Before Christmas, it was revealed that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had settled a sexual harassment claim back in 1999. The Daily Caller first reported on this story, which was confirmed by NBC News. Called a “separation-related payment,” an NBC producer received some $40,000, though NBC says the payment was much less. Matthews is part of a string of men who have been accused, and in some cases, fired for sexual misconduct. Today’s Matt Lauer was fired such behavior. CBS News’ Charlie Rose was dismissed as well. Mark Halperin of NBC News was also given the axe. Matthews still has his job at MSNBC, though it’s been described as a hostile work environment. The Caller once again detailed this alleged climate of fear. Keep in mind, this is from two unnamed sources, both claiming to be producers at NBC. They allege that working with Matthews is something akin to the seventh circle of hell, with the host berating the staff for minor mistakes. One CNBC host reportedly refuses to even be near the MSNBC host. Reportedly, this person won’t even sit in the same makeup room if Matthews is present. Staffers on Matthews’ show used to joke that they were victims of “battered wives syndrome” (via Daily Caller):
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 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.
Both former NBC producers requested anonymity out of concern for their future careers. One is actively seeking a job in media and the other still works closely with MSNBC. One expressed fears about being labeled a “troublemaker” and cited the string of former Fox News women who have all but disappeared from television.
“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,” the producer concluded.
According to the two producers, whose combined time at the network nearly spans the existence of “Hardball,” Matthews frequently objectified his female guests and staffers, inappropriately commenting on their appearance and clothing. Matthews would allegedly use pet names like “cutie” and “sweetie pie” to refer to female guests and was constantly making uncouth and “boorish” remarks about women.
The two former producers independently referred to incidents involved screaming at staffers, throwing objects around, and generally demeaning guests and the people who worked for him.
“I would describe it as verbal abuse,” one former producer asserted, recalling their own experiences with Matthews. “The screaming is beyond the screaming you’ve ever heard. You just feel so under attack.”
“He did it so openly,” the producer continued. “It’s not just sexual harassment … what are you supposed to do when somebody is verbally abusing you and attacking you this way?”
The former producers claimed that multiple female employees were often left in tears after Matthews’ angry tirades, which would frequently occur in front of guests during commercial breaks or after his show ended.
Fox News asked if other shoes could drop against Matthews; the network has remained mum:
An MSNBC spokesperson told NBC News that the execs 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. The show was on CNBC before it was on MSNBC.
The MSNBC spokesperson declined to specify the amount of the payment citing confidentiality, NBC News reported.
Matthews didn’t respond to a request for comment from Fox News, either.
We’ll keep you updated.