MSNBC President Apologizes For Matthews Calling Koch Brothers 'Pigs' But Won’t Force Him To

Phil Griffin, the President of MSNBC, apologized Thursday for Chris Matthews calling the Koch brothers “pigs,” but Matthews has refused and MSNBC won’t require him to do so.

As NewsBusters reported, this disgusting incident took place on Tuesday’s Hardball as Matthews talked to Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) about Hurricane Sandy’s connection to global warming.

This led Mark Holden, Senior VP and General Counsel, Koch Industries, Inc., to contact Griffin by email Wednesday to voice the company’s concerns.

On Thursday, during a phone call with Holden, Griffin apologized for Matthews’ “crass language” aimed at the Kochs, and advised Holden that the Hardball host has been talked to about such behavior in the past and even disciplined.

Holden thanked Griffin, but asked for Matthews to also be required to apologize.

Griffin didn’t believe such a thing would happen, but repeatedly asked Holden to get the Kochs to be interviewed on MSNBC.

This prompted Holden to ask if MSNBC was badgering the Kochs in order to get them to come on the air; Griffin didn’t answer.

On the plus side, Griffin agreed to formally correct on the air the inaccurate statements made by Markey during Tuesday’s broadcast regarding Koch’s position on energy subsidies.

With that, Holden again asked Griffin to get Matthews to apologize. Griffin said he’d get back to him Friday.

Unfortunately, Griffin told Holden Friday that Matthews has refused to apologize and that after reviewing the footage from Tuesday’s broadcast, there will be no corrections concerning the inaccurate statements about Koch’s position on energy subsidies.

The Hardball host acknowledged that he shouldn’t have made these comments admitting that he crossed the line while assuring that it won’t happen again. But he’s not going to apologize, and Griffin isn't going to force him to.


Despite this, Griffin continued to ask Holden to get the Kochs to come on MSNBC to voice their side.

Holden rightly said it would be absurd for the Kochs to go on a television network that allows its hosts to refer to them as “pigs.”

This seems especially the case given MSNBC’s attacks on the Kochs being nothing new.

In March, Karen Finney while substitute hosting for Martin Bashir said that the brothers were “the Typhoid Mary” that led to the proliferation of Stand Your Ground laws in Florida and elsewhere.

This prompted Holden to have a highly contentious on air debate with Bashir in May resulting in Holden contacting Griffin requesting some level of journalistic integrity pertaining to reports involving the Kochs.

In Holden’s view, Matthews’ behavior Tuesday once again stepped over that line warranting an apology.

Sadly, none is forthcoming.

As Holden told me on the phone, Matthews - who routinely calls for a civil dialogue about the issues in our nation - once again has shown himself to be nothing but a hypocrite.

Truth be told, that’s par for the course at this farce of a “news network.”

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.