Bill Maher defends Chris Matthews, mocks harassment claim

"Real Time" host Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherMichael Moore: The only way Trump wins in 2020 is if he 'cheats' Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: 'Why wait until Biden is our only hope?' Eric Holder defends Biden: Allegation 'inconsistent with the person who I've come to know' MORE came to the defense of former MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who recently retired after reports surfaced that he made inappropriate comments to women.

"MSNBC used to run this thing: 'This is who we are.' Well, I didn’t like who you were this week, and I don’t think a lot of people who work there liked this either," Maher said on his show Friday. "And I think this 'cancel culture' is a cancer on progressivism."

"Liberals always have to fight a two-front war," he continued. "Republicans only have to fight the Democrats; Democrats have to fight the Republicans and each other."


Over the past month, Matthews faced significant criticism for likening Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden Julián Castro to become senior advisor for Voto Latino It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE’s (I-Vt.) decisive win in the Nevada caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, drawing immense criticism from those who noted that Sanders is Jewish and many of his family members were killed in the Holocaust.

Then Matthews made headlines when he confused Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison with Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden seeks to tamp down controversy over remarks about black support African American figures slam Biden on 'you ain't black' comments Biden regrets remarks about black support: 'I shouldn't have been such a wise guy' MORE (R-S.C.), both of whom are black.

He also took flak for an interview with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers demand answers on Chinese COVID hacks | Biden re-ups criticism of Amazon | House Dem bill seeks to limit microtargeting MORE (D-Mass.) in which he dismissed what she had said about former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's record of using nondisclosure agreements.

On these incidents, Maher said Matthews had simply made a bad "analogy" and that the former "Hardball" host had essentially been labeled a "Klansman" for confusing Harrison with Scott. Maher also said that people overreacted to Matthews being dismissive of Warren.


The interview with Warren prompted GQ columnist Laura Bassett to resurface allegations of "inappropriate" behavior against Matthews.

"In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Brazil surpasses Russia with second-highest coronavirus case count in the world Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, 'Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?'" Bassett wrote in a GQ piece that was published last week.

"When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist: 'Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her,'" she continued.

Maher admitted that Matthews made "kind of creepy" comments but said, "Guys are married for a million year. They want to flirt for two seconds. He said to somebody, Laura Bassett, four years ago, she’s in makeup, he said, 'Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?' Yes, it is creepy."

Maher added, "She said, 'I was afraid to name him at the time out of fear of retaliation. I’m not afraid anymore.' Thank you, Rosa Parks. I mean, Jesus f---ing Christ! I guess my question is, do you wonder how Democrats lose?”

Bassett responded to Maher on Saturday, tweeting, "Hey @billmaher how’s this for fragile: F--k you."