Right at the beginning of March, when the Democratic primary was still the biggest news in the nation, MSNBC anchor and Hardball host Chris Matthews announced—right the middle of a broadcast on the night before Super Tuesday—that he was retiring, effective immediately. The abrupt timing left the network without a permanent replacement in place, but there was a reason for the quick exit: Days before Matthews’ sudden retirement, GQ published a story from journalist Laura Bassett in which she accused Matthews of making inappropriate comments about her before an appearance on her show, saying he came up to her while she was getting her makeup done and said things like “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” and “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”
The GQ piece also accused Matthews of having a “tendency to objectify women in his orbit” and noted that he was reprimanded in MSNBC for that very thing. His retirement was reportedly in the works already, but the timing suggested that it was all sped up by the GQ piece, which Matthews himself has essentially confirmed now. In an appearance on Vanity Fair’s Inside The Hive podcast, Matthews confirmed Bassett’s account, admitting that “it’s inappropriate in the workplace to compliment somebody on their appearance” and adding, “I dd it.” He also points out that he didn’t “argue about” the allegations or deny them. “I accepted the credibility of the complaint in the article,” he said. “I didn’t want to challenge the person that made the complaint and wrote the article,” going on to say that writing it in the first place was “highly justified.”
Bassett tweeted about Matthews’ admission, saying she appreciates him “owning up” to it.