’m sorry. ”
He added, “I’m very proud of the work I’ve done here. Long before I went on television, I worked for years in politics, was a newspaper columnist and author. I’m working on another book. I’ll continue to write and talk about politics and cheer on my producers and crew here in Washington and New York and my MSNBC colleagues. They will continue to produce great journalism in the years ahead. For those who have gotten in the habit of watching ‘Hardball’ every night, I hope you’re going to miss me because I’m going to miss you. Remember Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. We will always have ‘Hardball,’ let’s not say goodbye, but ’til we meet again.”
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