In an interview with Forbes promoting his new book about JFK, Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, admits that he is a friend of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes who in 1994 hired him to host his first program, Politics with Chris Matthews, a precursor to Hardball, on MSNBC’s predecessor America’s Talking. “I know all the attitudes people have about him, and I’ll tell you, I’m loyal as hell to this guy because he brought me in,” Matthews was quoting as saying, adding that he has turned down two offers to follow Ailes to Fox. I have confirmed that the job offers are indeed real though they are more than 10 years-old. “Those offers were made before we became #1,” a Fox News executive said. “Where would we put him now? Maybe as a lead in to Red Eye.” This is a reference to the fact that in October, Fox News’ 3 AM show Red Eye beat MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews in adults 25-54 with 177,000 viewers vs. 163,000.
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