Over a year after he left Hardball, Chris Matthews is back. The veteran TV host stopped by Stephen Colbert‘s show last night to promote his new book, “This Country,” but he couldn’t avoid talking about the scandal that first cut his MSNBC career short after 20 years at the network, The Daily Beast reports.
When prompted by Colbert to talk more about his exit from Hardball and whether it came as a surprise to people at the network, Matthews looked back on the GQ story that sparked his departure in the first place. Last year, journalist Laura Basset recounted a “sexist run-in” with Matthews years earlier in 2016. Basset wrote that Matthews “looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?’” and commented on her makeup and appearance.
On The Late Show, Matthews owned up to the story, telling Colbert, “It was a four-year-old story but it was accurate as hell. I accepted the truth.” He added, “In fact, I credited it in a couple of commentaries. I said, it’s all true. Don’t blame the messenger. I did it, I own this, nobody else is responsible for my trouble. I did it. It wasn’t ‘he said, she said.’ I said she was right, the reporter, and I want everybody to know who thinks they’re on my side on this: my side is the truth.”
Matthews explained that after the story was published, he chose to leave MSNBC. “The next day, I told the president of my network I’m leaving, and on that Monday night, they let me give a speech to the people telling them how I’ll miss them,” he said.
After Matthews left the network last year, his long-running show Hardball was replaced by Joy Reid’s The ReidOut. His appearance on Colbert’s show last night marks Matthews’ latest in a media tour that’s also included stops by his former network, MSNBC, and The View, where he was pressed by co-host Joy Behar over his past comments about women like Hilary Clinton.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on CBS. Watch Matthews’ full interview from last night’s episode in the video above.
Where to watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert