The GQ columnist who publicly accused former MSNBC host Chris Matthews of sexually harassing her when she was a guest on his program fired back over the weekend after late-night talk show host Bill Maher sarcastically referred to her as Rosa Parks.
During HBO’s “Real Time” Friday night, Mr. Maher railed against “cancel culture” after Mr. Matthews last week abruptly retired from MSNBC after more than 20 years at the network due to allegations of inappropriate sexual comments in the workplace.
“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, and I think this ‘cancel culture’ is a cancer on progressivism,” Mr. Maher said. “Liberals always have to fight a two-front war. Republicans only have to fight the Democrats; Democrats have to fight the Republicans, and each other.”
“I was afraid to name him at the time for fear of retaliation from the network; I’m not anymore,” Ms. Bassett wrote.
Mr. Maher acknowledged that some of the things Mr. Matthews allegedly said to Ms. Bassett were “creepy” but downplayed her purported bravery for coming forward.
“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. 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?” Mr. Maher said.
“How fragile can one woman be?” added The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan, who was a guest on the show.
Ms. Bassett fired back at her critics in a pair of tweets Saturday, saying Mr. Matthews is undeserving of sympathy.
“Hey @billmaher how’s this for fragile: F– you,” she wrote in one tweet.
“People are really outraged that a rich as hell 74-yr-old man had to retire after being called out for 20 years of objectifying women in the workplace?” she asked in another. “This is not about me, and if your inclination is to attack me, consider putting that energy into therapy or anger management.”
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