Following a recent string of controversial comments and embarrassing mistakes capped off with allegations of sexual harassment, longtime host of MSNBC’s Hardball, Chris Matthews, abruptly announced his retirement during what turned out to be his final program last Monday.
Reflecting on what happened to his “friend,” Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, took shots at MSNBC, Matthews’ accuser, and the growing trend of “cancel culture,” which he decried as a “cancer” on a progressive society on Friday, Breitbart reported.
Matthews was apparently ousted from MSNBC after remarks he made following Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming victory in the Nevada Democratic caucuses. Matthews had compared the decisive win by Sanders, who is Jewish, to the Nazi army overrunning French defenses during World War II.
Matthews later apologized for the analogy, according to The Hill.
Days later, Matthews confused South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison (D), who is challenging Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), with Graham’s friend and colleague Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), The Hill noted. Both men are black.
Matthews also drew sharp criticism, according to Breitbart, for grilling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over her battles with billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg during a presidential debate. Topping all of that off was an article by GQ columnist Laura Bassett that accused Matthews of having a history of making sexist and harassing remarks to female guests on his program, like herself, according to the Daily Mail.
Maher takes on “cancel culture”
Those accusations appeared to be the final straw that led to Matthews’ unexpected exit from the program he’d hosted for 20 years. Reacting to the news, Maher said Friday that “cancel culture is a cancer on progressivism.”
“MSNBC used to run this thing, ‘This is who we are,’” Maher said, according to Breitbart. “Well, I didn’t like who you were this week, and I don’t think a lot of people who work there liked this either, and I think this cancel culture is a cancer on progressivism.
“Liberals always have to fight a two-front war,” the comedian continued. “Republicans only have to fight the Democrats. Democrats have to fight the Republicans and each other.”
Reviewing what Matthews had actually said in making the World War II analogy, Maher joked, “Obviously, he’s a Nazi. But he apologized for that, so I hope the victims got some closure.” As for Matthews mistaking Jaime Harrison for Tim Scott, Maher sarcastically quipped, “Plainly, he’s a Klansman.”
Moving on to Matthews’ tough interview with Sen. Warren — and the suggestion that the host had been too mean to the senator — Maher said, “This show is called Hardball. This just sounds like every question Chris has asked.” He also made light of Bassett’s claims, implying that this sort of ideological in-fighting is “why Democrats lose,” Breitbart reported.
To be sure, it is a safe bet that few conservatives are losing any sleep over the fact that Matthews lost his job as a decidedly biased partisan bomb-thrower and commentator with a history of making controversial and even offensive remarks toward those on the right. This time, though, he messed with the “cancel”-driven side of the political aisle — and he paid a steep price.