MSNBC's Chris Matthews said Thursday that "group pressure" was partially responsible for the escalation of partisan rhetoric on cable news.
Speaking to Larry King, the "Hardball" host said that on-air hosts are very much more opinionated now than they were in the past, and they need to be, given the extremely "self confident" younger viewers coming to the network.
"The viewer comes home and they have an attitude and they want to enjoy that attitude," Matthews said. "They want somebody else to voice it."
On top of this, there is increased pressure from the network for hosts to exhibit greater political partisanship, Matthews said.
“I’m watching Fox [News],” Matthews explained. “Will Megyn Kelly be able to stay in the middle or will she move over? Will she have to move over? Look at Greta [Van Susteren]. Greta was more center left now she’s moved over. There’s a lot of group pressure in those places.”
When asked about his own on-air practices, Matthews said that he too feels this pressure.
"Oh, I feel it,” he said. “I think it’s there. I think you know your audience. You know who you’re talking to."