Video has surfaced of MSNBC host Chris Matthews crudely making a date rape joke prior to interviewing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. Video obtained by The Cut shows a shocked staff uncomfortably sitting in silence as Matthews makes reference to the former comedian, Bill Cosby, who has been accused by dozens of women of having their drinks drugged and then being taken advantage of by the man.
At first, Matthews makes fun of Clinton by calling her “the queen” saying, “Can I have some of the queen’s waters? Precious waters?” Matthews then says "Where’s that Bill Cosby pill I brought with me," and chuckles for several cringeworthy moments as staffers stop, stare, shuffle papers, or squeamishly offer fake laughs as if unsure how to respond.
One employee is taken aback mid-phone call and glares at Matthews. It is unclear if she or another employee then says "Woah, okay."
“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.”
In December 2017, The Daily Caller broke a story regarding a severance package paid by CNBC in 1999 involving a former Chris Matthews’ staffer who alleged sexual harassment. That severance was worth $40,000. Since then, a steady flow of rampant verbal abuse and inappropriate comments have trickled out from former Matthews’ employees.
As The Daily Caller's Amber Athey noted today, the joke seen and heard is consistent with descriptions of his behavior at work:
“The Daily Caller reported earlier this month that former staffers and guests have accused Matthews of running an abusive and sexist work environment.
According to two former NBC producers, Matthews constantly made demeaning and sexist remarks about the clothing and appearance of female guests, including rating their looks on a numerical scale. The former producers also described themselves as victims of battered wife syndrome because of Matthews’ consistent verbal abuse of staffers.
TheDC also recently spoke to a former NBC executive who described our reporting as “100 percent accurate” and said that HR has been completely unhelpful in fielding complaints about Matthews’ behavior.”
Matthews is the third high profile NBC male employee who has been accused of sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, or worse at work in recent months. Matt Lauer, former host of NBC's Today Show, was fired after it was discovered numerous woman had alleged sexual harassment and lewd behavior by the long time host. Mark Halperin political commentator and author, faced a similar fate after former co-workers accused the man of similar behavior.