Report: NBC made payment to staffer after sexual harassment claim against Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

On Saturday, the Daily Caller reported that NBC made a separation-related payment to a woman after she accused Chris Matthews of sexual harassment in 1999.

According to the Daily Caller:

Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.

The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.

The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that Matthews received a formal reprimand. Based on people who were involved in matter, the network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.

Twitchy observed: “Interesting they’re debating the amount MSNBC paid the woman to go away yet neither claim this incident didn’t happen.”

According to the report, the staffer “received separation-related compensation when she left MSNBC and has gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions. MSNBC declined to comment on whether the employee left because of Matthews or whether this was the only claim in Matthews’ history at the company.”

Newsbusters added:

The past few months have shown that no industry has been left unaffected by the tidal wave of sexual misconduct accusations and national conversation about the universal need to feel safe in the workplace.

Despite a plethora of admirable and meticulous stories by the media on this issue, media figures such as CBS/PBS host Charlie Rose, MSNBC analyst Harold Ford Jr., MSNBC/NBC analyst Mark Halperin, NBC’s Matt Lauer, NPR’s Michael Oreskes, The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, New York Times correspondent Glenn Thrush, and PBS’s Tavis Smiley are just a few of the men who have lost their jobs or been suspended following disturbing allegations of misbehavior.

With four of those examples being (at one time or another) on NBC’s payroll, it’s safe to say that NBC and its image have taken a hit. The alleged attempts to cover-up Ronan Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein served as perhaps a warning sign that the network (along with so many others) had problems when it came to acknowledging and/or confronting sexual harassment within their own newsrooms.

Curtis Houck said “it’ll be a stretch” if this gets any coverage on the major Sunday news shows.

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