The View hosts were torn about what to make of Chris Matthews’ abrupt departure from MSNBC Monday night.
On one side was Joy Behar, who, despite personal affection for Matthews and his long-running show Hardball, felt it was time. Matthews described his controversial behavior as “complimenting” women, but Behar didn’t see it that way. Among the women he “flirted” with on air in the past is current Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “He said, ‘You're one of God's gifts to men in this country,’” she said. “Oh, please. Laura Ingraham?”
“Shut up, Chris!” Behar added. “You’re out now, goodbye.” As much as she enjoyed his show, she said, “It's enough with these old guys and their stupid remarks.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Meghan McCain had a different take.
“He’s, like, 75. He’s a lion of cable news,” McCain said, explaining that she “grew up watching him” and that his show was still one of the only things she would watch on MSNBC. “I love him,” she continued. “And to reduce his entire career to this segment yesterday made me really sad, because I thought he deserved a better send-off than that.”
“That doesn’t mean his behavior should be absolved or he should not apologize,” McCain said, “but there’s a lot of people at NBC that have done a lot of crap.” She pointed to the higher-ups at the network like NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack who allegedly helped kill Ronan Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein story and protected Matt Lauer from sexual-misconduct allegations.
McCain also called out frequent Morning Joe contributor Mark Halperin, who allegedly “put his erect penis on a woman’s shoulder” and current anchor Brian Williams, who was demoted for what she called “stolen valor.”
“There’s a lot of people at NBC that have done a lot of bad, dirty things,” McCain added, seeming to make the point that if they haven’t been held accountable then neither should Matthews.
When Whoopi Goldberg, who has a history of defending sexual predators, began to dismiss Matthews’ behavior due to his age, Sunny Hostin jumped in with, “It doesn’t make it OK.”
“No, it doesn't make it OK, but you have to understand when you grow up in this idea of somebody saying, ‘Oh, your butt looks good,’ it’s, like, ‘Oh, thanks.’ It just is what it was,” Goldberg said, urging viewers to “watch Mad Men” to see how culture was back then.
“We never heard those comments from Walter Cronkite,” Behar pointed out. “I’m just saying, there are men who didn't do it.”