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October 30th, 2020

Insight

The Worst Crime

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published March 6, 2020

The #METOO movement has struck again.

On Monday long time liberal hack Chris Mathews has "stepped down" (read: forced out) from his 20 year-long run at MSNBC, primarily it appears, because of being accused of making unwanted overtures to a woman guest.

Matthews was also heavily criticized last week for comparing Sen. Bernie Sanders' victory in the Nevada caucuses to the World War II Nazi takeover of France. As stupid as that was -- and it was really stupid -- I don't believe it was the Nazi thing that did him in. It was making "inappropriate" comments to a woman.

For the past several decades the worse charge anyone could level against a white man would be to label him a "racist." The racist thing still goes, of course, but being labeled as a man who has "disrespected" a woman (in any way she perceives that term to be) is now as bad or worse. A silly joke, an innocent compliment, or anything else that a woman may find offensive in a man's behavior or demeanor can become a career-killing, life-changing consequence for him.

Mathews began his program Monday saying, "Let me start with my headline tonight: I'm retiring. This is the last 'Hardball' on MSNBC". He went on to say it was time to hand over the reins to a new generation, but finally hinted at the real reason for his leaving; claims of sexual harassment by a journalist who appeared on his show.


"Compliments on a woman's appearance that some men, including me, might have once --- incorrectly thought were okay were not okay, not then and certainly not today. And for making such comments in the past, I'm sorry," Mathews said.

It was brought to light when freelance journalist Laura Bassett published a GQ.com article on Saturday that detailed what she described as the host's "long history of sexist comments and behavior" toward women on- and off-air. Bassett wrote Matthews "inappropriately flirted" with her when she was a guest on his show, noting a number of other women also had similar experiences.

I don't like Chris Mathews, never have. I don't agree with his politics and I abhor his dishonest and nasty style of reportage. But if it's true that his only crime was complimenting a woman on her appearance, or maybe even flirting a bit, then we are, as a society, in deep trouble.

There is no doubt in my mind that the ME TOO thing has gone way too far. We saw it in the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation hearings when Democrats, the media and others on the left pilloried him with unsubstantiated accusations of sexual misconduct.

Remember, we aren't talking about rape here. We aren't talking about anything physical. And it's not about "you better have sex with me if you want to keep your job" intimidation. It's not even about talking dirty, or propositioning.

This whole thing is evidently all because Mathews complemented a woman on her appearance or maybe engaged in some innocent flirting and the woman in question didn't want it. That's it. That is all there is to it as far as we know.

And if that is all there is to it, then the question is this: Is an unwanted complement or a bit of flirting worthy of destroying a man's career and life-long reputation? If it is, then maybe we need to just medicate all males with anti-androgens upon reaching puberty, or better yet, figure out how to keep males from reaching puberty at all.

Or maybe castration is the way to go.

Complimenting a woman used to be a really nice, charming thing for a man to do. Most women not only liked it, they wanted to hear compliments from a man. It made her feel good and it made him feel good. A guy complimenting a woman's appearance is no different than a guy complimenting another guy's suit or car.

Generally giving a compliment to anyone is a good thing to do. Why do I even need to write that? Isn't it self-evident? I guess not anymore.

And by the way, when did adult women get so weak that they can't deal with a flirtation or a compliment? Isn't today's woman supposed to be strong, able and independent? Wow, if she can't handle a man who complements her or, Heaven forbid, flirts with her, then she shouldn't be allowed out of the house.

Some might say my opinion on this is skewed because I'm a man. But guess what? I have a lot of women in my life, women of all ages, who agree with everything I'm saying here.

I wish Mathews had the guts to stand up for himself. I'm sorry, he apologized. He should have owned his words and called out these ridiculous accusations as nothing more than a petty assault on normal male behavior. He should have said there is nothing wrong with complimenting a woman, and a little innocent flirtation is a natural thing between sexes. But he can't do that.

He can't do that because as a person of the left, as a committed believer in identity politics and victimhood, Chris Mathews is a major contributor to why things are where they are today.

You reap what you sow, Chris my boy.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's been a JWR contributor since 1999.

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