Laura Basset Shocked by Blowback She's Received Over Chris Matthews' Sudden Retirement
"I helped to remove a man from the airwaves that was really undermining women," she told Inside Edition. "When I found out on Saturday that the network had pulled him from Election night coverage I was shocked then and I thought that was going to be his biggest punishment that they had taken him off the one night, maybe they had given him a slap on the wrist.
"It came as much of a surprise to me as anyone when on Monday night he announced he was retiring – especially when he apologized," she continued.
She says she is stunned by the blowback she’s received. She said people have told her to kill herself, have called her “a whore,” “ugly,” and people have told her "to go away.”
In an article for GQ Magazine, Bassett revealed unsettling stories of what happened backstage when she appeared on “Hardball.”
She recalled a story to Inside Edition that when she was backstage in the makeup room with Matthews, he asked who she was and then said, “Why have I not fallen in love with you yet?”
She said she was taken aback, adding “I didn’t say anything. I was nervous. I was still kind of a newbie to TV at the time and he is an intimidating figure and not just being this journalist, but he is an intimidating man; he is an intimidating person.”
Bassett said that after Matthews walked out of the room, the makeup artist told her to “not to worry about him, that is just how he is, he does that all the time.”
“I was just shocked that he had been allowed to treat women that way and people around him had just accepted that,” she said.
Bassett said she does not believe Matthews should be lumped together with Harvey Weinstein and others held accountable as a result of the #MeToo movement.
"I made it really clear in my GQ column that I was not accusing him of sexual harassment," she said. "I think what Matt Lauer, what Charlie Rose did is in a different category than what Chris Matthews did. I also think that Chris Matthews behavior was unacceptable, too.”
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