Has Chris Matthews been purged from MSNBC?

Last night, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was nowhere to be seen on that network’s South Carolina primary coverage, lending substance to Don Surber’s contention that he is being “purged” for “being a counter-revolutionary and having impure thoughts.”

Matthews, a former aide to Speaker Tip O’Neill, triggered a cascade of denunciations from the Left after using an analogy to the Fall of France while commenting on Bernie Sanders’s Nevada caucuses victory. Via Don Surber:

Matthews said on the air, "I'm reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940. And the general calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over,’ and Churchill says, ‘How can it be? You got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It's over.'"

I think it is pretty clear that he was referring to a sudden and unexpected victory leading to the unpleasant realization that an enemy was stronger than realized, and an ally was weaker. Surber notes that analogies to France under the Nazis have been rather prominent on the Left of late:

The network -- which has promoted a French Resistance against American President Donald John Trump for more than 3 years -- made Matthews beg forgiveness on television for a very remote reference to the Wehrmacht.

But Matthews was nonetheless pilloried as if he were calling Sanders or his supporters Nazis and were somehow trivializing the Holocaust. (Never mind that the Left freely has called the last 2 Republican presidents “Hitler.”) And Matthews apologized:

Matthews said, "Before getting into tonight's news, I want to say something quite important and personal. As I watched the one-sided results of Saturday's Democratic caucus in Nevada, I reached for a historical analogy -- and used a bad one. I was wrong to refer to event from the first days of World War II.

"Senator Sanders, I'm sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electorate result in which you were the well-deserved winner. This is going to be a hard-fought, heated campaign of ideas. In the days and weeks and months ahead, I will strive to do a better job myself of elevating the political discussion. Congratulations, by the way, to you Senator Sanders and to your supporters on a tremendous win down in Nevada."

That was strike one.

With the scent of blood in the water, the sharks started a feeding frenzy leading to strike two.  Fox News:

In an op-ed for GQ on Friday, journalist Laura Bassett claimed Matthews had used sexist language when she would visit the MSNBC studio to appear on his show as a guest.

She recalled Matthews looking at her in an adjacent makeup chair before an appearance in 2016 and asking: 'Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?'" Bassett said she laughed nervously but Matthews kept making comments to the makeup artist. “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her," Matthews allegedly said.

She said he made another comment about her makeup during a separate appearance. "Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show,” she wrote he said to the makeup artist. “We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”

Bassett said she decided to write the op-ed because of a “sexist” interview Matthews did with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after the last debate in which he pressed her about her accusation that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has once told a woman at his company to “kill” her unborn baby. Bloomberg denies he said it.

A feminist group has called for Matthews' firing over the interview.

Bassett said she wrote a similar op-ed in 2017 without naming Matthews because she was afraid to publicly accuse him at the time, but wrote many women reached out to her saying they knew who she was talking about.

She said while she didn't think Matthews' behavior rose to the level of criminal sexual harassment, it undermined her ability to do her job.

In 2017, it was reported that NBC paid $40,000 to a producer on Matthews’ show who claimed he sexually harassed her.

MSNBC has not confirmed the amount paid to the woman, nor has the network said whether the payment was made to settle a harassment claim.

An MSNBC spokesperson said at the time that executives were told that Matthews made inappropriate jokes and comments about the woman in front of others, that the matter was reviewed and it was determined the comments were inappropriate and made in poor taste but were never meant as propositions.

Surber notes, caustically:

What drew my attention in the article was 2 years ago, Bassett was upset enough to write about his behavior, but willing to take one for the team to preserve a fellow traveler. His apology signaled he is disposable. And so the campaign to bring him down is on.


Matthews’s strike 3 has so far been little noted on the Left, but is, if anything the most offensive.



Fox News:

Then during his "Hardball" broadcast Friday, Matthews mistook Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Harrison, chalking it up as a case of "mistaken identity."

Harrison was appearing on "Hardball" to discuss his campaign to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., but the interview went off the rails when Matthews ran a clip of Scott standing beside Graham at that evening's Trump rally in North Charleston and assumed it was Harrison.

Both Scott and Harrison are African-American.

"Jaime, I see you standing next to the guy you're going to beat right there, maybe," he said. "Maybe? Maybe, maybe? Lindsey Graham?"

Soon Matthews realized his error and apologized to Harrison.

"What am I saying? Big mistake. Mistaken identity, sir. Sorry," Matthews said.

Harrison appeared to roll his eyes and looked shocked, but kept a smile on his face and answered Matthews' question.

Tim Scott has been a member of the United States Senate for almost 7 years, and has a rather distinctive appearance and persona. It should not be that hard to distinguish him from the Democrat candidate on Matthews's show.

Leftists are turning on each other as their ineffective rage against Trump fails to score any victories. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit calls these circular firing squads “Annals of Leftist autophagy.” I think he has another item for his list.

Photo credit: Twitter video screen grab

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