On Friday, Keith Olbermann dropped a bomb on the media world when he announced that his nearly eight-year stint at MSNBC was coming to an abrupt end. Although the complete details haven’t been revealed, some have suggested Olbermann was pushed out by management at NBC Universal.
However, due to Olbermann’s surprise departure, media watchers were waiting to see how his MSNBC colleagues would react to the news, particularly “The Rachel Maddow Show” host Rachel Maddow, who has said she owed her spot on the network to Olbermann.
Initially Maddow pled ignorance immediately following the announcement on HBO’s Friday broadcast of “Real Time with Bill Maher.” On her Monday night show, she praised her former colleague. But that wasn’t good enough for former MSNBC host Don Imus, who now hosts his show on the Fox Business Network.
“Having nothing to do with her politics – she is a gutless coward and I’ll tell you why,” Imus said. “Because everybody knew what the situation was with Olbermann at MSNBC. We used to work there. Tom Bowman, who is our producer and Elisha who is one of our producers – they both worked with me at MSNBC. They left there to come with me to — and by the way, don’t look for any of Olbermann’s producers to go anyplace with him. However, so we all know people. We still know everybody who is at MSNBC. Everybody knew what was going on with Keith. Everybody knew what was going to happen to him. For this woman, who owed her job to him – she’s live there with Bill Maher, everybody watching the terribly influential program not to offer a defense of Olbermann, in spite of what you think about Olbermann is unconscionable.”
Imus compared Olbermann’s departure to his 2007 firing for the use of the term “nappy-headed hos” to describe the Rutgers women’s basketball team. He noted which members of the media came to his defense, but pointed out that Olbermann wasn’t getting the same sort of defense from Maddow.
“It’s like when I got fired, Sean Hannity, who works for Fox, was defending me, and I didn’t think I should be defended, that’s irrelevant. He works for Fox and he was defending — me getting fired by MSNBC. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo nearly lost their jobs because they worked for CBS, along with me – defended me on CBS. They told them to stop doing it. They refused. She’s awful. She’s the worst kind of coward and gutless, sniveling worm.”