Kyle Smith: The real reason Chris Matthews was fired from MSNBC

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Chris Matthews didn’t get fired for being a sex monster. He got fired for doing his job.

And what was that job? To represent the non-crazy, “No Kool-Aid for me, thanks” left on television, while being entertaining and pointed and wacky. Read the GQ piece published Friday that apparently got Matthews fired and you’ll note that the writer, Laura Bassett, had two completely unrelated categories of complaint that she artfully weaved together to create an indictment of Matthews as a sexist.

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One complaint was that Matthews would compliment women’s looks. He said of Sarah Palin that there was “something electric” and “very attractive” about her. He told Erin Burnett, “You’re a knockout.” All true. He made a couple of mild compliments to Bassett: “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?”

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True, men shouldn’t talk this way around the office, and few guys under 50 have failed to get the message that this kind of thing makes (some) women uncomfortable. But Matthews is 70. Old guys flirt with young women as a way of telling themselves they’re still in the game. Young women used to be more forgiving, to recognize the pathos underlying the impulse and shrug it off. Now they exaggerate their emotional reaction, pretend that they’re “shaken” or “couldn’t breathe.” Bassett writes that a couple of flirty comments from Matthews “undermined my ability to do my job well.” That’s hard to believe.

Why do these women pretend to be undone by a stray compliment? There’s always some ulterior motive. Bassett is utterly blatant about her real motive: She wanted Matthews fired for the way he interviewed Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. She thinks Matthews damaged her political favorites, thinking (probably correctly) that when a prominent Democrat criticizes such candidates, he signals other moderate Democrats and centrists that it’s okay to vote for someone else.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING KYLE SMITH'S COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK POST