Getting straight to the point, he told viewers, “Let me start with my headline tonight: I’m retiring. This is the last Hardball on MSNBC.”
He continued, “Obviously this isn’t for a lack of interest in politics. I’ve loved every minute of my 20 years as host of Hardball. Every morning, I read the papers, and I’m gung-ho to get to work. Not many people have had this privilege.”
Watch video of his on-air announcement below:
This news comes just days after GQ columnist Laura Bassett alleged that Matthews sexually harassed her in 2016. Among other instances, Bassett recalled Matthews speaking with her in the makeup chair before an appearance on Hardball to discuss allegations brought against Donald Trump. “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” she recalled Matthews asking, at which point he allegedly told the makeup artist, “Keep putting makeup on her. I’ll fall in love with her.”
Matthews addressed these allegations on Monday: “Younger generations out there are ready to take the reins. 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 — fair standards. A lot of it has to do with how we talk to each other. Compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK were never OK. Not then and certainly not today. For making such comments in the past, I’m sorry.”
Matthews began hosting Hardball on CNBC in 1997, eventually moving the show to MSNBC in 1999, where it held strong for more than two decades. The program got its name from Matthews’ 1988 book Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who Knows the Game.
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