First there was Bill O’Reilly, then Eric Bolling, and Matt Lauer. Who’s next Chris Matthews? It looks that way after a recent interview and video resurfaced of Matthews prior to a Clinton interview on her campaign trail. And it’s a doozy!
MSNBC host Chris Matthews apologized Friday after video was released of the Hardball anchor asking where his “Bill Cosby pill” was before an interview with then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her 2016 primary campaign.
The January 2016 video, of Matthews interview with Clinton was in an Iowa fire station during the Democratic primary season.
The video was obtained and first reported by The Cut, shows Matthews on a make-shift set surrounded by staff. “Can I have some of the queen’s waters? Precious waters?” he asked. “Where’s that Bill Cosby pill I brought with me?”
The long-time TV host glanced with a smile toward a male staffer after the remark. Those who heard the comment stared in disbelief or shook their heads trying to laugh off the crass comment. The only female staffer in the video looked at Matthews in shock before walking out of frame.
— The Cut (@TheCut) January 12, 2018
“This was a terrible comment I made in poor taste during the height of the Bill Cosby headlines,” Matthews told The Cut. “I realize that’s no excuse. I deeply regret it and I’m sorry.”
Comedian Bill Cosby is slated for retrial in April on charges he sexually assaulted Andrea Constand after knocking her out with pills at his home near Philadelphia. Dozens of women have accused Cosby of raping or drugging them or other forms of sexual misconduct.
The Daily Caller reported last month that Matthews settled in 1999 with a former producer on his show who alleged he sexually harassed her.
Matthews’ comments are not the first time the host made sexist remarks about Clinton, either.
Matthews has a long history of talking disparagingly about Hillary Clinton, whom he once called “witchy,”and often seems to channel what a hypothetical sexist Republican might say about a woman candidate: “she-devil,” “Madame Defarge.” In 2005, he wondered whether the troops would “take the orders” from a (female) President Clinton. “Is she hemmed in by the fact that she’s a woman and can’t admit a mistake,” he asked in 2006, “or else the Republicans will say, ‘Oh, that’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,’ or ‘another fickle woman’? Is her gender a problem in her ability to change her mind?” He once pinched her cheek following an interview, and, though he later apologized, on another occasion suggested that she only got as far as she did on the political stage because her husband had “messed around.”
In the 2016 interview that followed the Cosby reference, Matthews — whose wife, Kathleen, ran for Congress that same year, and faced what her campaign suggested were unfair questions about whether her husband’s career had helped her own — interrogates Clinton about the GOP’s fixation on her stamina, and brings up her husband’s infidelity. “Half my viewers are women. And they want to hear what it takes for a woman to just rise out of a situation which is pretty bad and come out of it and say, You know what? I can rise to this occasion. How did you do it?” he asks, before interrupting several times as she tries to answer.
Matthews also lingers on the question of whether it’s important “culturally” for women to be in military combat roles (“swinging on ropes into whatever valley you got to go kill people in”). “ I am a huge supporter of women being able to break whatever glass ceilings are holding them back …” Clinton answers, before Matthews cuts in to add: “If they can physically handle it.”
Former Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri tweeted the clip “makes me feel ill.”
This was from 2007, so many haven't seen it, or have forgotten it, but it's amazing how MSNBC allowed Chris Matthews so blithely to just move on & thrive after this creepy on-air exchange with Erin Burnett https://t.co/8fwDcS3QT8
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 12, 2018
In light of the footage of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews joking about his “Bill Cosby pill” before an interview with Hillary Clinton, I’m going to tweet some of his sexist and misogynistic comments from our archives.
This will take a while. 1/too many https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/chris-matthews-bill-cosby-pill-hillary-clinton-interview.html …
The story does not say how the audio and video were obtained. In September, Mediaite published leaked video showing MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell melting down on set during breaks on his show. An NBC employee reportedly was fired over the leak.
MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes, in an interview with THR a week later, said it was “pretty messed up” that the O’Donnell video was leaked to the press. “It’s a space that we’re all sort of trusting each other in,” he said.
In mid-December, it was reported that Matthews was reprimanded after an employee complained about his behavior in 1999.
NBC reportedly paid severance to a former assistant producer who accused MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews of sexual harassment in 1999, the Hill reports.
The settlement was originally reported by the Daily Caller, who spoke to two sources familiar with the situation. The sources said that the assistant producer worked on Hardball, and that NBC settled with her for $40,000 after she accused Matthews of making inappropriate sexual comments about her in front of others.
There’s no excuse for Matthews’ inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment! PERIOD! First Matt Lauer, then journalist Mark Halperin, now Matthews. NBC is really sinking….and I don’t mean just in the ratings either!