AILSA CHANG, HOST:
All proper. Chris Matthews is stepping down as anchor of MSNBC’s “Hardball.” The longtime host resigned abruptly tonight after mounting criticism over embarrassing on-air moments. Right here to inform us extra is NPR’s David Folkenflik.
DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Ailsa.
CHANG: So “Hardball” has been form of this fixture of political cable information since – what? – 1997. Are you able to simply stroll us by means of what led to this sudden departure for Chris Matthews?
FOLKENFLIK: Effectively, it actually appeared to take his colleagues without warning and shock this night. However in case you assume again, this week, there’s been quite a lot of embarrassing moments. Matthews mistook Tim Scott, the one African American Republican within the U.S. Senate, for the African American challenger to Scott’s Republican colleague, Lindsey Graham. Matthews has been deeply out of contact with the liberal-leaning, extra progressive wing Democratic Get together. MSNBC leans left, however he is been actually out of contact with the rise of Bernie Sanders throughout this marketing campaign season.
And most notably, there have been the allegations over the weekend by Laura Bassett, a journalist, that Matthews had, some years in the past, clearly ogled and, basically, sexually harassed her earlier than she went on his program at MSNBC. And this isn’t the primary time. MSNBC has acknowledged they rebuked him sternly in 1999 over a earlier episode.
CHANG: And we should always be aware the query of sexual harassment is a delicate one for NBC. It wasn’t too way back that Matt Lauer left the community as soon as he was going through sexual misconduct allegations himself.
FOLKENFLIK: Yeah. I feel that is a burden that they will have to hold for a while. Matt Lauer – in some methods, crucial individual, the largest moneymaker for NBC Information as one of many chief hosts of the “At this time” present. And it turned out that not solely had he sexually harassed different colleagues – individuals who have been successfully subordinates on the “At this time” present – however that in a single case, he was accused of, basically, sexually violating somebody; a type of rape. And he was pressured out. And the tradition there actually has come beneath withering criticism, not solely externally however internally as nicely.
CHANG: So now that Chris Matthews is stepping down, what would you say his legacy shall be with regards to cable information broadcasting?
FOLKENFLIK: Effectively, he was a buoyant determine, you understand, a cheerful warrior, any individual who clearly – he was – he had been a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter within the late ’70s. He had been a high aide to Home speaker Tip O’Neill for the Democrats within the 1980s – a buoyant Democrat, old-school liberal and loved politics as a recreation, which many individuals appreciated and many individuals took exception to; however more and more out of step each politically and when it comes to the tenor of the appropriateness of tone on and off digicam with the age we now dwell in. It appeared as if, in some methods, Chris Matthews realized his time was up.
CHANG: That’s NPR’s David Folkenflik.
FOLKENFLIK: You wager. Transcript supplied by NPR, Copyright NPR.