Apparently, being a cantankerous blowhard on air isn’t conducive to maintaining a great work environment. Who would have thought it?
Just two weeks after it was revealed that MSNBC had paid $400,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim involving venerable gasbag Chris Matthews back in 1999, three former guests and two former producers on Matthews’ “Hardball” told The Daily Caller that the show was a veritable saturnalia of aggressive sexism and tyrannical behavior.
“Two former NBC producers independently alleged Matthews would rate the looks of his female guests on a scale and said Matthews was so abusive that staff joked about being battered women,” the report, published Sunday, claims.
“The interviews in total paint Matthews as a tyrant liable to fly off the handle at the slightest mistake, who was eager to objectify women and made inappropriate sexual comments appear to be a matter of course for someone in his position.”
All of the sources chose to remain anonymous because of the retaliation they thought they would face within the network or within the media sphere, citing what happened to those who came forward with sexual harassment allegations at Fox News.
“Sadly, I know other women who won’t even be an anonymous source regarding Chris (Matthews) because they’re that concerned about the door closing on career opportunities in media,” one source said.
However, what they had to say should be, in any decent world, enough to finish Matthews. Among the damning revelations about the longtime MSNBC host was that he would refer to female guests using terms such as “cutie” and “sweetie pie” and would make other “boorish” remarks involving women.
“He would eye down a woman who walked on set or comment on their features or what they were wearing,” a former producer alleged, saying that Matthews appeared to be undressing them visually.
“He would objectify them and interrupt them in a way that he would never do to his male guests,” the producer said. “He has a very outdated view of women.”
Another former producer said Matthews would engage in “teenage boy” stunts, like rating which female guest was the “hottest of the week.”
And the harassment wasn’t just sexual in nature, either: “The two former producers independently referred to incidents (that) involved screaming at staffers, throwing objects around, and generally demeaning guests and the people who worked for him,” The Daily Caller noted.
“I would describe it as verbal abuse,” one producer said. “The screaming is beyond the screaming you’ve ever heard. You just feel so under attack.”
“He did it so openly,” they added. “It’s not just sexual harassment … what are you supposed to do when somebody is verbally abusing you and attacking you this way?”
One individual who witnessed the “Hardball” host dressing down a staffer during a show as being “worthless” and an “idiot,” said they had never seen such a thing elsewhere in television.
“Walking into the studio that day felt like walking into someone else’s unhappy home,” said the witness. “There was a sense of unease that was obvious from the outset, and I remember at one point hearing Matthews shouting in the distance.”
If you think that the revelations couldn’t get any worse when it involves Matthews, consider that, according to Fox News, NBC refuses to say whether Matthews could face other sexual harassment allegations. From the sound of things, this could be just the beginning for the embattled MSNBC host.
That prospect definitely won’t be sending a thrill up his leg.
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